The pressure of Christmas. We kind of do this to ourselves in many ways but I also think societies expectations and also social media can create this pressure. The pressure to do so much for Christmas. To make it a “perfect Christmas” for our kids. But do you know what…..I will let you in on a secret as I have been doing this Christmas with kids now for 8 years. It is not so much how much money you spend it is the thought and time spent with kids.
The pressure of Christmas
I remember one year I totally did it to myself. I went a bit Christmas Crazy! At that point in time I had only three young children. The boys were actually probably just over 1. I decided for some unknown reason, that I had to make homemade gingerbread reindeer cookies completed with cellophane wrapping and tied with a small card for each of their daycare educators. It was easily 20 to 30 cookies. But it didn’t end there. I got the kids involved and they “helped” decorate them. My twin 1 year olds and 3 year old. Don’t you love it when your kids “help” but it takes ten times longer and is a bit all over the shop lol. So here we were mid Christmas crazy season of commitments making 30 odd homemade reindeer cookies. I am positive the day carers enjoyed every last bite of their cookie but seriously what was I thinking with three toddlers? By the way these are super fun to make and probably great if your kids are bigger and my kids did enjoy making them but I just added to the pressure of Christmas!
Image credit Create Bake Make
This is also the silly season and the social commitments seem to go bonkers. For yourself, your partner, your kids. Juggling all these together can get quite overwhelming. The Christmas parties and end of year functions are an endless stream and busy weekends fully booked with events.
One of my best tips for any Mum is get a good calendar app on your phone. I love my google calendar app. It can share events and it reminds me before an event. I then don’t suddenly forget something that is upcoming and I can put it straight in my phone when I find out about the event. Read some more tips about the google calendar and other tips for juggling life here
The pressure of Christmas means we often say YES to a lot of events. We over commit and exhaust ourselves. Sometimes we do need to step back and say NO. It is hard to say no but you do need to prioritise events and commitments – especially at this time of year.
We need to prioritise and protect our energy. It is okay to cancel a commitment. It is okay to say no. It is okay to change your mind. It is okay if you need some time out. It is okay to do nothing.
The pressure of Christmas can definitely be amplified when we consider presents and gifts. Gifts for our loved ones, our kids, the teacher gifts, the grandparents, “Santa”, Kris Kringle, the second cousin, the Great Aunt Edna……you get the idea lol. I try not to go to overboard with presents anymore. In the past, I know I have. I know people go into debt at Christmas. Again with kids it is not necessarily the cost of the gift. It is the thought.
There are many ways to budget and curb the spending at Xmas. I know there are so many almost brand new if not brand new toys and items on buy swap sell sites and online. Kids don’t generally notice, they rip into the wrapping paper quicker than you can say Christmas and then paper and packaging is discarded. Or if you have a baby or toddler they are more amused with the gift paper!
This year as with previous years I try and stick with the “something they want”, “something they need”, “something to read” and “something to wear”. One present to fit all of those categories. The something they want is usually the main present. Nothing better than buying your child that one item they have been longing for and they get it on Christmas. Something they need I normally get new school bags for the next year or similar. You get the idea. By doing these categories it reigns in the spending and crazy present buying. I like to write a list for each child before I go shopping so I don’t get lost in the toy aisles. Sometimes less is actually more. So many of my friends have said this – minimising toys, kids will actually play more with what they have.
Speaking of minimising
A good declutter and going through toys and books and things BEFORE the influx of new things arrives is always a good idea. I have in the past gotten the kids involved in this – asked them to go through there things and to give them to another boy or girl who may not get as many things at Christmas.
Experiences and memories
Experiences are also another great gift idea. We have bough Territory passes or gift vouchers to various places like ten pin bowling or the cinemas etc to enjoy during the school holidays. Above all, try to enjoy the silly season. Cherish the moments with your families. Create the amazing memories and traditions with your kids. Because they do grow up so quickly. Take the pressure off yourself this Christmas and enjoy.