a simple festive season

We’re on the cusp of the giving season where social calendars are heaving and motivation may be dwindling.

Am I the only one that finds this time of year a little challenging? The diary is full, the end-of-term weariness has well and truly set in and at the back of my mind are Christmas day recipes, a list of ingredients and gift suggestions of the heartfelt kind.

It’s busy and it can quickly become overwhelming. Perhaps even more so for mothers.

So it’s about this time every year that I remind myself of my festive season priorities. I can easily get caught up in the frantic crowd; swept along at a pace that most definitely doesn’t benefit me or my family. And if that happens I fall into an exhausted and disinterested heap.

If a happy Christmas is going to eventuate, I know that I have to stay organised and practice a little self-care. I also know that keeping things simple works for us. For me that means writing a detailed gift list and ticking it off before mid-December, stocking up on ingredients and planning my weeks carefully.

In the front of my diary I’ve written a few little reminders that I can go back to when the overwhelm starts to creep in; little tips to help me slow down, breathe deep and refocus:

  • don’t get swept up in the hype : Christmas is about togetherness, celebration, reflection and family. The world will not fall apart if you forget a gift or burn the star-shaped cookies.
  • wrap as soon as you buy : because you don’t want to spend Christmas Eve hunting for sticky tape (been there, done that).
  • avoid shopper’s guilt : this happens when I go to get those “last minute things” and end up spending frivolously – it’s unnecessary and guilt-inducing.
  • stock up during the grocery shop : I avoid going anywhere near the shops between Christmas and New Year and in order to do that, I make sure the pantry is full by mid-December. This means freezing meat and pastry, having a good stock of pantry staples and making ice-blocks in advance.
  • consult the diary : I make extra effort to write everything down at this time of the year and every Sunday afternoon I sit down and work out what has to happen for the week – where we need to be, what we need to take etc
  • say no : sometimes the sheer amount of celebrations and gatherings can leave us all feeling a little weary. Give yourself permission to make an executive decision and stay home if you feel it’s too much.
  • eat well : because dipping into the chocolate santa stash for lunch never makes you feel good.
  • read Christmas books with the kids : this is one of my favourite traditions; it helps to ground me and always sparks a little magic. We keep our festive books with our decorations so they only come out in December, hence we always look forward to diving into the pages and reminiscing about Christmas years gone by. Our favourite Christmas picture books are detailed here.
  • go to the ocean : because, perspective.
  • count your blessings : because, gratitude.


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Showing 8 comments
  • Lisa

    It’s a good list. The ocean is a must! I’m hoping to finish the Christmas shopping this week, while my kidlets are still busy in school. It makes such a difference not having to stress about it.

  • Imogen

    Oh, lovely list. Love wrap as soon as you buy & need to remember consult the diary.

  • Kirsty

    ‘Go to the Ocean’ – o yes! It’s such an easy time of year to get stressed – going to the ocean is the best reminder. Thank you!

  • Elizabeth Beavis

    You’re not the only one! Great list. Holidays should be simple and fun.

  • Georgia

    I love those quiet days between Christmas and new year. Beach, swims and naps. Playing with new toys

  • Regina

    Thank you I need to stay mindful of these very things

  • Amy@MoreTimeThanMoney

    Thanks for sharing. Great tips and it is so affirming to hear others putting limits on Christmas – sometimes I think I am just a bit Bah Humbug.
    I do the same with our Christmas books, my mum did this too when we were little. I still remember that we had “The Night Before Christmas” and how exciting it was to rediscover each year.
    I’ve just laid out my intentions for Christmas so I don’t get swept up in the craziness of it all.

  • Chelsey @ Chelsey Crafts

    I have been guilty of getting swept up in the Christmas rush over the past few years. It really takes the fun out of the festivities. This year I’m working on practicing mindfulness during the silly season.

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