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Thread: I feel guilty, but....

  1. #1
    Super Member ranger's Avatar
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    I feel guilty, but....

    I don't like Christmas.....no, let me change that...I don't like getting ready for Christmas. Once it arrives I do enjoy it.

    The stress always gets me down. I have tried to cut back on a lot of things but DH and I still end up doing too much and spending too much money.

    It's getting better though. Every year, after Xmas, I make a list of ways I can make the next year easier. I have found that to be helpful.

    Any one else feel like this?
    ranger
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    Life...you muddle your way through it and then you die!

  2. #2
    Super Member toadmomma's Avatar
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    I use to be, but I learned that if I wanted to do it all you have to be organized. First i make a list of all that has to be done cookies baked , tree up etc. then i put them in order, cookies should be done by thanksgiving and frozen, tree up at a certain time. the list ends with things I 'd like to do but arent that important. and I end with a date preferably a week before xmas. and whats not done doesnt get done, no one misses it. i start buying or making presents jan and pick items up thoughout the year on sale ending that in July. Wrapped and put away or boxed and labled to ship out in Nov or DEC 1st. that way every thing isnt left to the last month of the holiday. Also when putting up or taking down xmas decorations go though them then and fix or sort out the lights that dont work etc. so they are not put back to bother you next year. his way I get to enjoy the holidays along with every one else. If your having a party deligate some of the food items to others to make, You dont have to do it all. And the most important thing is that nothing is perfect like in the movies. ont want to make all those cookies have a cookie swap. Have family over to help decorate, a decorating pre party. Just enjoy
    Deb T

  3. #3
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    try not to feel guilty - remember most of the pressure of what "you are supposed to do" for the holidays comes from the retail establishments that stand to make money off you doing all that. Do what makes you and your family happy.

  4. #4
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Please don't feel guilty. You are not alone. This time of year is hard on a lot of people.

  5. #5
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    Don't feel guilty. One can only do so much & putting the bar at "Norman Rockwell" is just too much.

    I try to get things like mailing cards out, but if I don't get it done then that's alright. My goals are to get the tree up & decorated, get the presents bought & wrapped (gift bags are wonderful). anything else is just a bonus.

  6. #6
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    It's getting harder and harder to enjoy Christmas, when the merchandising for it starts before Halloween. Yes, I know that we quilters need the fabric and stuff to make stuff, but when the big box stores start stocking all the other stuff, I just get kinda tired and glad when it all goes away.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    Guilt is a wasted emotion. Last year I decided that I wanted to send Christmas Cards with a personal note (don't you hate that people on your card list...you usually only hear from at this time of year....and some people only sign their names?) OK so I know you're alive but not much more. I bought the cards and every night if I felt like it, I'd write a few cards. I didn't finish but figured what got out...got out. This year I've decided to only do what I feel like doing. I'm going to take my time shopping....wrap when I feel like it....bake if I feel like it and just enjoy the time with my family. It does make for a better holiday season.

  8. #8
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    One of the things I did to make it less stressful was to cut down on people to buy for. I told friends that I value time with them more than a token gift. Let's get together after the holidays and have lunch, Dutch treat. How much "stuff" do we really need.

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I know exactly how you feel. I dreaded the house being all out of shape getting the tree and decorations all out and put up, moving things around and finding places to put everything. First thing I did was get an artificial pre lit tree. Best thing ever. Goes together in three pieces. Takes me about five minutes.

    I have several Christmas flower arrangement I set out. I put the ornaments on my tree and hang the everyone's Christmas stockings. I have a special fireplace screen I use and that is my focal point other then the tree. Two big focal points is all you need for decorating for any occasion. Put a wreath on on the door and I'm done.

    DH does the outside ever how he wants. Some years he goes all out some years he does just a little. It takes me just a few hours to put every thing away and stored until next year.

    I don't buy presents for anyone but immediate family. I send a delivered bakery basket (Wolfermans) to others on my list. It's easy to call and say send this there! I don't cook on Christmas either. I have enough of cooking on Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy the holiday and cooking and clean up is not enjoying it for me.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 11-28-2011 at 09:39 AM.
    Got fabric?

