Less stress Christmas

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by sasywtch, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. sasywtch

    sasywtch DIS Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    I've been reading the other threads about the stress of Christmas and thought it would be nice to have a thread on what you have done to eliminate the Christmas stress/blues. I have a couple:

    I learned long ago that my boyfriend probably isn't going to buy me exactly what I want because I usually don't know what I want. While I would love to have that husband on those tv movies who's husband shops weeks before, knows exactly what she wants, they kiss and hug and all in the world is good, that isn't happening at my house :rotfl2:
    We have decided not to put that expectation on either of us and put the money into an account and take a vacation at another time.

    Family gifts. We went from buying for everyone to buying for the under 18 year old olds and drawing a name for the adults to now we just buy for my grandkids. The adults were just buying each other gift cards anyway. My kids have significant others and they buy for each other.

    I pay cash only so I have no bills after Christmas. I had to severly learn that my grandkids did not need 30 presents from me.
  2. sissy_ib

    sissy_ib DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
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  4. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

    Jul 13, 2005
    We don't have any family around :lmao: Seriously, I have learned that certain members of my (and DH's) generally make life more stressful so we always spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone - just DH, myself and the kids. Friends and family are more than welcome over the remainder of the holidays, just not for Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

    We don't ever plan what time we will eat on Christmas Day. We get up, the kids open their presents from Santa and then lunch is started when we're ready. It is very relaxed and, if we don't eat till 4 then we don't eat till 4.

    No arguments! Yes, we actually have a 'no arguing on Christmas' rule. As a child, growing up with parents who were constantly at each others' throats was pretty gruelling. But Christmas day was the one day that they were able to put their differences aside and stop their fighting so my brother and I could have a nice day. Although DH and I are very different, we still do have our disagreements but, on Christmas, they are put aside and we let the little things go.

    I remember my Mum being very stressed over Christmas, to the point where there were nearly always tears before breakfast. I would hate to be like that and so I just take a far more relaxed apprach to things than my Mother used to.

    I love Christmas :banana: :santa:
  5. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    This year we are spending as much time with the people we love as we can.

    I would like to say I am stress free but I'm up at 3 in the morning so I guess I am a little stressed.

    Presents not that important. Dh and I will not exchange. We were wasting money every year. Bah humbug. I am really trying to control the spending on the kids as well.
  6. mamacatnv

    mamacatnv That be a Mum Y'all - a Texas Mum

    Nov 7, 2005
    We did away with gifts for everyone except our own kids. We turned the family gift exchange into an ornament exchange, lots of fun, inexpensive and stress free.

    The family alcoholic is no longer within driving distance so we don't have to put up with that. When the call came that they wanted to fly down and visit we said no, we had other plans.

    Decorating has been minimal - downsized on tree and not decorating the house.

    No baking or cooking, we are going out to dinner.

    Our kids are older so we are no longer on the hunt for the "It" toy of the year
  7. shortbun

    shortbun <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><

    Aug 21, 1999
    Nothing. I'm going to read this whole thread because for the first time in a long, long time, I'm feeling big Christmas stress. I think it has to do with other parts of our lives being out of balance.
  8. Tuffcookie

    Tuffcookie Enjoys an early hour of peace. Is a smart cookie.

    Jan 8, 2000
    I'm probably going to cut down on the amount of baking I do. That stresses me out more than anything..trying to get it all done as close to Christmas as I can.

    I love putting the trees up but I will also cut back on the amount of decorating I do around the house.

    And I will try to stay out of the stores as much as possible! I feel sorry for store clerks this time of year. I couldn't handle it! :worship:

    TC :cool1:
  9. dyna

    dyna DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2005
    No tree or outdoor decorations, We do have a few decorations inside that DH put out an that was fine. NO shopping for gifts the kids an Gkids live 900 miles away they can do their own shopping an save us the expense an stress of it gettin lost.
    If DH remembers the M&M's he bought I'll make a few cookies if not I'm forgetting them too as my sugar has been out of control as it is.
    Christmas Day I'm frying oysters whatever time we feel like eating them.

    We will prolly Skype Christmas mornin with the kids an Gkids when we get tired of it we can shut down the puter an be done with it. Unlike the Christmas we went to DD's house thinkin when we got tired of the hoopla that we could go home. DD an family followed us the 5 mins home. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
  10. TheIncredibles!

    TheIncredibles! Winner (?) of the Crazy MIL Award

    Nov 7, 2010
    We stopped exchanging gifts with most of the family years ago. That eliminated a great deal. On my side we do one big grab bag with everybody from Grandma all the way down to my cousin's baby. I do not exchange with my nieces, nephews, siblings or their spouses unless we get them in the grab bag.

    On DH's side we only exchange with my three nieces. Not my in-laws, his sister and her husband etc.

    It makes for a great season. So much less stress.

    Also for Christmas when we all get together - POT LUCK!!! Last year I had 28 people at my house and the only thing I did was the ham and make sure we had drinks, plates, condiments, coffee etc. :)
  11. Rylee

    Rylee DIS Veteran

    Nov 5, 2005
    My husband loves Christmas, and will do any and all preparation/work involved, (shopping, decorating, wrapping, etc.) so... I let him! :rotfl:

    I really don't like wrapping gifts, so my DH does all the wrapping. Now, he's not a perfectionist when it comes to wrapping, so they do look awful but I keep my mouth shut, because it's one less thing that I have to do. (Okay, I sometimes laugh when I see them, and it's become a family joke... ("Did Dad wrap this?)

    I only send Xmas cards to those I know enjoy receiving them... elderly relatives.

