How to have a stress-free Christmas

I know right, we have children. Christmas is never going to be stress-free, but we can at least do a few small things to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with the holiday season.

This year I’ve taken 3 weeks off work. I know right. I don’t even know myself. This is the first time in YEARS that I have taken extended leave and god do I need it.

It’s not what’s under the tree, its who’s around. I love Christmas because it is such a family orientated day. Over the last few years, we’ve lost family members and I really take for granted all those Christmases that I may not have been 100% present in the moment. Go see that family member you may not have seen for a while, drop a bottle of wine on a friend’s doorstep and just take a bit of time to appreciate the people you’re surrounded by. There are some people who are alone on Christmas and this hurts my heart.

Declutter before Christmas. I am only just jumping on this bandwagon this year but omg, what a genius idea. I’ve been talking for ages about doing a ruthless clean-up of the house due to the amount of constant anxiety it all gives me. Honestly, some would say our house isn’t even bad, but I know where it is, where it sits completely unused – it bugs me. I need to simplify and what better time to do it than before you get a bunch of new stuff.

Be realistic. If your kids are anything like mine, the life span of a toy is about 3 weeks if its lucky before one of them breaks it (generally Baxter). This year I am following the whole want, need, read, wear. They’re kids, c’mon. Every occasion where presents have been involved the kids get so overwhelmed and end up losing it too early in the day.

Budget. Have a think about how much you want to spend this year in total. How much per person? Having a budget can help keep you on track so you can hopefully spend less and save more over the holiday period.

Make a list and check it twice. Compile a list of everybody you want to buy a gift for or acknowledge (think Neighbors, Teachers, Sports Coaches). Nothing is worse than waiting until the last minute to buy something for somebody. Trust me, I know. I am running around at the moment trying to sort a couple of presents that slipped my mind.

Embrace the chaos. I got totally wrapped up in Pinterest and had the most unrealistic expectations on what I want my house and holidays to look like. You know what I mean, the gorgeous tree, the presents that have actually sat out and haven’t been torn open from what looks like a wild animal. Christmas is about the kids and they’re going to have a blast no matter what you do.

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