Can You Get Rid Of The Unwanted Christmas Stress?


Christmas market outside Westminster Cathedral

Christmas market outside Westminster Cathedral

Some people believe that Christmas is the best time of the year, but what really makes them feel this way? Could it be the time they are taking off work, the excitement of meeting up with friends and family or just the absolute joy of preparing and roasting the lunch? On the other hand, there are people who just loathe the whole thing about the festive season because they find the run up to it, stressful simply because it’s that one time of the year, when they have to face up to those unwanted family members.

Family Christmas Lunch

Family Christmas Lunch


Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding

The best way to enjoy the festive season is to just be yourself and remind friends and family to all contribute to the meal, after all the festivity is not just about one individual (you), it’s about a celebrate. But can you get ahead of the Christmas stress?

Should we blame the shops for advertising and promoting Christmas earlier on in the year and filling the shelves with more and more items, pushing us into buying products that will only meet our short-term needs? This spoils the meaning of the season and makes it less special. The cost is high and too many people spend well over their budget just for one day, causing financial stress.

Finding out where Christmas will be is another hassle, which then becomes complicated. It’s hard enough buying groceries and presents because there isn’t enough time in the day to do this.

As I mentioned earlier, spending Christmas with people who don’t get along with you is very sad and can put you off for life. My childhood Christmases were my best, thanks to my parents. Christmas time gave me some magical moments, like seeing relatives I hadn’t seen for a long time, looking forward to receiving my presents and watching movies. It’s a waste of time and energy trying to keep everyone happy because everyone’s expectations are different. This is beyond our control.

Inside Westminster Cathedral at Christmas

Inside Westminster Cathedral at Christmas


Going to a Carol service is a nice way to enjoy the season. These take place in schools and churches. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and the Christmas market is my favourite Christmas venue but I try to get there before lunchtime just to see the goodies on the stalls. They are full of festive things and a place where I spend time with friend and family meet ups.

Shoppers at the Christmas Market outside Westminster Cathedral

Shoppers at the Christmas Market outside Westminster Cathedral

Did you know that it’s easier to join friends and have a Christmas meal in a good restaurant instead of cooking until you drop at home? Pub lunches can be booked in advance. It will be so much easier and there would be absolutely no need to cook. Some cultures celebrate on the 24th of December instead of the 25th. Cooking at home is sometimes exciting with the aroma of the dinner roasting on Christmas Eve but can stressful if you are hosting.

Presents under the Christmas tree

Presents under the Christmas tree

After buying the gifts, the next challenge is to work out where to hide them so that the children won’t find them. Look for an empty suitcase, and then if they are not too big just hide them in there for a short while until there’s a suitable time for wrapping them. Another hiding place is a corner in the garage or leave them with a friend.

On Christmas day, the feral sound of wrapping paper, ripping open and the stickiness of cellotape makes Christmas exciting. Most of my gifts were wrapped at the last-minute because regardless of how well-organized I am, one of my challenges is to get this the job done before the day.

Don’t spend precious time wrapping gifts instead use makeshift gift bags as this leads to unwanted stress. I haven’t wrapped a single gift this year because I’m simplifying life. Gone are the days when I stayed up late a night wrapping endless gifts and falling asleep whilst doing so.


My children always look forward to the excitement of discovering gifts placed under the tree and spend ages guessing what the content is. Hopefully, you will have a great time and celebrate it the way you want to this year. It is a joyful time of the year and there is no need for unwanted Christmas stress.

Do let me know if you’ve had any nightmare Christmases and if you have, how did you make peace. Merry Christmas!  

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14 Responses to “Can You Get Rid Of The Unwanted Christmas Stress?”

  1. The GypsyNesters December 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    As we get older, we seem to be a little wiser about avoiding crazy holiday stress. Mostly because we have learned to go with the flow and not expect everything to be perfect and go exactly as planned. Happy Holidays to all.

  2. Donna Janke December 21, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    As we’ve gotten older, Christmas has become simpler and less stressful. But I sometimes miss the chaos and magic of the season with lots of young children around and too much to do! I grew up loving the season because of the decorations, the gathering with family and friends, and the festive spirit. I think the way to deal with what can feel like craziness at time is to keep only those traditions you truly enjoy, not be afraid to do things differently when needed, and remember it’s the people around you who matter, not the things and trappings.

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      I agree and I’ve come to realise that it’s the people around us and keeping the traditions we enjoy is a lovely way to enjoy the season. There shouldn’t be any hard and fast rules to follow.

  3. Janice Chung December 22, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    I agree with you. Our childhood Christmases seemed to be the best. Granted, we were kids and didn’t have all the responsibilities of our parents, particularly with entertaining on Xmas day. You’re right. We need to “divide” the responsibilities. We don’t have to do it ALL! Love the video of the stilts. Puts a smile on my face.

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 8:38 am #

      Entertaining at Christmas is hard work especially with big crowd.

  4. Jeannette Paladino December 23, 2016 at 3:11 am #

    Agree that we should do all we can to lessen the stress of Christmas. For example, I buy presents all year long. When I see something I know is just right for someone on my list I buy it then. Why wait til Christmas and get crushed in the shopping rush!?

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 8:35 am #

      This a clever idea and you could also wrap them as well and hide them away.

  5. Sushmita December 23, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    Lovely post liked the videos added! Especially the last DIY video!
    Dear wishing you, Happy Holidays! And Happy New year 🙂

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      Thank you, happy holidays and happy new year ahead.

  6. Doreen Pendgracs December 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    Great post, Bola. Christmas certainly can be a polarizing time of the year, so some people’s emotions over the top high, and others sinking into a very low place.

    Re meals, what we often do to make things easier for everyone is to have a meal of finger foods that are easy to make and delicious to eat. It’s less formal and everyone seems to enjoy the wide range of flavours and textures. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

      What a great idea with less stress. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  7. Phoenicia December 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    Christmas is a time for family and friends to come together. As a Christian it is also a time for my family to celebrate Jesus and to reach out to others in the community. This year my church are laying on a number of functions; Christmas hampers, Carol service, Christmas day service. It is an exciting time.

    One day I would like to eat out on Christmas Day. Whilst I prefer “home” cooking it would make a change to leave the cooking and clearing up to someone else. It would remove almost all stress on the day.

    I have wrapped presents as I have bought them. Only buy for our children and close family – this rule has been in place for years now.

    • Bola Akande December 23, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

      This is the real meaning of Christmas. I strongly agree with reaching out to the community, like the homeless and less privileged. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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