7 TIPS FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS

It’s only 19 sleeps until Father Christmas and his reindeer will be speeding across the globe, fully laden with sacks of presents to deliver. I know that being reminded that there are only a few short weeks left until Christmas, will send many into a state of panic or despair. Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year and according to the internationally recognised Holmes & Rahe stress scale, its right up there with divorce and death. Christmas has become this huge commercial juggernaut that keeps pilling on the expectations. At a time when most of us are already feeling overloaded and only want to think about that much needed summer break. It’s the time of year when we are bombarded with images of big happy family celebrations, that are filled with joy & laughter. When, in fact for many, this is the furthest from reality. In my past life as a child protection social worker, I was appalled at the lengths that some parents of separated families would go to, to try and prevent the other parent from sharing part of the Christmas celebrations with their children. Being estranged from my own extended family, I know what it’s like not to have lots of family around at this time of year. So, I ask that you bare a thought for those who may be alone or struggle at this time of year and would appreciate your care and attention.

Beach Christmas

In saying that, I love Christmas and am looking forward to celebrating the first Christmas in our new home, which we move into on 11th December. To help you get through the silly season, I’ve put together a few tips that will hopefully enable you to enjoy your Christmas.

 

Ways to Combat the Silly Season

  • Put you & those closest to you first, instead of listening to the “should’s” from extended family, friends or work connections.
  • Decide early on how you would like to spend your Christmas and stick to it.
  • Once you’ve worked out what your priorities are this Christmas, write a list of everything you want to do and how much you want to spend, when it needs to be done by and who is going to do it.
  • Spread the load & learn to delegate.
  • It’s ok to say no to invitations.
  • Reach out to others who do it tough at this time of year. A little kindness will benefit you both.
  • As much as it can be great to have lots of friends and family stay at this time of year, it can also be fraught with problems. It’s often a juggling act to manage personality clashes, differences in opinion & personal space & autonomy. So, I recommend having times when everyone can have their own space.

 

What does your Christmas look like?

 

Jenni XXX

  • Great minds think alike Jenni – I was one of “those” children which is why Christmas was traumatic for me for many years. Nowadays I like it a lot better!

    • Janet, it heartens me to read that your Christmas’s are now so much better. Many a time i’ve asked parents to stop being so selfish, and take a step back. Think about the way they are behaving and the long term impact it will have on their children. I think that regardless of what is going on around them, all children deserve to have a happy Christmas.

  • This year it will be spent with some friends over from Wellington. It feels weird to be away from family, but we’re very excited to be hosting Christmas for the first time in the 28 years we’ve been together. I’ll no doubt over-cater, but I love Christmas leftovers & the struggle to find room in the fridge is part of the fun. Good luck with your move.

    • Yay for Christmas leftovers, no cooking required for the next few day’s afterwards. We’ve been in our new home a week tomorrow and can say that we are finally all unpacked and settled, with only a few minor tweaks to sort. The Christmas lights and tree went up today and, so fingers crossed it will start to feel like Christmas soon.

  • KookyChic

    Christmas is the best time year, full of great memories, friends and most importantly family. Wishing you a blessed Christmas xx

  • sue

    Hi Jenni! A new home for Christmas, how lovely! I wrote a post this week about taking time to slow down and enjoy this magical time of year. Your tips are great advice as usually we are rushing and doing everything for everyone that we forget to enjoy ourselves. Merry Christmas!
    Sue
    https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au

    • Sue, it sure is lovely to be in our new home for Christmas. We’ve moved back to the city side of the bridge, after being out of the area for almost 9yrs. It feels great to be back in my old stomping ground and feel inspired by the city life around me again.

  • I basically don’t speak to my biological family. Usually we got to my inlaws but 2017 has been long for me so I’m going to take Christmas Day as some rare time alone. Probably at the beach!

    • Ness, it’s fantastic that you are listening to your heart and doing what is right for you at this time of year.

  • I’ve not had any Christmas parties or events for a few years but have 2-3 this year which is kinda nice. Only one is work that I feel I ‘need’ to attend. My christmas will be low key as it’s just my mum and I and that will be special. She will go to church etc and then we’ll just spend the day doing the things we enjoy. #teamlovinlife

    • Deb, If you are not looking forward to the work party, seeing it as work may help. Decide before going, who you you think you need to tick off the list and then do those and then depart. Spending Christmas day doing the things you and your mum enjoy sound’s perfect.

  • Kathy Marris

    I wised up to Christmas about 5 years ago when I was still working and running around like crazy trying to please everyone. By Christmas Day I would be mentally and physically exhausted. I don’t do the big Christmas Day lunch anymore with extended family because it got too large. We just try to spend it with our own little family of four.

    • Kathy, I’m with you and think that a small family Christmas is the way to go. With moving house this week, I really don’t think I could have coped with a massive people filled Christmas day.

  • We usually just have 5 or 6 of us for Christmas lunch, but this year we will be going to my brother’s house to celebrate. There will be a few extras there, as he has some mates who don’t have families. There will be about 12-14 of us, which we think is great. I’m so looking forward to the big family get together for a change (with a few extras thrown in). Nobody should be alone at Christmas xox #TeamLovinLife

    • Lyndall, I think that if you are having a big Christmas day, it’s a great idea to have a few non immediate family members to break things up a bit.

  • I try and avoid all the should’s for Christmas and just do what we want to as a family. For me, spending time with family is the most important thing but you are right about reaching out because not everyone has what I have.

  • sydneyshopgirl

    Thanks for a more serious take on what the season also means for many of us. If not this year than in years’ past or to come.

    SSG xxx