We often get overstuffed on Christmas day, but sometimes the day itself gets overstuffed as well. Too much travel, too much preparation, too many meals – where did the fun go? Anything you can do to reduce stress in your life will be a benefit to your relationships with your partner and kids. Do you need to provide a Christmas meal with 20 different items needing hours of preparation, when you could achieve the same sense of satisfaction from only five? And start the wonderful tradition of a Christmas afternoon snooze.
Who you choose to spend Christmas day with is also a big sense of stress. It’s lovely when your parents give you something – except when that something is guilt. But, honestly, you can still show your parents love and respect without having to give in to each one of their plans and whims at Christmas. Do you really need to shuffle between both sets of grandparents on Christmas day? Can you spread your family functions out over the holidays rather than just one crazy day? Take control of your Christmas. It’s not too late – you decide how you want to spend Christmas, then stick to it. Your parents will treat you as a child as long as you let them, so you be the first to raise the conversation. Maybe tell one set of parents, “We’ll have a continental Christmas with you”, and spend Christmas Eve with them. Or you could say, “We’ll have an American Christmas with you”, and go to their place when it is Christmas day in America, that is, on Boxing Day. Or go to different families on alternate years. Or emigrate.