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Feeling the advance of Christmas anxiety

(7 Posts)
Paperowls Wed 01-Nov-17 21:21:41

Am I the only one who plain dreads Christmas to the point which even the word makes my head throb? From the 1st November I feel like I close my eyes and wish it was New Year's Day. I get so anxious about making everyone happy and everyone having just the best time ever that I frequently spend December having night terrors and sleep walking. I worry about the money and the effort and the forced social contact. But what I really worry about is that my kids will see how much I hate Christmas and it will rub off on them. I don't want them to have this lifelong curse of wishing the last part of the year away. How do I avoid that? Why does everyone else love it so much? Am I missing something vital?

sunflowersandroses Thu 02-Nov-17 18:54:45

Didn't want to read and run. I also don't get the hype around xmas. I find the family togetherness quite forced, uncomfortable and too much stimulation for me, so that I feel exhausted quite quickly and just want to go to bed and be alone. I don't have children, so cannot imagine how much pressure you must feel to make sure they have a fantastic day. That being said, my mum has never really loved xmas but I never knew until I got much older (late teens) because I was so excited about xmas in the way that most children just are because of the build up. Be kind to yourself x

Babdoc Tue 07-Nov-17 09:54:51

Wish I could send you a hug! I’d bet good money that thousands of mothers feel the same dread and pressure over Christmas that you do.
I was widowed with two babies, worked full time as a hospital doctor and also ran a Sunday school, so you can imagine the pressure from Advent onwards. My husband died 4 weeks before Christmas, so I was struggling with grief over the anniversary as well.
Looking back over those 25 years, may I offer some advice?
First, take a deep breath, step back from the commercial and social pressures, and have a think about what Christmas really means for you and your family. What is important, and what is just rubbish? Ditch the bits you don’t want.
Your kids will want to spend time with a mum who is relaxed and loving, not frazzled, exhausted and grumpy from trying to provide some “ideal Christmas experience”.
Young kids don’t care what’s in their parcels, they’ll play with the box and wrapping just as happily as the present! Don’t waste hours choosing and shopping. Buy as much of the food ready made as possible - don’t spend hours in the kitchen. Stuff the turkey (in every sense!) the night before, and just wang it in the oven and forget it on the day.
The nuclear solution is to take the family to a restaurant for Christmas dinner, so you have no work involved at all.
Here’s a little word that might transform your life:
You do not have to do all this on your own. Even young kids can help to clean the house or decorate the Christmas tree. If you have a partner, they should be doing a full 50%. Write a list of chores a month ahead, and decide who does what.
Finally, remember that Christmas is for you too - you’re not just the slave who provides everyone else with a good time. Make your wishes known to your family. It might be something simple- you want to curl up in front of a corny movie on tv while the others clear up the dishes, or you want to have a peaceful country walk while the turkey cooks. Plan some “me time” into the day.
It’s not your responsibility to make sure everyone has fun - that’s up to them. Just be there and love them.
Christmas is the celebration of God’s love being born into the world as Jesus - it is NOT meant to be a ghastly tinselly debt ridden exhausting session of keeping up with the Jones’s!
My favourite bit of the whole thing is the magical Watch night Service at our village church, when midnight strikes and we all hug each other.
Your kids might enjoy the Nativity service at your local church, usually performed by the Sunday school, and unintentionally hilarious. My kids were playing angels one year and started a fight with the shepherds halfway through!
God bless you and your family, and I pray that you manage to drop the pressure and anxiety and have a very Happy Christmas!

keepingbees Tue 07-Nov-17 10:11:50

No I feel the same. I feel so guilty as Christmas with kids is supposed to be ‘magical’ but I just don’t feel it. My eldest has asd and has never been excited apart from for the presents - which are usually wrong!
I put massive pressure on myself to buy all the right things and make it special and it just gets so stressful.
I hate the forced family gatherings as I’m not close to my family and find it uncomfortable.
Family won’t listen when I ask them to just buy a couple of select presents for the kids, they end up giving sackfuls of stuff the kids don’t need or want. They end up with way too much stuff and they struggle to open it all as they get overwhelmed. We end up with a house full of stuff we don’t need and nowhere to put it. I know it sounds ungrateful, it’s not that I don’t appreciate it, but it gets silly and I really hate the waste and excess. I feel bad for the money people have spent just for the sake of it.
I don’t want to feel like this but Christmas just seems to have lost all its meaning sad

annaharvey Tue 07-Nov-17 21:45:36

I am 50-50 with regards to this. On one hand, I do dread about the money part. But overall am really excited as well about the arrival of Christmas.

AureliaDeLuca Wed 08-Nov-17 09:36:08

Brilliant post....I get so stressed too and this is great advice.

AureliaDeLuca Wed 08-Nov-17 09:38:14

Sorry...meant to say Babdoc's post is brilliant rather than the opening one which I really identify with!

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