  10. #10
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    I cut down on stress by buying one small gift to open then give money for remainder. I also make some of the gifts during the year. I send cards only to people I don't see during the year or I might give them a call after Christmas when stress is lower. I make cookies or party mix for neighbors and Christmas parties. We only keep a little bit for ourselves. If it was for us to eat we would gain weight which we don't need all of the sugar.
    Jo

  11. #11
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    You are most definitely not alone. I used to do it all too for everyone, then realized I do it for ME. I start with a list too. The big dinners, the cookies and bars, the gingerbread houses, the lights, the whole house decorated (even Christmas quilts on every bed) all the cleaning and scrubbing. Everything in its place when it needed to be. My Dad loved Christmas and everything that went with it and I think I inherited it from him. I have toned it down over the years, to clean out older items and bring in new interests and ideas. But what really got me letting go of stuff and having to do it all? The criticism. From MOL, from DH cousin and his brother, and now my son's inlaws. People can be cruel. They just think they are 'helping' by telling us so and so does this or that, when in reality they are speaking to me about my home. It has caused many tears and heartache hearing and being told I didn't need to do it and can you believe what so and so does to her house (I was doing the same-merely putting sprigs of fir on the mantle and the railings. hmpf!) Well, funny thing they all ate the food and enjoyed the goodies though and admired everything done. After losing a job, and family being ill, your priorities take over and it is amazing that Christmas tends to get toned down because it really isn't about having to do it all. Now, I have simple themed family and living rooms and put on some music. I will not let go of my Dad's traditions of having lights on outside or the goodies baked or Michael Buble' (he had Frank Sinatra) playing throughout the house. My new tradition started years ago is to have something quilted to add to my decorations every year. Best wishes to you and your traditions!

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I haven't decorated for the last couple of years, did it for about 47 years. Oldest Daughter has Christmas at her house because she has a 9 YO Son and two Granddaughters, her house is a tad bit bigger than ours. I'm glad to step aside. I bake what I want. Last year I was making a quilt, hurrying to get it done a few hours before we went there. No quilts this year.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    our Hollidays are simple. When I worked in retail, I always had to be at work by 5A.M. the next day for Black Fri. Now I`m retired, the kids are married, and we take turns having hollidays and every one brings some thing to eat. On
    Thanksgiveing , those who want to exchange name write 3 things on a slip of paper and put it in the hat. We set a rather
    small amt. At Christmas every one gets 1 gift, and you still can buy for GKids if you want. We give to our favorite
    charities, as they need it more than we do.

  14. #14
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I stepped off that merry-go-round a long time ago. I put up a decorated tree and stockings and a wreath on the front door and that's it. We are simple people and I refuse to change that just because. We don't buy much for each other. We like to get our son a "big something". We set a small limit on our parents and our nieces and nephew and that's it. I don't buy for people I work with, or for teachers, or for anyone else. I bake a loaf of bread for these people. Hopefully next year, my sewing skills will allow a little more. But I don't give to anyone because I have to. I do it because it brings me joy. I try to give gifts that will be loved, but I don't stress out too much about it.
    It took a while for others to understand that this is the way I am and I'm not going to change. My husband and I are lucky that we are compatible in this way. My sister hates it. She thinks everyone should run up their credit cards and buy whatever they want. I say you can't buy love.

    I will never give in to the Black-Friday-thing. I avoid the stores from the 4th Wednesday in November until January!

  15. #15
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I usually start after Thanksgiving making cookie dough. I put it in 1qt freezer bags, smush it done to about 1" thick, seal it up and put it in the freezer. I make all different kinds of dough but I don't bake any until later. Anytime a quick tray of cookies is needed for guests, a small gift, etc., I can just take out several different bags, cut off a strip or two, cut them into 1" cubes and in about 10 minutes I have a whole tray of assorted cookies still warm from the oven. I also start addressing my cards and decorating about then. I don't plan to do more than 4 hrs worth of anything on any given day. That way it doesn't wear me down. The last thing I do is to really question myself on what is and isn't important. If there's a party, dinner or shopping trip that I don't absolutely have to go to I politely decline. Remember, if you decline that's one less person that they have to plan for too.
    If no one ever experimented we'd all still be making 4 patches.

