5am Christmas morning, my sister and I are wide awake but know that there is no chance of being allowed downstairs until 6am (at the earliest) so we dive into our stockings that are hung carefully on the end of our beds. They are filled with all the small gifts that would just get lost under the tree such as make-up, nail varnishes, socks and knickers; along with a hand full of chocolate coins and a satsuma. Next we move on to our gift from Santa on the end of the bed which we already knew would be a new pair of Pyjamas; somehow we made this annual ritual last for the hour or so needed before being allowed downstairs.
6am, all dressed in our new nightwear, we jump on our Mum and Dad who slowly rise from their bed to escort us downstairs to the living room which is adorned with decorations and a huge real Christmas tree. We take our places, Mum and my sister on the sofa, myself on the chair and our Dad arrives with a needed cup of coffee for Mum and himself before taking his place by the tree to hand out gifts. Once gifts had been opened we munched down a bacon buttie and a glass bucksfizz before popping over to our Grandad’s house for more Christmas morning madness. Our Dad then left to go to work for the afternoon while Mum prepared our dinner and we explored all the wonderful gifts we had received.
This is what I always imagined my Christmas would be like once I got older. I imagined spending the whole of December shopping for the right gifts and the excitement of seeing my children’s faces as they opened present after present; the small gift my husband will have taken the time to choose for me and I for him. I never thought that Christmas would become such a chore and I would spend the most of December wishing it would hurry up so the “hard-work” was over.
You see, my husband never celebrated Christmas as a child; or Birthdays or Easter. His first Christmas was when he was 18, he spent it round at his best friend’s house then his next one was with me. He didn’t get excited about it and I just assumed that the Christmas cheer that I, and many others, felt would eventually catch up with him. After almost 3 years together he still wasn’t bother by it but then we found out we were expecting our son and I was hopeful that this was what he needed to get excited; I was wrong.
Over the last 5 years he has got better, he loves putting the tree up the first weekend in December and he loves the food so I have come to realise that it is the present buying he dislikes about the holiday. He doesn’t like being forced to buy gifts and spend money when people don’t need anything. For example, our son gets EVERYTHING he could ever want from his Nan which leaves us struggling what to get him and because he feels we have to buy something it frustrates him.
This is where the idea for my Cash Free Christmas Challenge came in, I have figured that if I can take the expense out of the holiday and use a selection of sites to generate an income that will a) not effect our household income and b) generate enough to “do” Christmas with then he may enjoy it a little more.
This blog is my journey to that goal, documenting my progress and showing others that it can be done.