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The pressure of being a mum at Christmas (and why there’s no such thing as perfection)

It’s December, aka the craziest month of the year!

Even though the shops have been full of Christmas stuff since August, there’s a festive switch inside me that refuses to turn on until December arrives.

And now it’s here, I’m in panic mode – frantically trying to get everything organised to make it the perfect Christmas. Why do I do it to myself?

Does the perfect Christmas exist?

But is there such a thing as a perfect Christmas, anyway?

I can’t remember a year when absolutely everything went to plan. Either we forgot the crackers for Christmas dinner, or at least one of us was ill, or something else.

It’s easy to get caught up in organising the perfect Christmas and stressing about the tiniest of details, but you can’t foresee all eventualities – and often things can happen that scupper your plans.

Plus, everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect Christmas.

My Christmas doesn’t look anything like the Christmas cards, or the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, or the picture-perfect posts you see on social media. (You can bet that either they don’t have kids or, if they do, it doesn’t stay picture-perfect for very long!)

The pressure of festive trends

As mums, we put so much pressure on ourselves to keep up with everyone else and make it magical for the kids. But it’s hard to nail every single festive trend.

3 festive trends I won’t be following:

  1. Elf on the Shelf – call me Scrooge but I refuse to take part in this absurd trend! Every year I see and hear horror stories from friends who regret ever inviting the elf into their house. We do, however, have a cuddly elf, who my husband insists on hiding each night for my eldest daughter to find in the morning.

  2. Christmas Eve boxes – I don’t remember this being a thing when I was a kid. If I was lucky, I’d be allowed to open one present from under the tree on Christmas Eve. But a box full of treats and presents? Isn’t that what a stocking is for?

  3. Christmas crafts with the kids – I’m not creative in the slightest. Sitting down with some coloured card and a tube of glitter to make homemade decorations and Christmas cards with my girls is my idea of torture! That’s what I send them to school and nursery for!

I know what you’re thinking – Bah Humbug!

I’m not saying these trends are wrong and you shouldn’t do them. If they’re your bag, then fill your (Christmas) boots and go for it! But I don’t want to put even more pressure on myself to fulfil these extra touches. I’ve got enough on my plate as it is!

Sure, I’ve thought about it. Every year I think I should give in and follow the trends. After all, I want my girls to have the best – I don’t want to deprive them and have them miss out.

But Christmas is what you make it. We have our own traditions, and my kids aren’t deprived – far from it!

Christmas isn’t just about the gifts

Times are tough – this year more than ever. And with all the stress of the cost-of-living crisis, we don’t need to add to that stress (or debt).

The kids won’t really care if they receive fewer presents than last year or don’t get everything on their list.

Remember, your love for your children isn’t measured by the amount of money you spend on them at Christmas.

Enjoy this special time together and concentrate on creating memories that will last a lifetime, that don’t need to cost a thing. You can make it a special Christmas without breaking the bank, like:

  • Watch a Christmas movie together

  • Bake some Christmas cookies

  • Go for a wintry walk

  • Play some games

Being a school mum at Christmas

I had no idea how much hard work and admin is involved in being a school mum, until I became one! The emails and requests throughout the year are relentless.

But then December hits and everything goes full throttle:

  • Donate a prize to the Christmas raffle

  • Donate to the collection for the teacher’s gift

  • Help out at Decorations Day

  • Book Christmas dinner

  • Don’t forget Christmas jumper day

  • Get a costume for the school performance

  • Come to the school performance

  • Go to the dance recital

Christmas is what you make it

People have their own traditions, their own ideas of what makes a perfect Christmas. But Christmas is what you make it.

My perfect Christmas? Having my family around me, throwing the rule book out of the window (for one day only), and eating delicious food.

What's yours?


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