5 Ways to Deal With The Pressure of Family Christmas

December 24, 2018

Some people (my family and I included!) don’t enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas, while some people really like the lead up. It makes me feel stressed from the time it begins and I don’t get the warm glow of Christmas, even though the decorations are pretty and the stores are all busy.

The movie-like Christmas get together is unachievable, and the pressure to have the perfect family time, perfect gift wrapping, and the perfect friends and family is too much.

We can start to feel detached from Christmas when the media pressures us to constantly smile and laugh, and not ever be sad or get angry. Here are some tips to make the Christmas lead up more enjoyable this year:

1. Prepare everyone for what is to come:

In order to reduce your stress, you should prepare the children by telling them they may not get everything they want. You should also prepare family members who expect to see you if you don’t want to see them.

2. Prepare your children’s emotions:

The feelings of excitement and dread are very similar. Allow your child to have a little control over Christmas in order to help them with their anxiety. Let them help with the food menu, the schedule, and anything else that is possible. You will feel less anxious if you are helping to reduce their anxiety.

3.Ignore Christmas TV shows, movies, and advertisements:

Don’t bother trying to have a perfect Hollywood Christmas because it isn’t possible. Instead, watch movies that keep a good perspective on Christmas such as Elf or other comedies.

4. Imagine Christmas day right now:

Consider what works for your child and imagine the Christmas day that would be best for them. Are there any family members your children don’t want to see and do you need to tell any family members that? Ask about the times that you will have to visit with relatives. Take control now and be prepared to compromise so that you aren’t shocked later on. No one needs to know, and you don’t have to make an excuse, but if your child has an emotional meltdown, you might need a backup plan.

5. Make homemade gifts:

You can make loads of stuff. Make it instead of buying it. Enjoy the process and the result of the gift, and remember that personal stuff doesn’t need to cost a ton, just keep your hands and mind busy.