  16. #16
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    We dont have kids. I focus on being at church each Sunday participating it the true meaning of the holiday. It has
    been years since I have stressed out if I ever really did in the first place. Our families opted out of all the gift giving
    Hoopla. I buy for my one niece and nephew. $$$ is king for them now that they are teens.

    My Christmas cards are
    ready
    To mail. I bought preprinted ones this year and I print out my mailing labels. Rarely does anyone add a personal note in their cards so I decided to quit trying to do that. We are all on Facebook so we hear what has even going on all year round. I'm not a humbug but being together is what s important.

    Doing for others such as ringing the Salvation Army bell is rewarding. Give it a try. You will be amazed! Make it a family project or get your church involved by adopting a day to ring.

    The media hype is to get you to overspend putting the emphasis on the wrong priorities. Choose what is important to you and forget about what is not. You don't have to be stressed out unless you choose to be. I enjoy this season so much more by not trying to do "everything".
    Enjoy it on your terms!
    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  17. #17
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyR View Post
    I stepped off that merry-go-round a long time ago. I put up a decorated tree and stockings and a wreath on the front door and that's it. We are simple people and I refuse to change that just because. We don't buy much for each other. We like to get our son a "big something". We set a small limit on our parents and our nieces and nephew and that's it. I don't buy for people I work with, or for teachers, or for anyone else. I bake a loaf of bread for these people. Hopefully next year, my sewing skills will allow a little more. But I don't give to anyone because I have to. I do it because it brings me joy. I try to give gifts that will be loved, but I don't stress out too much about it.
    It took a while for others to understand that this is the way I am and I'm not going to change. My husband and I are lucky that we are compatible in this way. My sister hates it. She thinks everyone should run up their credit cards and buy whatever they want. I say you can't buy love.

    I will never give in to the Black-Friday-thing. I avoid the stores from the 4th Wednesday in November until January!
    Amen!!

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  18. #18
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    Like most I used to be; it's easier now that my kids are older but I still have grandkids to do for. They are my focus. I don't get elaborate gifts; they get so many things that they forget who got them what and alot of things get pushed a side. I feel good once I've gotten them at least one thing each then if I find something else I want to get that doesnt break my limited budget I get it. I get for my grown kids when I can and if I find something that I know that will make them happy. This year my daughter has been wanting clothes so I gave her my JC Penny card and a set a limit. She's already picked out what she wants and they are at my house for my to wrap or rather put in gift bags from the $ store. I bake as I have time. The one thing that is mandatory to bake is our traditional spumonte cake; for my daughter that puts her in Christmas spirit; it is a must to have. I also make biscotti for some of my friends and family. My tree is up already and if I get any other decorations up I will, if I don't oh well, that's not what it's all about. I'm very excited about one thing. Several years ago we lost a lot of decorations that had been always put up since my kids were little. It was hard on them. Yesterday one of the favorite Disney ones that was lost and impossible to find since it was over 20yrs old showed up on CL. I'm going tomorrow to look at it; it is over 1 1/2 hours away and it is so worth it. I told the lady as long as it does work I want it for sure (it's only $20) no questions about that. I'm so excited it's hard not to tell my daughter. Thanks for listening and I hope everyone tries to do things to reduce the stress that is put on durning this season. I have less money this season than I can remember in over 20yrs but I'm not stressing about things that don't get bought or things that don't get done. I just want to focus on the joy of the season.
    Judy

  19. #19
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    I am like Jo, I buy one small gift to open and give money. Kids are grown so they like the money. Great-grandkids are happy with anything, so money they get also. I sometimes do have to rack my brain for the guys, but I work on things for the girls all year. I try to do away with as much stress as possible.

  20. #20
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    i set up the manger for the manger scene......put the wise men in various rooms (they will meet in the hallway in a few days)....Mary and Joseph travel thru the kitchen and arrive at the manger on December 24th the next morning baby Jesus is placed in the manger and the shepards come in from the porch and a few days later the wise men finally arrive..... this is how i celebrate....if you think i am just playing with dolls (LOL) you do it your way.

