The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Surviving Christmas

"HOORAY IT'S CHRISTMAS!" a nation of small children up and down the country scream. Schools have broken up. Nurseries have stopped allowing free hours for two weeks (b*stards) and it is officially the season to be jolly tra la la la laaaaa. Or. Tis the season to be off with a variety of rabid kids, your other half, random relatives, a bit too much booze, far too much sugar and a smidge (aka LOADS) of passive aggressiveness.

What is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year? Can end up being a bag of stress related nause and lead you to thinking "Is it January yet?". So here are a few thoughts from a Mum that is going through her fifth child filled festive month. And one that is DETERMINED to not let it break her this year. Firstly starting off with? Christmas is NOT like it is in the movies. Unless it all goes a bit 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. If you are addicted to Christmas Movies24 then you may be setting yourself up for a fall. The chances of it snowing are slim. The chances of the 'real' Father Christmas turning up to sort out a family feud? Even slimmer.

Tantrums don't stop at Christmas

What the films don't get across is the pressure. The pressure to get the right presents, uphold the right traditions, ensure the turkey is cooked to perfection, that your card to your Great Auntie Vera manages to get to Australia the right side of December 25th. It can take weeks of preparation. More often than not one of you doing all the organisation whilst the other sits and half heartedly offers to wrap one present on Christmas Eve.

There's advent calendars, elves on shelves, Christmas jumper day, unicorns being advertised in every ad break for £150 and the expectation that children should get everything on 'the list'. 'The list' that is ever changing. Not set in stone (anyone know where I can get a made up viking toy my son now randomly wants). There's glitter we have to remember to sprinkle in the garden on the 24th for the reindeer's to land (?!). Lies we have to construct about how Father Christmas manages to get into our house when we have no fire place. And it can all be very, very overwhelming.


Especially as Christmas is supposed to be the time of year that kids love. That they are at their most happiest. But hands up whose child has had a breakdown in front of Santa? Threw a strop at a Christmas party and acted super ungrateful with what is in their advent calendar? December is the same as every other month, tantrums will still happen, naughty steps will still need to be used and even the threat of "you won't get any presents" is starting not to work.

So. Here is what you need to do if you are starting to think that Christmas is beating you. Remember what it is all about (not the Jesus bit). It's about family. It's about celebrating your little unit. Who cares if on Facebook some other Mum is having mega lolz doing Elf on the Shelf whilst you never bothered buying one. Your kids won't know. And in the scheme of life does it really matter if your Great Aunties card arrives late? Send an email one.

Christmas means comedy hats. Fact.

As long as your little crew is happy that is all that really matters. Think back to your Christmas's. Do you remember what the kids in the street got? No. But I bet you remember getting your first bike. Or laughing whilst your Nan snored in front of ET. So take a deep breath and try and enjoy yourself. By this time next week? It will all be over for another year.
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