Weirdly, though I love the idea of the festive period (snow, presents, warmth, family), I get a little bit too stressy about the organisation of it all. And guess what, it's only got worse with a little family of my own. So here are my top tips to avoid a meltdown in the glow of merriment.
Tough one this, whilst you're burying your head in the sand (ahem, guilty), the clock is ticking. So time to woman up and get going. Don't do it all yourself though. Give out tasks, and if you're a perfectionist, give very specific tasks, so you can get it all done and still be pleased with the results. Whether it's presents, food, hosting, decorations or logistics, make a list (or a spreadsheet if you're feeling fancy) and tick things off one by one. Imagine the satisfaction! Oh and the look on your little one's face on the big day, of course.
Keep a cool head
Being organised is one thing, getting overly military about it is another. Remember to calm the f*** down before you implode. Don't be panicked by the sales (Black Friday is only just the beginning) and stick to your plan. No matter how reduced it was, if no-one wants it, it's a waste of money. Whatever happens, it will be a day to remember and your family and loved ones will be happy. We've got perfectly imperfect parenting, and we're all about perfectly imperfect celebrations too!
Make time for you
Bake in time for you to have an off day or weekend in the run-up to the big day(s) so that you can actually sit down and enjoy your family and the warm glowiness of the season. Carols, minced pies, mulled wine, wintry walks, ice skating, that favourite Christmas film....they all have their place and they're worth it if they remind how nice it all is underneath.
Get something to look forward to
Plan a holiday, a retreat, a day away with friends, a visit that's been on your hit list for a while. It's not the only thing to look forward to (erm, you have actually got Christmas to come after all, and last time I checked, there were presents to give and to receive) but it does alleviate the 'who am I doing this for anyway' grumps. Something to look forward to as a family or just for yourself can be just the ticket.
Christmas is a time of extremes. We're either super loved-up and happy or super irritable and fighty. Who remembers the explosion when it turns out your other half hadn't been listening AT ALL when you talked about that special piece of jewellery you've wanted for ages? I know it's not romantic, but for my money it's definitely worth dropping some less-than-subtle hints or actually telling your partner what you want. And likewise. Although he might not care as much, you'll definitely benefit from a thoughtful present, even if you did have to shove him in the right direction.
Remember, even if it didn't all go to plan, come the 27th December (or thereabouts, things seem to drag on a while these days) it's all over for another year.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry!
At &Breathe Postnatal we run retreats and events specifically designed to to help new parents come up for air. Check out our week long retreats in France and our 24hr retreats in the UK