We all know what it’s like. Even before December begins the pressure starts to mount up to pack in every experience, new tradition, hand crafted cards, perfectly constructed gingerbread houses, home cooked food and picture perfect moments with family for the memory books. So what do we do to stay strong and keep going through the busyness of the Christmas season?
Well, if anyone knows how stressful Christmas can be it’s Santa, surely?!
You absolutely HAVE to watch this (genuinely hilarious) Actimel video of Santa at bootcamp preparing for the rigours of Christmas so he can stay strong through it all! It cracked me and the kids up so much that we had to watch it on repeat 🙂
As busy parents there is an endless list of chores to get all done and dusted for the big day itself, including (but not anywhere limited to) choosing and wrapping presents, food shopping, decorating the house, attending kids plays and carol concerts, baking endlessly, cleaning and tidying for guests, entertaining family and on and on!
With all the build up and excessive sugar consumption the kids often ramp up the crazy and put on a wonderful show of Oscar worthy mood swings, testing the already delicate nerves of everyone nearby. Relationships are tricky to balance and some families have their worst disagreements on the days that are supposed to be focused on togetherness and peace.
So what can we do to slow down the crazy and stay strong, retain our sanity and actually reclaim the loveliness of Christmas so that we can enjoy it properly? In the mad blur of preparations it can be so easy to miss the moments altogether, but this has got to change as it’s not what it’s all about!
I am no expert, but in my slightly chaotic life with 4 young kids and running my own business from home these are my 10 favourite tips for restoring some calm and staying strong through it all!
They’re all ever-so-slightly random, which I think fits nicely with the stress we are trying to conquer!
- Just let the kids decorate the tree. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, and yes an eclectic look truly IS the most lovely and authentic. Catalogue worthy Christmas trees are boring anyway plus, you can always rearrange ornaments when they’re asleep, avoiding stressful meltdown moments at the time! Win win.
- Simply say NO to the never-ending list of new ideas for family Christmas traditions and must-visit places. You do not need to do what everyone else is doing and it’s so much more enjoyable to choose just one or two special places to visit or things to adopt to become your own family favourites. For example, a christmas eve tradition of a Christmas movie and popcorn paired with a visit to see some lights or for a christmas show is plenty. No you don’t have to re-mortgage your house to buy tickets to a winter wonderland extravaganza where everyone just cries because they’re cold anyway. Focus on one and it will be more fun!
- Unless you desperately want to, forget sending individual christmas cards to distant relatives and the nice couple you met on that holiday that one time. Simply upload a picture to social media or send one to group email and encourage them to do the same back. It is enough and we all understand that we are surviving through this!
- Buy ready made and feel absolutely no guilt about it. My big brother is really good at reminding me of this! A ready made gingerbread house kit is so much easier than making it from scratch. Do the kids care where it came from? Nope. Do they just want to smother it in loads of icing and sweeties then lick it all off? Absolutely. You can get such good food these days and it leaves you with more time to actually spend having fun with the kids instead of slaving away in the kitchen missing it all. This goes for entrees, desserts, cookies, fudge and anything else that was on the end of the massive to-make list! Unless you really do get pleasure from cooking it, just buy it.
- Order your grocery shopping online, way ahead of time. Most places let you pre-book your delivery slot over a month in advance now and you can get the christmas food shop completely sorted without going anywhere near the crush at the shops!
- Actually, just do ALL your shopping online. This year I have just about managed to get all the kids presents online by shopping here and there from my phone. I haven’t been to the shopping centre once yet which is a marvel.
- Plan in the visits to all the family and friends but make sure to space it out a little and leave at least one or two days completely for you and the immediate family. For us this is Boxing day and it is wonderful. We stay in our pyjamas, don’t go anywhere and the kids finally get to play with their new toys and games. Best day ever!
- When wrapping for multiple kids, use a different print wrapping paper for each one, that way they know whose is whose without needing to write a million labels. Simple!
- Take a little time for yourself and go into a space where no-one else is to have a drink or sneak one of the kids’ chocolates from their enormous stash. It’s likely the kids will hunt you down in 5 minutes flat, but those 5 minutes might be all you need for a quick re-charge!
- Take a deep breath, remember the reason for the season, adjust your expectations for perfection and recognise that not everyone will be happy all of the time and that’s ok. And throw in a great big dose of good humour as that really is the best way to get through the stressful times!
Stay strong Mamas, you GOT THIS! Now go and scoff a mince pie while doing your online shopping in your PJs on the sofa
Ok, now this part is over to YOU. I implore you, please share with me YOUR top tips and simple ideas for cutting down on the crazy and surviving the Christmas period with enjoyment and fun!
Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks!
This post is sponsored by Actimel
Disclaimer; Actimel contains Vitamin B6 that contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also contains Vitamins B6 & D that contribute to the normal function of the im