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Relax at Christmas

Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox, CEO
New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services

It is December already, the shops are busy and the pressure is on to be ready for Christmas.

We all feel these pressures of shopping for food and presents, preparing for the big day, being ready to have family to stay or to travel to our holiday destinations. Then there is the pressure of having the children home for the holidays and juggling their needs with parents work commitments.

We might be trying to fit in all those Christmas parties, maybe a bit more alcohol than usual and we eat the yummy food on offer resulting in feeling anxious about putting on weight.

On top of all this, there is the worry about having enough money to pay for it all. So there is the chance we could arrive at Christmas day tired, stressed, overworked, anxious and broke.

Every year we hear the after Christmas statistics from helping agencies, particularly groups such as Women’s Refuge, that there is a massive increase in domestic violence during the holiday period and what I have described above is probably a big contributor to that problem.

What is the alternative? Plan carefully; be realistic about what you can achieve and what you can afford. Write some lists now then cost the expenditure and share the preparation tasks out around the family. If everyone does their bit, the task is much lighter, leaving you with energy to sit back and enjoy. Don’t try to be superwoman or superman.

While we are on this subject, there is the other side of the picture where people are on their own for Christmas with no one to buy presents or prepare food for. This can be just as stressful and depressing. So find one of these people and invite them over to your place on Christmas day. They might really enjoy being able to help out by contributing some food or preparation time to ease your load.

So having done your careful planning, please chill out, relax and enjoy yourself this Christmas.