The Royal Family may have millions of pounds in the bank but that doesn't stop them trying to save the pennies at Christmas.
Because it's 2018 and we live in Ireland, chances are money is a bit tight. In between paying the rent or the mortgage and all the bills, it's pretty hard to save. Christmas is one of the best times of years, designed to take place in the middle of winter so we have something to celebrate during the cold, wet, dark months. I love the hoopla, but there's an expectation of expense. Even if you don't really have the money, you're almost required to spend a fortune. There's the tree and decoration, the food and drinks, the nights out. It's all fun and games but it all adds up.
Yesterday, I came across a story about a man who had launched a Go Fund Me page to raise a £2000 Christmas fund because he wasn't earning enough money to 'spoil his kids'. It's crazy how Christmas means getting stuff to so many people, and it's sad that for so many people getting stuff is a priority. But that's the world we live in.
I'm doing Kris Kindle this year with every friend and family group I belong too. The budgets vary but they're generally fair. As I get older, though, I realise that I don't actually need presents. Not to be a Scrooge about it, but if I need something and if I want something I can get it myself. That's not to say I don't enjoy gifts - and I'm lucky enough that my husband and other family members are tremendous present givers - but I'm aware of the pressure of present shopping and, again, the expense.
What the royals do
I don't know if they'll agree to it because the members of my family love giving presents they know the receiver will love as well just as much as they like the tradition of present swapping, but I'm going to gently suggest that we adopt the present giving tradition the Royal Family follow.
Started by Prince Phillip, the frugal millionaire, family members at Sandringham, the Queen's home at Christmas, do their own version of Kris Kindle. They buy each other tongue-in-cheek 'joke' presents with a budget of about £10. On Christmas Eve, they do the clandestine gift swap and have a laugh over the on-point presents. Apparently, Kate Middleton gave Prince Harry a 'Grow Your Own Girlfriend' set one year and Harry once gave the Queen a bath hat with the pleasant slogan, 'Ain't Life a Bitch.'
Of course, they can gift each other with thoughtful presents and trips away and experiences whenever they want because they're the royals and they each get a bag of gold from the Queen on their birthdays (maybe...maybe not). But, still, it's a fun and interesting way to still exchange gifts if you're feeling the pinch.
Would you take up the tradition? Especially if kids weren't involved?