Christmas guilt

Train I just broke the news to Cleo – who is about to turn 18 – that she will probably have to work until she’s 70 before she gets a state pension. The upside of George Osborne’s announcement on State Pension Age yesterday is that it reflects our rising life expectancy. The Government calculates the age at which we should start receiving state pensions on the assumption that we should spend about a third of our adult lives as pensioners which, according to my maths, means, assuming we become adults at 18, he expects today’s 18-year-olds to still be going strong at 96.

I hope he’s right, but equally I hope the predicted increase in life expectancy is accompanied by an increased quality of life for those over 70. I’d love to think that we are all evolving into fitter, healthier, longer lives and we can all just carry on being able to mend the roads, drive fire engines or work the checkouts until we are 70 – but can you see it happening over the next 30 or 40 years? We all know people who can run half marathons and multinationals well into their 60s, but we also know people who are crippled by arthritis, emphysema or just general wear and tear by the same age. Visit any seaside town and you will see as many mobility scooters as you will joggers. What is to become of them? And what will we call people over 70 in the future – we won’t be able to call them pensioners because they won’t be, but does that stop them being old?

But I digress and all the while Christmas is coming. But influenced by yesterday’s news I am going to try and invest in the future rather than fritter my money away on short-term gains. So this year I will be buying gifts that last – wooden toys not flimsy plastic stuff that needs batteries to work. Having just spent days de-cluttering I want to make sure that this time next year I’m not taking this year’s broken or useless Christmas presents off to the charity shop. This time next year I’d like to think not only can they still remember what they got for Christmas, but that they are still enjoying it.

I thought this week was going to be a planning week rather than a spending week as I attempt to get my present lists organised – but I forgot about the hidden cost of Christmas (aka the guilt on the gingerbread) – so here we go

Christmas stars for being an angel on a guilt trip:

£10 for Katy’s school raffle tickets

£5 for Jack’s other school’s raffle tickets

£27 for Katy’s school photo

£28 for Jack’s school photos

Christmas puddings for being a donkey:

£10 on Christmas cake cases, icing sugar and sprinkles for the cakes for tomorrow’s winter fair, which I won’t get round to making

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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