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I really do LOVE Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday to celebrate. But for some reason stress always seems to tag along with the Christmas season. Find out my 9 secrets to having a stress-free Christmas as a mom.
I definitely am a summer girl, but there is just something about the winter season paired with the spirit of Christmas that makes it so special. As a child I absolutely loved Christmas. I think like any other kid, I would anticipate Christmas day with so much excitement, the whole month of December seemed to be filled with magic.
Unfortunately, as we mature into our adult years, Christmas can easily lose those magical moments and feel like a time of year we almost dread.
With all of our motherly responsibilities and a long list of to-do’s, and busy family gatherings, December seems to go by in a blink of an eye. It seems like the month of January lasts a lifetime and December is over in a flash.
A growing family
Now that I am not only a wife but a mother too, I really am trying my hardest to make Christmas meaningful for my child. I want him to grow up experiencing Christmas the way I did. I want him to feel the magic and also learn the true meaning of this special time of year. With all that being said, I feel pressure from myself to be able to achieve those things. I think as women we overthink things and we add too much onto our plate. This is when we begin to feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
Lately, I have been trying to implement way into our lives to avoid stress and chaos. I know sometimes eliminating stress completely isn’t always possible but reducing it can really have a great impact on our lives and make the holiday seasons more enjoyable.
1. Plan ahead
Every year I have really high aspirations for this one, and every year I seem to not meet those grand hopes of being ultra-organized. But it is worth the try, right?
But let’s be honest here, in a perfect world if we were to always succeed at planning ahead, a lot of stress would be eliminated. It’s way easier said than done but I am determined to improve just a little each year.
It is already the first week in December and I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up or any Christmas shopping done, but my goal is to start this week.
Everyone is different and we all have different levels of organization. So just remember, don’t compare yourself to someone else that is Christmas shopping in July. Worry about you and your own personal standards. Just try to get ahead of yourself a little. It will not only relieve some stress but also make you feel good about yourself.
2. Avoid Procrastinating
Procrastination is the thief of time. When we put things off, it only robs our time and happiness later. I always say “work before play” I am definitely the type that enjoys something a thousand times more if I don’t have an undone task eating away at my conscious.
I much prefer to get the boring to-do list completed before playing and having fun. If you can try to stay on top of things and get all of those tedious chores and errands out of the way, Christmas will seem much more enjoyable. Don’t leave your Christmas shopping until the night before Christmas Eve, it’s just not worth it.
3. Be OK with not enjoying every moment of Christmas
Try to set the standard that some parts of this busy season, might not always be fun. Or they might not bring you the most enjoyment. Accept the fact and move onto the things that do bring you joy.
We don’t have to enjoy EVERYTHING. Maybe you have to bake a holiday treat for a party and baking isn’t your thing, allow yourself to not feel bad about getting zero enjoyment from it and that as it is annoying and inconvenient.
Maybe you don’t like going to the store around Christmas time as the hustle and bustle brings too much anxiety. Either avoid it by shopping online or just accept the fact it might not be an experience that you love.
As women especially, we tend to create these crazy high expectations for ourselves and compare our likes and wants to others. If they don’t fit in with those around us, we then feel bad or negative about ourselves.
Own your likes and dislikes and set the expectation that not every single activity or event around Christmas is going to be enjoyable. And being an adult doesn’t always bring the best of responsibilities, but that is OK.
4. Don’t spend too much money
Around Christmas time the stores seem to be bursting with people. Retail sales skyrocket and people are swiping their credit cards left and right. I know it is all in good thought, you want to provide a Christmas full of gifts for your family. BUT in reality, spending a lot of money around the holidays will only leave you completely stressed out once January 1st hits.
Make a budget and do your best to stick to it. Staying within a budget will give you and your husband peace of mind knowing you are not overspending at Christmas.
This year we have decided to have a pretty small Christmas and a low budget, and to be honest with you I feel so much less stress about buying gifts. Maybe it is because we are trying to focus less on more expensive gifts, so there is a lower expectation which will make the season more meaningful as a whole.
5. Let go of things and learn to say “No”
This is huge! I know we often feel bad when we have to say “no” to someone, but sometimes we have to. When we cram so many things on our plate around this time of year, in no time there isn’t any room left.
It is easy to become so busy and hectic with too many things that we just spend the month of December worrying about the long list of things we have to get done that we miss out on enjoying the season with our family.
Saying “no” to someone isn’t telling them you don’t like them or don’t want to help, it is just simply putting your own family’s needs first. By all means, this is a season of giving and love, but don’t overwhelm yourself by adding too much into your life.
Not only does saying “no” apply to others but it also applies to YOU. Might seem silly but sometimes you have to tell yourself “no” or let go of certain things.
Maybe if creating Christmas cards, sending them out and spending money on them brings you too much stress, don’t worry! There is nowhere that says you HAVE to send out Christmas cards. Let that go if it brings too much hassle and stress into your life.
Saying “No” doesn’t always have to be external, you can say “no” to your own expectations which can be so relieving. If you think you need to be doing a certain thing at Christmas, but it doesn’t provide happiness, let it go.
6. Don’t strive for complete perfection, just enjoy the moment
We as humans are not perfect, it is just a fact of life. Everything does NOT have to be completely perfect and sometimes if we want it to be, we often end up disappointed if the outcome isn’t how we imagined.
Being too focused on picture-perfect perfection usually results in frustration. Try setting lower expectations and strive to enjoy the moment instead of needing the result of the picture-perfect Christmas.
7. Find out what brings you the most JOY at Christmas and make time for those things
If you can master this one, you are golden! It seems so simple and easy yet it gets underestimated for its reward.
What did you love most about Christmas as a child?
Maybe it was a book or a certain Christmas movie. Or maybe you loved to go caroling at an old folks’ home. Go and do those things. Buy that old beloved book, turn up the music and dance and plan a memorable trip with your family to lighten someone else’s Christmas through song.
Think of the things that bring you the most joy at this time of year and fill your season with THOSE things. Forget about the hectic, busy streets filled with people in cars rushing to the store. Find the small and simple ways that bring the magic of Christmas and experience them with people you love.
8. Allow yourself to be a kid and relive the magic
As children, Christmas brings complete magic and it’s just wonderful. I know for me; I didn’t have a care in the world at Christmas time. My parents did an amazing job of making every year so special, I just remember loving every second of it.
Well, we all have to grow up. Once we become the parent, we end up being the person that has to create the magic for our little ones. That can be so exciting but also overwhelming.
Try to remember Christmas as a young child. See the season through your own child’s eyes. Simplify this time of year, grab your favorite Christmas movie, huddle by the fire in blankets and look at Christmas through the lens of a little one.
9. Remember the true meaning of Christmas and reflect on Christ’s birth
I saved this one until last because I think it is probably the most important. Truly remembering the real meaning of Christmas and reflecting on Christ’s birth can really make Christmas transform into something so much more.
Forgetting all of the gifts, the business and chaos, simply slowing down and remembering our Savior, will erase the stress and help you put everything into perspective.
We always like to read the story of Christ’s birth in the bible and watch different movies illustrating his wonderous birth. All of these things help us remember why we celebrate Christmas and it invites the spirit of the season into our home.
Hopefully this year you can eliminate some unwanted stress associated with Christmas and being a mother. I hope these ways will help your Christmas be more meaningful and wonderful.
What ways do you like to implement to help your Christmas season be less stressful? How do you deal with the chaos and constant hustle and bustle this time of year brings?
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