Dr V’s 7 Tips to Surviving Christmas

Dr Veerle Van Tricht MD

I have spent Christmas in a house with 5 children and it was pretty crazy, lots of noise, lots of fighting and lots of presents to be bought. As a mother of three with two of my kids having birthdays the week before Christmas, December is also an expensive month for me!

So, if you are beginning to feel stressed about Christmas, here are my top tips for avoiding stress and making sure you have fun:

Tip 1: Christmas is not really such a big deal. Everyone looks forward to the holiday season after a busy year and even kids need a break to sleep and grow after working hard at school. The essential thing to avoid burnout is to enjoy your holidays and not stress about them.

Tip 2: Limit the amount of time you spend with your ‘unfriendly family’ and spend as much time as you want with your friendly family and friends. If there are people out there who press your buttons and upset you, don’t stay around them for long enough that it becomes unpleasant.

Tip 3: Don’t spend a fortune on presents for either the kids or adults. People often receive stuff that they don’t want or appreciate. So my best tip is to ask people what they would like and what gift would bring them pleasure or would be useful.

Tip 4: I take my kids shopping in November and ask them ‘what would be the best present that Santa could bring you?’ They show me the things they would like to receive for Christmas and we put them on a Wish List. I find it is useful to take pictures of the things they want so that I can be sure to get the right gift. This way, I know that I will be buying them something they really want and will enjoy.

Tip 5: It is not necessary to spend Christmas in the kitchen all of the time. Ask your guests to bring a plate of food, don’t try to do all of the work yourself. Someone else can lay the table or do the washing up. This way everyone can get involved and share the load. After all, the most important part of Christmas is to be with the people you love having fun and a good time together.

Tip 6: Take time out during the holiday to look after yourself. Have a relaxing bath, read a book, listen to some music, go for a walk, do something which will make you feel good.

And finally …..

Tip 7: Relax, breath, be happy and let the craziness begin!

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