Christmas, a few tips to keep stress at bay

I remember one Christmas standing in the supermarket queue with a trolley full of food & feeling overwhelmed, then thinking I’ll just leave, leave the trolley leave the shop leave the food. I didn’t, as by the time I’d argued in my head about what to do the cashier was putting my shopping through. So I loaded the car, went home & had a massive panic attack about the fact that I nearly left all the Christmas food in the store… a panic attack about nearly having a panic attack!

Christmas can be stressful for all different reasons. Spending time with extended family, the expense, the expectations, any of it can cause stress or trigger anxiety.

So how can we try to avoid unnecessary stress, remember It’s ok to…

  1. If you’re really worrying about what to buy someone, ask them.
  2. Know when to stop, Stick to a budget
  3. Don’t panic buy, you’ll end up with something you’re unhappy with.
  4. You don’t need to buy into all the activities that others are doing, elf on the shelf, Christmas Eve boxes, Winter wonderlands. These are all new, you nor your parents had these activities and it didn’t spoil the day.
  5. You know, it’s just one day. Food shop for the day not the week.
  6. Don’t say yes to plans that will cause extra work & stress. If your family like being at home on Christmas Day don’t commit to visiting anyone, leave it for another day.
  7. Remember It’s just a roast dinner with crackers, wise words from T, Mummy Barrow.
  8. If the weather’s not terrible try & get outside for an hour. A late afternoon walk to look at neighbours Christmas lights can be both festive and a chance to unwind.

You know, we’ve never had Christmas eve boxes, Elf on a shelf or a new pyjamas tradition. When asking our grown up boys their best Christmas memories it’s always about the funny stuff & the things that went wrong. And ALWAYS the one where Nan announced how much she liked her f.u.c.k perfume.

Merry Christmas everyone x


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  • Great suggestions. I have to say I don’t stress about Christmas – love it but don’t panic. For me, it’s a lovely time with family above all. Hope you have a great one.

  • I couldn’t agree more Lorraine – I’ve been steadily downsizing our Christmas for years and this year I took it a step further by letting my extended family know that I won’t be doing their Boxing Day lunch anymore – too much stress and family dynamics to deal with. I figure at last I’m allowed to do it my way – and that involves a lot less palaver and a lot more quiet, quality, family time. Remembering the reason for the season puts it into perspective for me.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    • It’s a big decision to make changes Leanne, especially when the family don’t expect it. Well done on your decision & have a lovely christmas.

  • Good and sound advice. I am 70 and still feel the stressors of Christmas – past. No longer do we make any kind of big deal (in fact, we just have a simple family lunch and gifts of up to $50 to the grandkids) but I do think it’s embedded in me.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Denyse #mlstl
    PS: I cannot stand the “elf of the shelf” LOL

    • Denyse who can be bothered faffing about with an Elf! I think your budget idea is good, I might try that next year. I hope you have a peaceful but fun christmas with your family.

  • Simple Christmas for us. My best memories are playing silly games with the family.
    The Nan perfume bit made me giggle 🤭🤣

    • Simple for us too Helen, although Nan is coming this year too, she always says something funny… the kids couldn’t breathe when she said that though. 😂

  • Very true Lorraine – we never had elf on the shelf either!!
    Must admit I usually love Christmas but honestly dreading this year with Mum not here anymore. Trying not to be too much of a misery and have now got the tree up, which I must admit looks lovely and does hold fond memories.
    All the best to you and yours xx

    • I hope the day goes well for you Sandra, you have your lovely family & it will be natural to miss your Mum. All the best to you too xx

  • Hi Lorraine, I can recall a melt-down or two throughout the years. Being mindful of your tips would certainly have helped me to avoid them. Good advice to anyone feeling overwhelmed with the holiday. Merry Christmas! Visiting from #Mlstl

  • Such a great post with great tips. What stresses me most about Christmas is the decorating because I do it all myself and people have such high expectations of me to always have it look “perfect”. The crowds and traffic also drive me nuts at Christmas. But this one, has been pretty stress free so far. I managed to stay on top of things (unlike last year). Visiting from MSTL.

    • Amy i’m so glad you’re able to keep on top of things, so many of us are expected to do it all on our own & decorating is such hard work.

  • Wise words Lorraine – it’s changed so much from when we were children – so much pressure and ‘extras’ we keep it simple in our house

  • I seriously don’t know where people actually find the time for this elf on the shelf nonsense, things are crazy enough at Christmas when you have kids, without having to add that to the mix. Our Christmases growing up were all about family and spending time together and I think I have imparted that onto my kids.

    • Totally agree, I don’t understand how someone would want to make a mess to then clean up & create another.
      That’s a lovely way to think of Christmas Nikki, definitely not the commercial side.