If I could throw some magic Christmas dust around and make it a season of no stress I would. I think Christmas has to be one of the most stressful times. If that isn’t bad enough it comes around every year, and each year there seems to be more stress than last year.
The media and social networks don’t help when they blast us at every opportunity with perfect looking Christmases. There are the constant adverts for every toy imaginable which is all very well but children don’t always understand the cost of it all. Even the older children who do understand money and costs will have a friend who is richer and got ten times more last year and boy your not being allowed to forget it this year with heavy hints at every opportunity.
Then there is the whole family bit of those who don’t get on, the ones that do and who should be where.
It just goes on and on….but let’s stop and hopefully some of these tips will help your Christmas be a bit less stressed.
Stop with the perfection – the 30-second advert on tv makes it look so perfect but all you are seeing is a staged 30 seconds. Not reality. Same with social media too. Its a moment of perfection caught on camera and quite often also staged. You should be planning your Christmas not someone else’s idea of the perfect Christmas. Christmas isn’t perfect. The tree won’t be the perfect shape with perfectly placed baubles ( I need to listen to this one myself). Someone will fall out with someone else. There will be a present you forgot or one that went down like a lead balloon. It most likely won’t be a crisp white picturesque scene outside and probably warm and drizzly ( again another one for me). It is just one day and you can only cram so much into a day.
Write lists – lots of them. A list of people you want to buy for, cards that you need to write and work out your menu so you can work out food shopping. If you are at all able to grasp a shopping app book your delivery slot and do your food shop online so its one less thing to wrestle with.
Stock up on basics – things like sticky tape, tags, wrapping paper, toilet roll, batteries and anything else you use regularly. You don’t want to be stressing where the spare sticky tape roll is after your little one has decided to wrap presents and use the whole roll on the first present.
Focus on what is important – what is important about Christmas will be different for each person. And whatever it is that is fine. Oh but make it realistic. Having a white Christmas was the most important thing for me for …well my whole life I think but I have finally decided Christmas can still be Christmas without a whiff of a snowball. For me its the tree and Christmas eve and the morning. After that, I just go with the flow, as long as you don’t touch my tree.
Create a budget – When you are creating your lists create a budget of what you can afford. Christmas doesn’t have to be about being the flashiest of the flash. But I do totally understand that with the joys of universal credit and how life is being a single parent ( or even a couple) life is pretty hard work at the moment money wise. There is still mouth to feeds, electricity is needed and rent to pay. If after you have trimmed the present list, done the homemade as much as you can and cut all the corners you can you are struggling and need help please do call on reputable companies like Cash Lady. Go into it with your eyes open, read the small print and only borrow what you can afford to repay.
Pick battles – does it really matter if junior is wearing odd socks at the Christmas table or if Nan nods off after her third sherry? In the grand scheme of things lots of the little things really don’t matter. I’m not saying you should let children run riot or you should tolerate things that you don’t want to but put it into perspective. In 5 minutes will it matter? Would the world stop mid spin? Does it really matter?
Traditions – I am a great believer that Christmas is about traditions. Watch any Dickens film and there are traditions falling over themselves. So keep old traditions alive, create new ones and try new traditions too.
Oh and lastly enjoy it how you want to enjoy it. If it means beans on toast instead of turkey then do it.