Present Pressure- Putting your people first.
A really hard concept I think we subconsciously find hard to grasp is “It’s not what’s under the tree, it's who’s around it”. By no means is this from a selfish perspective but rather the complete opposite. As a parent to two small children, I feel an immense amount of pressure to make Christmas as magical as possible and by pulling out all the stops. But sometimes that means other people unfortunately go further down the pecking order. Even though the most sensible thing to do would be to just have the confidence to say ‘no’ to unnecessary present buying, we place this huge pressure on our shoulders and think we have to give gifts to every Tom, Dick and Harry we come into contact with.
Now, this does not apply to just ‘parents’. After many conversations with people, it’s clear there is a common theme and I am diagnosing it with present pressure. This tremendous feeling that every gift has to be extravagant and has a certain monetary value otherwise it’s not worthy and looks ‘embarrassing’. Let me tell you something, a gift purchased for £5 could mean more to a person that a gift costing £50. I think we sometimes get caught up in this Christmas bubble and forget that Christmas really is about family and simple pleasures, and not getting ourselves into debt by wanting to provide a gift for a large proportion of the community.
Buying a gift for someone really is great. And seeing someone you love open something you have really put some thought into is incredibly wholesome. In fact, priceless. Who doesn’t love that feeling? This isn’t me saying don’t buy gifts for your loved ones, but merely giving you an opportunity to prioritise your gift buying and learn to de-guilt if you don’t manage to buy your work colleague a bottle of Merlot. We all have those presents looming over us, those people that we tell ourselves we “have to” buy for to prevent a horrible awkwardness. But there comes a time in your life where you have to put your well-being first. These situations can be incredibly overwhelming and put added pressure on you at an already stressful and tiring time.
Start by prioritizing. Who are the people you would love to buy for? Write them down. Now figure out your budget for presents. Allocate a certain amount of that budget to those people, starting at the top. These are your people. These are the people who mean the most to you. Not enough budget left for Carol in HR? Who cares? De-guilt, put your well-being first. Stay calm and remember that just because you prioritised your people, you are still kind and worthy.
“It’s not about what’s under the tree, but in fact, who’s around it”
Written by Hollie Warrick