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Christmas clutter is turning me into a proper Mrs Grinch

I'm trying to get ready for Christmas. But I have a problem. I am running out of space to put a tree up.

There is no room to move in our home because we have so much stuff and now I'm dreading Christmas because I know my son Gary, aged five, will get a sackful of plastic toys and I don't know where on earth I'm going to put them all!

With the risk of coming across as a complete Grinch, I wish aunties, uncles, grandparents and godparents would give my little boy small presents this year. He has enough toys to open a toy shop.

But of course that's not going to happen. They will come along armed with smiles and huge boxes full of toys with a million different plastic pieces that I will stand on in the middle of the night and hurt my bare feet. If not, the pesky little bits will get caught up in the hoover and break it.

The funny things is that he won't even play much with any of the toys. He will be more interested in the boxes the toys come in.

EXPECTATION

He loves boxes and he loves toilet rolls. He cuts up toilet rolls to make wheels for the cardboard lorries he makes.

However I can't tell Auntie Ann to give him a bumper bag of bog roll instead of the latest gadget from Smyths! She would be horrified.

But really, I'm dismayed by the amount of money that people spend on Christmas. It's just one day after all, and there's such a hype about it that the day rarely meets the high expectations.

It's terrible to see people, usually mums, stressed out of their minds as they spend money they don't really have to spare on stuff that nobody even needs.

Last year I hosted dinner for my entire family. I was so worried that I wouldn't have enough food that I bought in about four times the amount that was needed. Then I had all this food leftover. I hate waste so I ended up scoffing all the trifle, cake, mince pies and Quality street myself.

I put on 10 pounds in a week and it took me about 6 miserable weeks to lose it all. This year I won't wait until I see all the slimming ads on TV the day after Christmas.

I absolutely refuse to buy the tins of biscuits and the selection boxes that I usually buy in case unexpected guests pop in.

HANGOVER

I will not go crazy in the off-licence in case the neighbours call around for a knees-up. It's so easy to get caught up in the spending madness only to regret it in the cold light of a January morning.

I don't know about you, but my car insurance, tennis sub, VHI, home insurance and every other bill known to man, plops through my letterbox in the New Year as I'm recovering from my mulled wine hangover.

But the most painful one of all is the credit card bill. This year I'm going to prevent that happening. I'm withdrawing a certain amount from the bank and paying for everything in cash.

When the cash runs out, so does my shopping spree. It's the only way to keep myself in check.


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