Trying To Have It All At Christmas & What I'm Doing About the Pressure

Sunday, 8 December 2019


I love Christmas as much as anyone. I really do. It's one of my favourite times of year. My tree is up, I've had Christmas songs playing for about a week now. I'm feeling full-on festive.

While it'll always be one of my favourite times of the year, I know that for some, myself included, Christmas comes with a lot of pressure. Pressure which I haven't really felt until this year. And although I'm loving putting all of my Christmas content on Instagram, decorating the house and eating my body weight in mince pies and chocolate oranges, I think it's also important to serve up a bit of festive realness about how I'm feeling this year. If for no other reason than hoping someone else who might be feeling the same way knows that they're not alone.

Let's start with one of the most obvious pressures: financial. Wanting to spoilt the people you love rotten but not necessarily having the budget to do so. And feeling far too embarrassed to say anything about it. For several reasons, money is much tighter for me this year than it has been previously and I just can't spend the same amount of money on my family as usual. While I know that they probably won't notice or even care, I'm finding myself putting all of this pressure on myself and putting the idea in my head that I'm letting them down by not showering them in lovely gifts like I want to be able to do.

You hear of people getting in loads of debt to be able to afford Christmas, and while it sucks that I can't go mad on presents for them like I want to, I'm just having to keep it in mind that life still goes on around Christmas. I still need to be able to feed myself and not be completely skint for the next six months once the tree is back in the loft and the Quality Street are gone.

Every year I ask my godmother what she'd like for Christmas, and every year she tells me 'time, that's more valuable than a present.' I usually roll my eyes and say 'okay, but what do you want as an actual present?' but this year, I think I'll finally be taking her up on that offer!

But that brings me on to the financial pressures that go beyond the present. There's putting petrol in my car to go all over the place visiting family and friends. There's finding the money for an outfit for the office Christmas party, drinks at the Christmas party, festive meals with mates... it goes on and on and so do the list of expenses. Not to mention the FOMO.

While I think it's going to be a worry for the entire festive season, I'm doing a few things to try to ease the stress. I'm buying smaller, more thoughtful gifts rather than thinking of spending an 'acceptable' amount of money first. Trying to remember that it's okay to wear clothes that I've worn before and using that money for fuel so I can spend time with people instead. Inviting people over for dinner where we can cook rather than spending money on expensive meals. Because in the end, it's about spending time with people rather than the setting.

Then there's Instagram. My feed is full of gorgeous festive content; people going to Christmas markets all over the country, drinking mulled wine in a different city every weekend and generally getting festive all over the place. Meanwhile, I'm still sitting in my office with a mince pie and a brew, worrying that I'm not making the most of the season. Then I have to give myself a talking to, because it might be Christmas, but life still goes on. A girl's still gotta work!

I also find the whole 'who-goes-where' during the significant days of the season is an issue. Not so much as Christmas, but certainly New Year. I'm not a huge fan of New Year anyway as it holds a lot of bad memories for me, but I try to do something to keep my mind off it. But it always has to be low-key otherwise I just struggle. But every bloody year, I have family members or friends inviting me to their gatherings or parties, and then getting offended when I say I want a quiet one.
"Oh but you can't have a quiet one, that's so boring!' Erm, actually, yeah I can. And it's taken me ages to learn to say no but I'll do what makes me happy, thanks very much. The festive season is too short not to.

So, to anyone who is maybe struggling a little with the pressures of Christmas and all that comes with it, I hope you can take a little bit of comfort in my jumbled, brain-dump of a post, because trust me, I'm feeling it too.

Love,
Sian xo

10 comments:

  1. I get so overwhelmed at christmas with trying to see all my family and get gifts for everyone! x

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    1. Absolutely! There's a lot of time pressure as well as all of the financial pressure! xo

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  2. Thank you for being so honest and sharing this beautiful. I love that you've been so open in doing so. I've been struggling this past weekend with my mental health due to all of the Christmas stress so I really needed to read this. I'm sending you so much love and festive wishes. 💜🎄

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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    1. I know that feeling, this time of year can be tough for so many reasons! I hope you're looking after yourself, lots of love xo

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  3. Couldn’t agree with this more! I now set a budget on what I want to spend, not what I think I should spend and give a lot of handmade gifts like chutneys etc as I personally hate clutter so I like things to have a good use ��❤️

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  4. I've set a budget for Christmas for people and honestly it is so important. Sometimes to best gift you can give is your time!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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    1. Totally agree! We put so much pressure on ourselves to buy incredible gifts but don't need to! xo

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  5. I love this post, I relate too much! My grandparents always say the same so this year I bought them a pair of slippers (very cheap ones, but still cosy) and they will be spending xmas day watching films with us!

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    1. That sounds lovely! Time is far more valuable, I've learned! xo

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