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To think preparing for Christmas is like taking on another full-time job...

(25 Posts)
Flashbangandgone Thu 17-Dec-15 23:56:04

...ok, I exaggerate, but not much. I love Christmas, but with all the food, presents, cards, decorations etc. it seem to have completely taken over every spare moment.. And it's not as though my DP doesn't work equally hard!

Fratelli Fri 18-Dec-15 08:29:28

If it's that much hassle just order everything online! And get the food you can prepared the day before smile

mintoil Fri 18-Dec-15 08:37:40

Sorry YABU, I order all the food and most of the presents online. I work about 60/70 hours a week and can't say it has impacted me much.

I haven't wrapped the presents yet - will do that in the evenings next week when school finishes. Send minimal numbers of cards. Kids do decorations - I don't care how crap it looks it still looks better than if I did it

What is it you are doing that is taking up so much time? Could you cut back a little bit? Clearly you love it so it would be a shame if you couldn't really enjoy it as much as all the people you are making it lovely for IYSWIM?


Grumpyoldblonde Fri 18-Dec-15 08:40:17

I love the whole preparation so don't find it at all stressful or hard work, Anything I can get delivered I do, I enjoy cooking the Turkey but this is one of the only meals I will buy ready prepped veg, not potatoes though, they have to be mine, Aunt Bessie doesn't cut it for me. I wrap a few presents a day and write minimal cards, only for people I really like but don't see often. I love putting up the decorations and arranging the house.
I guess if you have a huge family, relatives you don't get on with and a tiny budget if must be very difficult but I do hear people who have the minimum to do talking about all the work. My DH has said in the past what a stressful time it is, so I broke it down and asked him did he really get stressed about choosing me a present, peeling some spuds, drinking lots of wine, eating lovely food? "Um, no actually" said he

CMOTDibbler Fri 18-Dec-15 08:43:08

YABU. Its only as faffy as you make it. All my presents have been bought online, less than 20 cards written between us, tree took 30 mins, presents will be wrapped christmas eve in the evening. Easy peasy

PenelopePitstops Fri 18-Dec-15 08:43:08

YABU. What are you doing that makes it so stressful?

Buy a few presents (mine mainly done online), get food for a roast dinner plus a couple of extras. Have 2 days off work to chill with family and drink wine...doesn't sound stressful to me!

MoMoTy Fri 18-Dec-15 08:43:45

Yabu, if you make it hard work then it will be. The date doesn't change, you have the year to spread the prep out.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 18-Dec-15 08:44:47

It always surprises and dismays me how so many people manage to turn a celebration into an endurance marathon that they aren't enjoying.
Look at ways of reducing the stress and fuss.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 18-Dec-15 08:47:59

'I love the whole preparation so don't find it at all stressful or hard work'

And if you do find it stressful and ghard work, tailor your celebrations to what you actually think is important to your family. If they agree, then they should participate in the preparations.

YouTheCat Fri 18-Dec-15 08:49:27

Christmas is as much hard work as you make it.

Mine isn't. I do most of the present shopping online. I've been buying Christmas food for ages and putting it away (buying when things are on offer).

Next week there's a few presents to wrap, which will be done whilst watching a Christmas film like Die Hard . Then a spot of food shopping and I spend Christmas Eve baking because I like it.

I prep veg on Christmas Eve whilst drinking mulled wine. It doesn't take long. And dinner is just a Sunday roast with a few extras and me getting steadily pissed on sherry .

Even when my kids were small, I planned in advance so that I could relax and enjoy the holidays too. I know some people might have a house full but I really don't see the need to stress over one day. If things go a bit wrong with the sprouts, it's not the end of the world. grin

CheeseBagette Fri 18-Dec-15 09:04:43

Flashbangandgone, I completely agree! I do order as much as I can online, but still think that the preparations still take up a massive amount of time. Looking forward to a rest when it is all over.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 18-Dec-15 09:08:48

YANBU. It's like a military operation here at the moment.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 18-Dec-15 09:17:30

Our own family Christmas is not remotely stressful - food online, presents bought last month when I had more time - job done.

HOWEVER, the last couple of weeks have been completely insane with special events and last minute requests for costumes/food/secret santa presents/charity contributions/Christmas jumpers. I have no control over any of this. It's all coming from organisations which my children are members of. All of it is lovely, in itself. But there is just TOO MUCH, and I am on my knees trying to keep all the balls in the air on top of a not-particularly-demanding part time job.

EponasWildDaughter Fri 18-Dec-15 09:18:53

I think it's more like taking on a peculiar extra part time job:

Multi tasker needed: Short hours - between a few mins and a couple of hours on any given day without much warning, weekends and evenings included. Runs from roughly end of Oct to 25th Dec, ramping up considerably toward the end. Must be good at self motivation, negotiation, an eye for detail and prodding others into doing their bit without losing rag (much). Car and internet access a bonus.


DingbatsFur Fri 18-Dec-15 09:22:46

Last night I was until midnight sorting the things for the last day of school, festive wear for the kids, presents for the teacher and childminder. I would have sorted it over the week but we have had xmas plays the kids have been performing in and I have to pack for all of us to visit the in laws this weekend. My DH has been sick with 'flu' and I have a raging UTI which antibiotics have not been able to kill.
I bought loads online and have the food order prepped to go, it's just the stuff all leading up tp xmas that are wrecking me. Also, full time job.

DisappointedOne Fri 18-Dec-15 09:24:28

Only if you buy into a particular kind of Xmas. Only extra work I have at this time is deleting all the extra emails from companies trying to flog tat I have no wish to buy.

