Aside from being a very happy and joyous occasion, Christmas can also become quite a stressful one.
With so much to think about; from buying all the food, presents and decorations, to so many people to think about; from your side of the family, your partners side of the family, all of the kids, and not to mention all of the extended family, it’s no wonder it’s a time that so many of us dread.
Why? Because, one way or another, someone will always find a way to moan or complain about one of your decisions regarding the above – every year you always find yourself struggling to keep everyone happy.
So, if you’d like a stress-free Christmas this year and would love to try and find a way to keep your mother, your mother-in-law and all the kids happy, then here are a few suggestions to put you in good stead:
Plan, Plan, Plan
Now, I know that this hardly feels like a ‘tip’, given that all of the Christmas songs on the radio and all the adverts on the TV have been a constant reminder that you really should start the Christmas planning, but honestly, planning and getting a head early really is the best policy.
Everyone always has the best intentions of starting early and getting organised; I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said to myself after each Christmas “I really must get the Christmas shopping done by November next year”, but I’ve equally lost count of the times I’ve not stuck to it. If you’ve left it to the last minute, it really isn’t too late to turn it around.
Plan who you’re going to get what, where you’re going to buy what, whether you’re going to spend Christmas at home, at your parents or at his parents, and also plan every minute detail of the actual day; from what time you want to put the turkey in, what time you all want to eat, and importantly, what time you’re going to open all of your presents. Planning every aspect of the festive celebrations (and sticking to it) really will guarantee your Christmas is a little less stressful than last year, for everyone.
Agree on Limits
Presents can often be quite a big cause of disagreements in many families during Christmas. With everyone earning different amounts and everyone having different ideas on how much is suitable to spend on who, it can often result in conflicting opinions.
So, get everyone in the family together and agree on a set amount that should be stuck to for everyone this year. Naturally, you may increase spending amounts for your own children and partners, but when it comes to your nieces, nephews, uncles, aunties and grandparents, this is the best way to ensure everyone is happy with what present their receive.
If you decide to up the spending limit for your children and your partner, adopt the same method here, too. If you’ve got more than one child, stick to the same limit for both.
Putting a cap on spending will ensure that one member of the family isn’t left short of a present, when another has received something grand or extravagant.
Remind Everyone of the True Meaning Behind Christmas
It’s too easy to get caught up in all of the commotion of Christmas. And, when you sit back and look at why we actually celebrate Christmas, it seems to have got completely overshadowed and masked by all of the material aspects of it.
Of course, it’s lovely to give and receive wonderful presents, put on a big feast for everyone and decorate the house with extravagant decorations, but Christmas should be a time of love, goodwill and kindness.
So, if someone in your family causes a minor problem over how much was spent on presents, or starts complaining over the gift they received, remind them about what Christmas should be about. After all, Christmas isn’t all about all of the material factors, it’s about being grateful for your life, the things you’ve already got, and being thankful also for the people around you.
Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specializes in taking teachings from the Bruderhof communities and showing others how they can implement them into their own lives to have a happier Christmas.