    We turn down all Xmas party invitations in situations where we were only going because we felt obligated to go. I'm thrill our friends enjoy our company and just as thrilled that they live such organized lives they have time to throw multiple gatherings, we, however, don't. Our life is crazy, and it's not enjoyable to be at a party wishing I was home doing all the things that need be done.

    We have always hosted a large family gathering on Christmas eve. I order the main dishes, prime rib, baked scrod and chicken parmesan, and I make all the side dishes. Then, foolishly, I used to cook again on Xmas day for my immediate family. Now I just order a little more for Xmas eve, and we eat left-overs on Christmas day. (I still do a big Xmas morning brunch.)

    I don't know what this Christmas holds for my family. Last year, my mother died the week of Thanksgiving, and immediately afterwards, we had a falling out with DH's sisters. His sisters have always caused drama during the holidays, always, but seriously... who starts a fight with someone whose mother just died. I finally said, "Enough." They hurt us deeply and we haven't spoken with them since. I am focused on my family, 5 kids, DH, 2y/o grandson, and my father. I am hoping for a peaceful holiday, holding tight to memories of my sweet mother, and wishing my SiL's will just leave us alone.
  12. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Y kant Donald fly?

    Jun 20, 2006
    I don't understand why worrying about what you are GETTING for Christmas should cause stress. I think you are missing the point of the holiday if you are upset about what an SO is getting you for Christmas.
  13. TheIncredibles!

    TheIncredibles! Winner (?) of the Crazy MIL Award

    Nov 7, 2010
    The "point" of the holiday is not the same for everybody. Nothing wrong with that.
  14. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    I am not doing anymore baking....done! If something needs to be baked, I am outsourcing it to my mama or sister. :P
  15. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

    Jun 7, 2011
    Last Christmas was the least stressful Christmas I've ever had...we went to Disney with DH's entire family. I gave my kids and my nieces and nephews money (SILs and BILs and DH and I did not exchange gifts as we were spending tons on the WDW trip). We, DH and his 2 sisters, went in on a Royal Caribbean gift cert for MIL and FIL and so I only had to shop for my brother and his GF and my mom's BF (booked a cruise for my mom and I that we took in April). I didn't have to bake or decorate...just mailed out some cards, packed my bags and jetted off to FL. It was REALLY nice!!!!!

    Maybe we'll go away next Christmas again...though I was hoping to go away next Thanksgiving so I won't have to cook again...hmmmm, will have to pick one or the other I guess.
  16. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Jan 4, 2001
    For me the way to eliminate the stress of Christmas is to do things early. For example, it stresses me out to put up the tree AFTER Thanksgiving. I know this, so this yr, I had it up before Thanksgiving.

    As far as cards & gifts, ugh. Major failure there. Next yr., I am going to take more pics of people so I can make sure to have pics for gifts, cards, etc... I am new to figuring all that out however I am determined to change my ways through technology. I promise.:worship:

  17. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2010
    We always have a stress free holiday. It takes planning and slowing adjusting nets to the plan.

    We start decorating, doing cards and shopping before Thanksgiving.

    If we have time we add cookie baking, holiday parties and the like. We do not have to exchange gifts with everybody. We add and remove from the list each year. We avoid the Debbie downers. It is funny that the Debbie Downers will complain that nobody invites them over. Look in the mirror to see why.

    The holidays are what you make of them so make them happy and stress free.
  18. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2010

  19. laurafergie

    laurafergie DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2008
    Like some other posters, DH and decided years ago not to exchange gifts (we do buy stocking stuffers for each other) and we go on a trip! Sometimes several mini weekend trips throughout the year. This is a major stress reliever in itself. I wish my parents would do this. All year, I hear about how Mom/Dad never uses the Xmas present the other bought. I'm over it.

    Last year was the first time I did not decorate the ENTIRE house like I have done for 20+ years. We put the tree up and got out the Xmas dishes. Took an hour. Ditto this year and it was great.

    This year I am not making anything for the teachers. I have never bought teachers' gifts, but always made cookies or fudge tins. Instead, I am going to send in extra classroom supplies. Tissues, hand sanitizer, pencils, etc.... I keep that stuff on hand, so it is not extra for me to do.
  20. tzolkin

    tzolkin DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2008
    Logically, I am inclined to agree with you.

    However, receiving gifts does cause me stress. I am one of those odd people who does not like getting gifts. I know people never believe that, but I have hated receiving gifts since I was a young child. The entire thing actually gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. I have always loved the Christmas season- the smells, the food, the decorations-- but stress over the gift thing is honestly enough to make me convinced that I hate Christmas lately.

    DH also does not like getting presents. It isn't hugely stressful, but it bothers him enough that we have several discussions about it starting before Thanksgiving. He does not like to buy/have a lot of "stuff" and he always feels bad that my siblings and parents buy him things that he does not want/need. He feels guilty and would rather they save their money to buy something for their children or do something as a family.

    DH & I do not exchange gifts for anything. If we want something (new electronics/furniture/etc) we go out together and purchase it. Those are our "gift exchanging" experiences throughout the year.
  21. minniecarousel

    minniecarousel Chris Isaak fan

    Jul 13, 2000
    My tree is up (not yet decorated) the outside is decorated. Looks like I'll have a busy weekend. I need to bake for my younger son and daughter-in-law who just moved clear across the country. I want to buy a few cold-weather items for them, so they'll have gifts to unwrap. (those crazy California kids - moving to cold climate!) I went to Disneyland last week with my sisters, and I wouldn't have not done that, but it did put me behind in my holiday preparations.

    Not sure how to de-stress. I love my house all decorated. This year was unusual, with going to DLand and my son moving. We helped them a lot with a garage sale and packing. I can relax after the holidays!

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