AuntieStella Fri 18-Dec-15 09:26:30

"Christmas is as much hard work as you make it"

I agree very strongly with this. Christmas is not a competition.

Everyone knows there's no one set way to do Christmas, and the none of the various activities and trimmings have to be done at all unless you like them.

Yes, the family politics may be unavoidable and travel is harder. But even if those go weird outwith your control, there's still a lot you can decide yourself (plus decide when to do it).

If your Christmas is going wrong, there's still time to downsize it. If it's always a hassle, change your traditions.

If you like it to be hard work, that's also fine. But if so, enjoy it exactly as it is.

weeblueberry Fri 18-Dec-15 09:28:07

I agree it's only as stressful as you make it. Now, granted, I'm not making the Christmas dinner this year even if it were our turn DP would do it but

- christmas shopping can be done on your arse from the internet
- christmas cards can be written while watching Masterchef
- decorating is a lovely Saturday morning activity to do with the kids
- food is ordered online/quick trip to a local farm to get the meat
- wrapping is done on Christmas Eve with a gin and tonic

I'm a proper control freak and haven't been remotely stressed this year! I was last year but was 6 months pregnant and everything stressed me out fgrin

LaurieFairyCake Fri 18-Dec-15 09:30:20

I've ordered everything online. Food is all pre prepared waitrose stuff.

I'm still tired from tidying, 4 hours of wrapping, writing cards, going to the post office.

I'm trying to get everything done by tonight so I can enjoy two weeks off properly.

WaitingForSnow Fri 18-Dec-15 09:30:37

Shopping online, all delivered.
Co-op £10 Xmas meal deal so all prep done for food already.
Wrap as presents arrive.
Kids do tree.
Xmas clothing for school is generally pull a white shirt from the stack,( bought for pennies online), find a xmas picture, print and iron.
And.... Relax! Xmas is sorted!

Whoknewitcouldbeso Fri 18-Dec-15 09:34:26

I think Christmas is stressful if you are hosting a large family get together with fussy relatives or awkward guests. In that situation I would be totally getting my stress head on.

As it is it will be three of us for Christmas Day and four of us for Boxing Day and that is it! Everyone gets on, no one is fussy, I'll buy a little bit of extra food and a bit of booze and jobs a goodun.

BiddyPop Fri 18-Dec-15 09:38:58

The past few years, I have done my best to be organized by early December with the presents, card writing, house de-cluttering and general planning. So that, as the month goes on and the last minute requests happen, we still have time to deal with those AND have some nice family time rather than getting too stressed.

This year, we've had a busy year so I was a little behind already, when we were hit from left field with some pretty devastating news in DH's family and a few very intense weeks right when I would be in the thick of my regular organizing. And it also meant a complete change to our plans for Christmas (instead of staying home, we are now travelling "down home" to both sets of parents), not booking a cottage (our usual fail-safe when we do travel, to get some time out as our own nuclear family) as it was last minute and MIL needs support - but we will instead spend 1 night in MIL's, 1 night in my DPs and then a 3rd night somewhere (a DSis has offered, we may have to go back to MIL).

DH does a lot of international travel, I have had an unexpectedly heavy workload this season, and DD is having a very hard time at school and home (aspergers/ADHD, so normal trouble with that amplified by external circumstances). And we've had to do a lot of weekends travelling down home this autumn, which weren't in our plans. All of which resulted in me coming down with a chest infection so bad that I am on my 3rd lot of anti-b's and had to take a week off work (very rare occurrence) - I'm back since yesterday. DD started play therapy yesterday as well, to try and help her.

So this year has been pared back somewhat. No big meal to cook admittedly, but I have been asked to bring the veggies to 1 dinner, and have bought cheese to bring to the other (each family eats at different times, so we get 2 turkey dinners when we are down home!!). But packing to sort, presents are late getting bought, I have a load of cards still to write.

But the house is mostly clean. Could do with mopping kitchen floor, but otherwise clean. Decluttered guest room. I tackled my dressing table on Wednesday night. Reasonably neat and tidy, even if cluttered, elsewhere.

Tree is up, there are some presents under it. Overseas parcels and cards have gone - some a little late but not so late they shouldn't arrive before next Friday. And I have been giving myself permission to, not exactly celebrate but at least relax and get somewhat festive listening to a wide range of nice Christmas music (not the party classics, this is not the year for that, but lots of choral and orchestral music, and some bluegrass and country as well for something different).

And DH is organizing a family trip next week, one evening (Star Wars and dinner) so we will have something nice to enjoy together as well, apart from the wider family.

chrome100 Fri 18-Dec-15 09:54:46

I bought some presents online and had a couple of lunch breaks in town to finish it off.

Wrapped one present a day over a week or so.

Don't bother with cards.

Job done.

specialsubject Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:54

with kids it is a lot of extra stuff due to present wars, but as for the rest:

- the shops close for ONE day. If you are doing a lunch or hosting guests, no more trouble than at any other time.
- decorations? 30 mins unless you live in Buckingham Palace
- cards? Couple of hours max.
- presents? make a list, buy in a one-hit shopping trip, wrap. Couple of hours. Children over 8 or so should be doing a lot of it.

DisappointedOne Fri 18-Dec-15 10:37:21


* only decorate a tree
* don't buy gifts for anyone but DD (and even then only a few sticking bits)
* online food order
* don't celebrate on 25th
* don't do cards

I buy DD's following year's winter jumper in the sales. Couldn't be less stressful.

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