  21. #21
    Super Member Snorky Lvs2Quilt's Avatar
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    If it weren't for the kids and grandkids all coming home for a week at Christmas, we probably wouldn't even decorate. I don't mind decorating, it is the clean up and putting away afterwards that depresses me. We have continued to cut down each year on what we put out for Christmas and also what we are buying for the family. I would love to just give the kids (adults) money but DH doesn't want to start that yet. We would always give the little ones presents to open because after all Santa has to come to our house since they are here for Christmas morning. I am already stressing because I haven't even started decorating since I have been sick. Oh well what doesn't get done, won't be earth shattering. Being together is all that is important.
    Diane
    If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans......

  22. #22
    Member kantuckee's Avatar
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    Not to worry!

    We gave up dealing with all that years ago! We (my husband and I) now only get the small children something as a token. And they like it just as well. Cracker Barrel has the old timey toys and the kids love them. As they get older then homemade gifts to and from them is the thing. Choosing toys for the unfortunate is the focus of their holiday season since the have so much anyway.

    For decorating, it is age appropriate and with the help of the children. Very simple things like construction paper, glitter and glue to start and they make their own felt stockings. They connect with last year's Christmas cards cut out and glued on the back of clothes pins and stringing popcorn to hang with candy canes. There is a recipe for cinnamon and applesauce dough that is rolled out, cut into gingerbread men and shaped if you don't want the real gingerbread men. They have to be done ahead but can be decorated just before you hang them on the tree, and they smell wonderful!

    I know you have collected lots of things over the years but soon it is time to "gift" them to friends and family. I cook the turkey the day before, debone it into the large crookpot and cover it with thin gravy. Dinner it pot luck and buffet style. The turkey leftovers are just as good on day 3 as day 1. We spend our time with each other and out of the shops and malls. Who are you trying to impress?

    This season is now my DH's favorite time of the year instead of the most avoided.
    kantuckee

    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

    by George Bernard Shaw

  23. #23
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I used to like Christmas. All the decorating, baking, shopping, caroling, etc. THEN I went to work for the postal service. The horror of all the cards, packages, deadlines, and grumpy customers soured my attitude. Three years in a row I ended up in the hospital from sheer exhaustion. Please be kind to your postal people. And it wouldn't hurt to gift them with homemade cookies. :->

  24. #24
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    You should not feel guilty. I once heard a speaker say that we should all stay out of the stores and away from magazines from Sept through Dec. The marketing of the holiday season is an assault on the senses. And, I think everything is an attempt to make one yearn for something we all feel missing from our lives.

    DH and I have cut way back this year. We decorated while our daughters were home over Thanksgiving and what did not get decorated simply will not get decorated. My shopping is finished. Again..we cut way back. Instead of spending in excess of 3K on our family gifts, we are buying each of our married children a gift for their home and just a couple 'personal' gifts. Our youngest DD (a college senior) is getting things for her apt and some gift cards for new clothes. DH and I are not exchanging gifts (instead we are getting new furniture and going to Hawaii in Jan). The month of Dec is generally a blur...DH and I are always invited to several Xmas parties for his work (he is a regional manager so he gets invited to 6) and also my staff party. This year I am only going to 1 of his parties and my own staff party. In talking with our extended family over Thanksgiving, it was determined that everyone is tired of the mammoth gift exchange. We will get together with our loved ones for dinner and fellowship...no gifts. I am not going to knock myself out baking and candy-making, either...I am the one who will snack on it and that pretty much is contradictive of my going to Zumba three times a week! LOL

    No, I/we are not being Scrooges...Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. Somehow, I just don't get how people running out to spend themselves into debt has to to with honoring the birth of Christ? I just want to celebrate by having my children/spouses at home for a few days.

  25. #25
    Super Member Sheila_H's Avatar
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    Your definitely not alone - we've got a big family but everyone is scattered all over the place, so it means needing to get everything bought now and ship next week. This year however I asked everyone name one thing that you really need or want for Christmas, for the grandchildren they are very young so I buy lots of clothes to help my daughters out, and then get them a game, book or toy. Previous years we went way overboard on the buying, this yr I started a couple of months ago when I saw things on sale I'd pick them up and put them away.

    For him and I we've been for the past few years just picked up stuff while we were with each other, that way you know it fits and you like the color/style. Then we'd pick up one or two small things the other doesn't know about for under the tree but we pretty much know what is under there.

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