The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Surviving Christmas

"HOORAY IT'S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!" my children have been screeching for the past two weeks. Smyths catalogues have been scoured, lists have been sent and we're not even in December yet. If I say "Well that's another present you're not getting off Father Christmas!" one more time my pair will be in negative gifts and start owing him some. It's officially the season to be jolly has started and everything is supposed to be a perfect snow filled instagrammable scene...

But what if the most wonderful time of the year?  Ends up being a bag of stress related nause that leads you to thinking "Is it January yet?". As a Mum who is now on her sixth child related Christmas I thought I would offer a bit of advice. This year I am DETERMINED to not let it beat me. Firstly let me start 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.

I want that one. And that one. And that one...

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 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 (COUGH ME) doing all the organisation whilst the other sits and half heartedly offers to wrap one present on Christmas Eve. And then moans a bit about that.

There's advent calendars, elves on shelves, Christmas jumper day, Hatchimals being advertised in every ad break for £60 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 had a breakdown in front of Santa last year? Or threw a strop at a Christmas party and acted super ungrateful with what was 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" will start to not 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.

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. As this time in six weeks? It will all be over for another year. Thank f*ck for that.
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