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Middle Class, Middle England And Childless At Christmas - What's The Point?

12/12/2016 09:03

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Wyvale Christmas Table Setting

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

 

I don't know how to do Christmas any more. I don't have kids, I don't have family as I'm Canadian and they are all overseas, and I don't know where I am supposed to shop for my guests when I do have them. I have not had the benefit of the school gate chat, the guiding hand from other mums and the secret chats to understand what it is people in my neighbourhood think a good Christmas party, or indeed Christmas Day, looks like. I'm lost and feeling alone in a crowd.

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A selection of Aldi Wines available now

Image Credit:Judith Lewis

We have Sainsbury's and Aldi in our town and I am a HUGE fan of Aldi food and wine, as well as Sainsbury's ethical approach to chocolate (something I'm passionate about) where they are no longer replacing cocoa butter with palm oil. Aldi has a fabulous wine buyer who is passionate about excellent wine at a fair price. But where does Waitrose come in to things? Surely the more middle class of stores. I've been a big Fortnum's shopper over the years but does anyone notice the tag on the tea or where I bought the biscuits from? Is anyone supposed to?

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Lakeland gingerbread mug toppers

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

Lakeland is full of the joys of the season but so many things show a parent and child in their images enjoying making whatever. Can I still cut Christmas cookies from my perfectly Mary Berry'd dough with my inner child, or is that somehow creepy? I love Lakeland for so much but I feel like a baking fraud most of the time. Do other women in their mid-forties also feel this way or does having children somehow impart magical wisdom around the holidays?

 

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Debenhams Christmas dishes range

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

I've tried out with Not on the High Street for most of my friends gifts but do they know? Should they? How much of the appreciation of a gift is the gift and how much is the crazy lengths someone goes to pounding the pavement and lugging bags and bags of Debenhams gift sets alongside Carluccio's pannetone only to realise you already got something? How much of the appreciation of a gift is the effort and how much is the alignment with desires? Should I just give up and plant a tree for everyone this year or is that a bad gift? How bad is re-gifting?

 

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Crabtree and Evelyn mini hand cream crackers

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

I've gone and gotten about a half dozen Divine chocolate tasting kits and wanted to add wine and suddenly panicked. I'm often mocked for my wine knowledge so do I go perfect or slightly off so they can feel better about their knowledge? Do I just give up, keep the chocolate and fall back to the Biba gifts I saw in House of Fraser? Am I going to be judged for my Crabtree and Evelyn Christmas crackers I am using as gift tags? What is the right value for a neighbour/local family gift? Should it be suitable for all members or just the adults? Should there be something for everyone? Who can I even ask about all this??

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Tech gifts perfect for women and men

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

I know the tech 'toys' I got from Curry and Amazon are actually perfect. I got a Chromecast for friends who only have Freesat, Tile RFID tags for friends who travel a lot for their hand luggage and handbags, and a really interesting external storage device from Sandisk that works on a phone for my photo-mad friend. I almost got the Polaroid printer for myself - I still might gift that to myself ;-) That I'm comfortable and confident about but it's the other bits that are driving me crazy. I don't have other mums to ask or overhear their plans. I don't have kids to share the holiday with. I just have my husband. Is it still worth the fuss?

 

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Harrods Christmas decorations for the home

Image Credit: Judith Lewis

What do I do? How do I choose the right gifts? Do I even bother with Christmas Day when it is just husband and I? Who do I invite to our party? Do I gift all my guests? What about the neighbours - how many do I gift? How much do I spend? Where do I shop? Does it really matter? No matter what, I'm using the CoOp for Fairtrade food but it's all the other parts I don't know about. Is there any point to Christmas Day in middle class middle England with no kids?

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