Health & Wellbeing

How to Reduce Christmas Stress

Written by Family247

Christmas is supposed to be fun, so how come we often end up so stressed? We take a look at the factors that create Christmas pressure, and our tips for sharing the load. Because mums deserve a magical time at Christmas too.

Don’t do it all yourself!

As mums, we often feel we’ve got to be the one who sorts everything out, from decorations and presents to shopping and cooking. So this year, get the family on board and parcel out tasks to the people you’re sharing Christmas with.

Giving everyone something to do builds team spirit, brings people closer together and, often, keeps them out of mischief. The results might not be as perfect as you want them to be, but when you’re painting your nails instead of doing last minute preparations, we promise you won’t mind a bit.

Do half-and-half: if you have a partner, ask them to sort out presents for their side of the family. Then leave them to it.

Let them do the legwork: older children can help research family Christmas presents on the internet, or help with some of the shopping.

It’s a wrap: have a family ‘wrapping party’, and plan a treat when you’ve finished, like hot chocolate with marshmallows or a trip to the local ice rink.

Horses for courses: if you’re having guests, give them a course to bring like starters, pudding or nibbles. That’s one less thing to do.

Taking turns: at mealtimes, make sure everyone does their bit. For example, half the family help with cooking and laying the table, the other half clear and wash up.

Make it an online Christmas

The internet has to be the best stress-busting invention for getting Christmas together. Shopping online lets you:

  • avoid the crowds.
  • shop around without the legwork.
  • stick to your list (and avoid impulse buys).
  • get it all delivered.

Family247 tips for Christmas shopping online

Watch out for delivery costs: choose sites where you can buy several presents, spreading out the delivery cost, or where delivery is free.

Don’t leave it too late: delivery times get longer as Christmas approaches, so allow for that.

Book a delivery slot now: if you’re getting Christmas groceries delivered, book early to get a good slot.

Be safe paying online this Christmas

Don’t fall foul of online scams or fraud this Christmas – take these few simple steps from Which? Consumer Rights to protect yourself:

Install the right software  Make sure you have good virus protection, anti-spyware software and a firewall on all your devices – including smartphones and tablets

Update your browser Make sure you’re using the latest version of your browser, and have it set to the highest security level and install updates when prompted.

Avoid dodgy links  Don’t navigate to sites by clicking links in emails or from adverts. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a site, use a search engine to research it.

Do some security checks  Secure sites will display a locked padlock or key symbol in the browser window. They will also have an address that begins ‘https’ instead of the usual ‘http’.

Choose your payment method wisely  It can be a good idea to get a credit card that you use just for online purchases as it’ll make it easier for you to track your genuine purchases.

Be savvy about your password  If a site asks you to create a password, use a combination of letters and numbers and avoid using passwords that you’ve used before.

With thanks to Which? Consumer Rights – visit which.co.uk for more information