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Hubby and I did not put up a tree this year. We might have, but we have two foster kittens who did not get adopted before Christmas and we know from past experience that kittens and Christmas trees do not mix well:rolleyes:

We also decided not to exchange gifts this year. I think that we both just got to the point where we hate all of the commercialism surrounding Christmas. I am not a Christian, but even so, I know that Christmas isn't supposed to be all about presents. It seems as if every year it becomes more and more about the material things and less and less about the spirit of the event it is supposed to celebrate. So, we pulled the plug this year. No tree, no gifts, nothing. And you know what? We survived!

Ok, we do still have a celebration to attend at hubby's parents' house later this morning, and they will have some gifts for us. In order to avoid "ruining" Christmas for the rest of the family, we are participating in a gift exchange with extended family. We bought gifts for hubby's two nieces and his parents, and we drew names for adults. So we aren't completely gift-free, but close.

So far, we don't miss it. I still would have enjoyed a tree, even without gifts- maybe next year.
 

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We didn't pull the plug, but did scale back. Hubby commented how little amount of gifts were under the tree. I replied it would look like a lot of gifts if we had one of those small table top trees.
 

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Sounds like my day. I'm not a Christian, so don't celebrate the holiday, but still go to the inlaws this afternoon.

Not partaking is kind of tricky when you are part of a family that does, I certainly don't want to bring everyone down, I just smile and quietly partake.

Fortunately the family does only a secret santa, so there is no frenzy of gifts.

I know that the inlaws have bought us a nice gift, and I feel kind of hypocritical taking it, but my MIL knows how I feel and she's ok with it..she just wants to get us something we can use, I'll take it as a Soltice gift :)
 

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We're not doing anything either. I have a wreath up and my Santa collection is sitting out, but that's it. No gifts, no special food. We have decided to make it just another day because our son is in Afghanistan. It just doesn't feel right to be having a good time when he's in danger. The other day I talked to him on the phone and actually heard artillery whizzing over and him shouting: Incoming or outgoing? Thank goodness it was outgoing, but it sure did bring combat right into my kitchen.
He will be home on leave early January and we'll have our Christmas dinner then.
 

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Sounds like my day. I'm not a Christian, so don't celebrate the holiday, but still go to the inlaws this afternoon.

Not partaking is kind of tricky when you are part of a family that does, I certainly don't want to bring everyone down, I just smile and quietly partake.

Fortunately the family does only a secret santa, so there is no frenzy of gifts.

I know that the inlaws have bought us a nice gift, and I feel kind of hypocritical taking it, but my MIL knows how I feel and she's ok with it..she just wants to get us something we can use, I'll take it as a Soltice gift :)
I don't think you have any reason to feel like a hypocrite. A gift is a gift...no matter the occasion. Gifts are given because we care about others and they care about us.
I'm a Christian and have been the recipient of some Hindu blessing type of stuff that I don't even understand. It's a friend of mine who just wants to show he cares by including me long distance in his holidays. To me it's very strange and foreign, but I sure appreciate that others think about me.
 

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I don't think you have any reason to feel like a hypocrite. A gift is a gift...no matter the occasion. Gifts are given because we care about others and they care about us.
I'm a Christian and have been the recipient of some Hindu blessing type of stuff that I don't even understand. It's a friend of mine who just wants to show he cares by including me long distance in his holidays. To me it's very strange and foreign, but I sure appreciate that others think about me.
Yes, you're right.

She is giving because she wants to, because she loves us :)

Can't say I'm not looking forward to having that hot ash vacuum for the pellet stove! :clap: :dance:
 

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We DO have a table top tree... and my husband (AGAIN.. you'd think I'd learn) laid out a treasure hunt, with clues, which took me this year to a friend's house where my present (snowshoes) was hidden.

As an aside, the kids? The kids gave me a new fleece to cover the couch (the dogs get up on the couch). How ratty does the old fleece have to be if the KIDS notice it needs replacing?!???

How embarrassing is that?
 

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My family quit gift exchanging when I was 16 (after asking me what I thought about it, I thought it was fine.) When DH & I got married, the first few years we did the whole "deck the halls" and gift thing, but after that the holiday was scaled way back. There have been many years when we did absolutely nothing; no tree, no decorations, no holiday treats, no nothing. Doesn't hurt that DH usually works on holidays, but we don't really miss it.

As far as being hypocritical; many belief systems have celebrations around this time of the year, but even if one doesn't adhere to any of them it's still a nice time to think of friends and family and show them they are in our thoughts.
 

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We have a kitten in the house, too, and so didn't put up the large (four-foot, so it's only large relatively speaking!) tree. But we have a little table-top tree and that's up. DD kept asking for the big tree; she doesn't understand about kittens and trees. We have some old glass ornaments that I didn't want broken, but the main problem would have been DD. If the kitten had gotten up into the tree, autistic DD would have been VERY upset!

We didn't do very many presents this year, either. Grandma gets so tired out with shopping anymore that she didn't do any Christmas shopping, and I didn't do much. But as others have said, Christmas isn't about presents. It's about remembering that God sent His only Son to earth to live as a human being so He could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The decorations and the presents are nice, but a side-issue.

Kathleen
 

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It's just me and DH here so we have a tiny tree with my favorite decorations on it and this year we decided to try to spend no money on gifts for each other--giving things we've made or coupons for other things. The simpler stylings helped us focus on the joys of the season rather than worrying about the 'stuff'.
This year we have really enjoyed the spirit of the season--focusing on others and trying to find those in need and help them have a happy Christmas--it's been fabulous and fun--and I'm sure that will become more of our focus in the years to come...
Happy Christmas to all!! Enjoy the day!
 

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We haven't done Christmas since 2003. DH had always done the decorating in previous years, but in December 2004 I was gone much of month because my mom was dying. DH was overwhelmed running the household so no decorating was done while I was gone. Mom died 12/21/04 and I didn't make it back home until late late Christmas Eve. I spent most that Christmas Day sleeping on the couch because I was exhausted from caring for her.

Mother adored Christmas and well, I haven't felt up to having Christmas since her death. I know DH would like to have a real Christmas again, but he understands that I just can't handle it.

Most years we have sent small presents to family members. This year we didn't exchange any presents with our families as DH has been unemployed since the end of August and money is tight.

deb
in wi
 
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