Do you wish you could enjoy the Christmas season? What if I told you I found some tricks to help the season be less stressful? Continue to read to discover 7 ways you can reduce stress at Christmas.
As a child, I used to LOVE Christmas! I loved the snow, the tree, the presents, and the food.
But, as I grew up and started having kids, I dreaded Christmas.
As a parent, the “magic of Christmas” fell on my shoulders. I got the right gifts, sent the cards, made the cookies, decorated the house, made dinner, shuffled kids around to all the activities, and so on.
The stress of it all was getting me down.
I didn’t enjoy buying presents just for the sake of it. I hated going to the mall in December and feeling all the rush.
Most of all, I hated feeling like I was not getting enough for my kids.
When our first daughter was born we had very little money. We could hardly afford to pay rent, let alone gifts for our kids or for our family. Yet, I felt like I would disappoint her if she did not have lots of gifts under the tree. Thankfully, our extended family understood our financial situation and so they gave us a pass on family gifts.
All these feelings made it so that when October rolled around, I wanted to fast-forward to January.
My kids were young, and we had many Christmases to look forward to. I did not want years of Christmas seasons to just survive.
Something had to give!!!
I made a few changes to the Christmas season to make it enjoyable for me.
These came over time, but doing all these things has made the entire Christmas season so much more enjoyable.
7 ways to reduce stress at Christmas
Click the links to read how I used these strategies to reduce stress at Christmas.
1. Use November
I used to get everything done in December but I found myself to be running around stressed out. So, I moved a few things to my November to-do list, and it saved me so much trouble. Click here to learn what I changed.
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2. Minimize the number of gifts
When my kids were small, we had very little money but wanted to spoil our kids. That frame of mind made us overspend every year.
So, we decided to only give our kids 3 gifts at Christmas. Click here to learn why and if our kids love it or hate it.
3. Simplify tasks
I set high expectations of myself. Then when I can’t meet those expectations- I feel like I failed. One way to overcome this is to simplify tasks.
I do this by using some canned and boxed food for Christmas dinner and lowering my expectations.
4. Simplify gifts to family
Once my siblings and I were living outside our childhood home- my father realized we were spending too much money on gifts we barely used.
He decided to start a new family tradition that cut out all the Christmas shopping and brought our family closer together. Click here to learn all about it.
5. Keep family traditions
When my husband and I got married, it was important to us to make our own traditions. We brought some traditions from our childhood and started some new ones. Click here to learn what family traditions we have kept.
6. Take care of yourself
When my daughter was born in September, I treated our first Christmas as any other Christmas. I watched movies with my husband every night and slept poorly for more than a week.
By the time Christmas day came around, I was spent.
My husband and I spent Christmas morning with our new little family and joined my parents in the afternoon. I was so tired I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon.
I didn’t take good care of myself. I stayed up late and ignored the fact my life had completely changed.
After that, I went to bed at a good hour and take time for myself. When I do that, I can enjoy Christmas day and it’s not as stressful or tiresome.
7. Make Christ the focus:
Once we had children, I focused on gifts and making their Christmas Special. After a few years of doing that, I knew something had to change.
Our hearts were not in the right place and our holiday priorities seemed to be out of whack.
That is when we focused on Christ during Christmas. We make the time to observe Advent every year. Doing so helps us remember what Christmas is all about.
To get started on observing Advent, check out this Family Advent Devotional Pack and Advent Bible Reading Plan.
In the comments below, tell me what you do to reduce stress at Christmas.