Christmas Cheers!

Three Tips to Cope with Christmas

It’s silly season again and you may have begun to feel the overwhelm that builds up before Christmas. I see the trend every year as people become almost frantic as Christmas draws closer. What are those feelings really about? Why do we become so stressed before this celebration? And perhaps most importantly, what can I do to remain stressed and at peace through this time?

There are multiple reasons why Christmas can be stressful. Some of these include financial pressure, stressful family dynamics, socially imposed expectations and even loneliness. Christmas is a time when everyone seems to go back to their families and celebrate. But for anyone who does not have a family or has lost a loved one over the last few years, Christmas can be a time of grief and sorrow. It can highlight what and who we don’t have around us.

Christmas can also be a time of high family stress, especially as social consumer expectations are high and so many people are struggling. Again, Christmas can highlight what we don’t have and leave us feeling inadequate.
It can be great seeing the extended family again, and it can be stressful. Al those feelings like you are five years old again come rushing to the surface. Family patterns are powerful and they can bring up unresolved issues. Even the most aware can fall prey to good old family patterns!

So what is the answer?

Here are some tips that can help you over the Christmas period. First, keep in mind a value or goal… is Christmas about celebration or connection or gratitude? When consumer expectations and family get togethers get overwhelming, remind yourself of your goal and ask, “Is this in alignment with what Christmas really means to me?” This value is like your barometer. It can help you on stay on track rather than lead astray. Secondly, practice boundaries. Sometimes these boundaries are with ourselves and our wallets and sometimes these boundaries are with other people and relatives. But boundaries do help maintain healthy relationships. If for whatever reason, you feel stressed about spending time with others then set clear boundaries with yourself and them and stick to it. For example, “I’ll see Uncle Bob and family for two hours rather than the whole day!” Remember, we can set boundaries in ways that sound kind, with compassion, and yet have a strong core that does not waver! Finally, practicing self-awareness and mindfulness never goes astray around Christmas. Mindfulness is the art of self-awareness, which can set in good stead for not getting drawn into self-defeating arguments or empty wallets.

Here are the Three Tips Again…

Know your values behind Christmas

Set healthy boundaries

Practice mindfulness

With these tips in mind, I wish you a fantastic Christmas!!!

Tell me your Christmas worries and I will respond to them in furfure blogs over the December period. I would also love to hear about how you cope with difficult times at Christmas, as your ideas could help others!




10 Responses to “Christmas Cheers!”

  • This is going to be our first xmas in our Motorhome! Our first time that we have to think about space and what we can buy that will fit into the limited space we have… I am not sure what to buy our older sons for xmas – its going to be an interesting day.
    Its also the first time that I have wanted to “Give” instead of presents – I want to give time!


    • Hi Lisa, that’s sounds great as well as confronting because it is different. It also sounds like you have been going through changes and reassessing values in life!!! Christmas could be a great opportunity to continue looking at how to bring the simple into your life and spending time with those you love into your family’s life.

      Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us
      I hope your family has a fantastic Christmas day

  • Kathryn Hodges:

    Hi Nessie,
    Wow – this hits the spot. Just over the last couple of days I have been starting to do the list. You know the one. So far it goes like this “finish Christmas shopping, get hair cut, organise vacation care for younger boys, figure out what to do with older boy with broken arm on holidays, no swimming for him, organise christmas party for work team, must do christmas party for fellow tenants, work out Christmas between feuding MIL and SIL, put up Christmas tree, organise high school uniforms for older boy ….”. I’ll stop now. But the list goes on!!
    Oh my. Deep breath.
    First thing is – let go of the “must get it done by Christmas” line. That just turns up the pressure.
    Focus a step at a time … and for today it’s seeing if we can put our tree up tonight. I would really like that. Maybe I should buy a bottle of wine on the way home …. and leave the kids to it.
    K xxx

    • Hi Kathryn

      Thank you for sharing your experience leading up to Christmas with us… it does sound frantic! It’s great to keep coming back to a grounded perspective as it is so easy to get caught up in all the hype and frantic energy. It is always busy but taking those time outs ad making it as simple as possible is great. I hope you had a great glass of wine and got to relax!!!

      Lots of love

  • Hey Vanessa
    I love Christmas and it is definitely my favorite time of the year. I like the idea of know your value’s behind Christmas. For me those are…. relax, enjoy, and giving is way more fun then receiving! Oh yeh… The beer,prawns and cricket are pretty good to! lol

    Cheers Beanie

    • Hi Beanie
      Great… Christmas can be a fun and relaxing time… fantastic! I find looking at the values behind Christmas are really meaningful! Even if people are not Christian or religious, Christmas has many meanings for many different people. If those meanings are about connection with people we care about and giving then it is a beautiful time of year.

      I hope you and your family have a fantastic Christmas

  • I am going into this time with the mantra: ‘there is nothing I ‘HAVE TO’ do today” so that everything becomes a choice… it’s my holiday too! We make Christmas a joyful and blissful celebration – I am grateful for having a family where everyone is willing to choose flow and ease… I am in charge of the masterchef competition though… expecting the kids to win at this stage 😉

  • This is certainly going to be a different Christmas for us. Our daughter and her 2 children (15yr old boy and 7yr old girl) have recently moved back home with us since the end of her marriage and we are learning to all live together. I’d forgotten how loud children can be!
    Fortunately we have over the years minimized our Christmas trappings which makes things much less stressful.
    It is a wonderful time of the year and children help us to see the magic of the season, but if we pause to remember the real reason for the season we can’t help but realize we don’t need everything we are told by the media are “Must have’s” this Christmas!
    From our house to yours may this truly be a Blessed Christmas

    • Hi Jenny thank you for sharing your family Christmas with us. It’s so true that children make Christmas. I love the magic in their eyes and their excitement because Santa is coming! It’s sad as adults we can lose that magic!!!

      I hope you and your family adjust to the new arrangements and that you all have a fantastic Christmas.
      Lots of love

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