10 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas
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Christmas can be stressful for many of us, especially parents. Here are 10 top tips to get you through the festive season.
- Write your Christmas cards on December 1st. Then post them by the 2nd December. Yeh right! Well, sometime before Christmas Eve is good.
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- Life isn’t equal. You don’t have to spend exactly the same amount on every child in the family. If you buy one child just one expensive item, don’t buy the others lots of small presents to equalise the cost. The one who gets only one present will feel cheated. If you must, at least try to make it look like they get several gifts even if you only wrap the batteries separately. This leads onto….
- Don’t Overspend. Spending money you don’t have is a sure-fire way to make Christmas and most of the next year stressful. Presents work on the ‘80/20 Rule’. The kids will spend 80% of their time playing with 20% of their presents, so a lot of extra money spent doesn’t go a long way.
How Not To Overspend At Christmas
- Don’t overstock the kitchen. How long are the shops shut over Christmas? Most supermarkets are only closed for one day, and if you live in an area with a diverse ethnicity many shops will open for a few hours on Christmas day too. You end up spending lots of money on food no one wants but everyone feels obliged to eat up.
- However make sure you have supplies of any prescription items. Because your doctor’s surgery probably will be closed for a few days over Christmas.
- Plays and concerts. Make sure that at least one parent shows up to each nativity play, carol singing or Christmas concert. If need be rope in grandparents, aunties etc. to provide a friendly face. Because if no-one shows up for a child’s big moment it really hurts.
- Don’t grocery shop on Christmas Eve. Newsflash! Brussels sprouts don’t go off if you buy them a couple of days before Christmas!
- Stock up on batteries. Or make sure you charge up plenty of rechargeable ones. Otherwise there will be tears before bedtime.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Is the rest of the year perfect? No, so the world will not stop turning if something goes wrong on Christmas day. There will be plenty more Christmases and they turn up quicker every year.
- Your child will still love you whatever. Yes, even if you didn’t get them this year’s must-have toy. Unless you have brought them up to be totally materialistic and mercenary, in which case you deserve all you get.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.