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Jade’s story: Christmas stress, and how we manage it as a family

14 December 2021

Our #MakeTheirsMagic Christmas calendar was designed to help families prioritise spending special moments together, regardless of their budget, the demands on their time or any family tensions they may encounter. Here mum of three and blogger Jade tells us about the unique pressures she faces, and how she keeps the magic alive for her family.  

As a parent of three children, with a big age gap between them, I often feel myself dreading the lead up to Christmas. I am never organised enough to buy or plan things in advance (which is normally a strong point of mine!). It always feels “too soon” and then suddenly the festive season is upon us… and with it comes the immense pressure to have a magical family time with activity after activity; often at the expense of my forever-shrinking bank balance. Us parents are constantly worrying, but I think Christmas really ramps that worry up a notch. 

It can often cost us £100+ to go to a Christmas event as a family of five. I have definitely felt the pressure more this year as it is probably the final year that the two eldest children will believe. However, I am really, really hoping that they will keep the magic alive for the little one!  

Pressure from others 

Over the years I have always felt the pressure to plan an amazing event every weekend in the lead up to Christmas; to always be doing something and making memories, and, to be honest, most of the Christmas activities really are truly magical. But they also come with a lot of stress for parents attached and, for me, that can sometimes ruin the magic of it all.  

It can be particularly daunting when I see other families on social media attending Christmas event after Christmas event. Parents are often the worst for comparing ourselves to others, and I am definitely guilty of always thinking everyone is doing better than me. But when I actually sit back and think about it, I realise what is actually important at Christmas and for us, it’s spending time together as a family. No screens, no interruptions, no “in a minute”. It’s about time together doing something that the children will cherish and remember; something that might turn into a tradition that they do with their own children one day.  

“It’s about time together doing something that the children will cherish and remember; something that might turn into a tradition that they do with their own children one day.”

Treasured memories 

So this year we have decided to make the most of doing things together at home or in our local area, spending quality time together and making those treasured memories. It’s what Christmas is all about after all. Family Action has created a calendar to help us prioritise time and celebrate festive family traditions with those we love throughout December and this is something we will definitely be using… We’re going to decide as a family all of the advent calendar ideas we want to do together and pop them on the calendar. A few things we have chosen already are making snickerdoodles, creating decorations, watching Christmas films and going on a walk to see the Christmas lights. We can do everything together and the best part is that it’s all completely free or relatively cheap. This means we can do more together throughout December, hopefully making it our most magical Christmas yet. 

If trying to manage Christmas for your family is getting you down, or you’re struggling with any aspect of family life consider contacting our free FamilyLine service. You can get in touch via telephone, text message or email for emotional support and guidance as well as practical advice and information.