Why buying our own gifts doesn't ruin my family's Christmas spirit

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Hands up who buys their own Xmas presents. Surely, I can't be the only one?

In fact, it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't buy my own presents to me from my husband and kids.

Originally, it started because my husband and I decided the best way to get the exact present we wanted was to buy it ourselves. We had three kids, worked and were too busy making sure Xmas was amazing for our family.

We no longer had the time we did pre-kids to wander around shops looking for the perfect gift. And let's face it nobody wants a surprise vacuum cleaner or dodgy shirt for a gift.

Instead, we'd tell each other what we wanted and the other person would get it, wrap it and put it under the tree.

Then, as time went by, we stopped even doing that. Now, we just buy what we want, then we tell the other person what we've purchased and pop it under the tree, still in its postage-paid packaging. We don't even bother to fake unwrap it in front of the kids anymore.

You might get what you want, but to be honest it's a little lacking in Xmas spirit and takes away some of the joy of the moment.

So, this time when I was online shopping I made a few little changes.

Firstly, I opted to get my presents gift wrapped.

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And secondly, I added special messages to myself so when my packages from my kids and husband arrived I could feel extra loved… by me.

The one from the kids said: "You are the best mum in the whole wide world and we love you way more than Nutella. You are also very, very cool and beautiful".

The message from my husband said: "I love you my beautiful wife. You complete me. Merry Xmas xx".

And it felt so good. So good, I even got myself a present from our dog.

He doesn't have hands so he couldn't write a special message, but he has great taste so he got me something really, really fabulous.

I mean it's the thought that counts. Isn't it? And my dog thinks I'm pretty damn amazing.

It might all seem a little sad and desperate, but it's really just a bit of fun. My family and I adore each other and do lots of beautiful things for each other, but it's been a busy year and online shopping is fun, especially when it's for you.

And while I got myself gifts I wanted to make sure I also gave someone else a gift of kindness this Christmas. I filled a black backpack with essential items and some added special extras and donated it to the Share the Dignity's It's in the Bag campaign. I also wrote a message for the woman who will be given my bag, because words can lift people up when they need it.

The words I wrote to her were full of love. The words to me were very tongue in cheek.

Writing special messages to myself made me happy and I laughed so much when I told everyone about "their" extra soppy heartfelt, corny words.

And when I open those presents, surrounded by the people I love most in the world we will all laugh again.

Then I will rejoice because I'll get to wear my brand new Converse shoes, beautiful dress and cool kimono jacket that my "thoughtful" family members purchased for me.

I might even buy a little something else just for me from me.