Christmas is a time for family, fun and festive outings. But it can also be a time of financial strain and family tension.
If you find the festive season to be more of a source of stress and worry than peace and goodwill, you’re not alone.
Here are five reasons why it’s perfectly normal to not love Christmas:
1. Financial pressure
It’s hard enough to think about the money you need in December without being reminded of it by annoyingly early Christmas ads in September.
Yes, it would be great to be organised and shop in the sales but that’s not always possible so cut yourself some slack and remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can.
2. Gift giving
We all want to give our children the Christmas of their dreams but it’s not always easy if what they want is extremely expensive or hard to source in time. Is there an alternative and will they be disappointed if they don’t get the same thing as their friends?
Then there’s the family gifts, the in-laws, the unexpected visitors who show up unannounced with a gift-wrapped box that makes your blood run cold as you frantically try to find something you can give them in return.
3. Social expectations
Christmas celebrations were seriously curtailed in 2020 so it’s not surprising that many people want to make up for lost time this year.
Nights out, lunches, brunches, meet-ups, cocktails, office Christmas parties can all be great fun but between new clothes, taxis, babysitters and paying for drinks, they can also make a serious dent in your savings. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to the ones you’re not that bothered about.
4. Family gatherings
There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ family and when everyone congregates in the one place over Christmas, things can become fraught. If you’re worried or stressed about hosting people for dinner or having family members stay with you for a few days, it’s completely normal.
Try to find ten minutes to yourself every day to decompress and have at least one person that you can express your feelings to if or when things get tense.
It’s a sad but undeniable fact that as we get older, we experience more grief and unfortunately, this tends to be magnified around the festive season. Whether you’re thinking of someone who passed away a long time ago or still feeling raw from the pain of losing someone in the last year or two, don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
Cry it out, write in your diary or talk to someone about how you’re feeling instead of bottling everything up inside.