Christmas Presents

being present buying presents christmas christmas presents holidays mumatherapy new year over spending overwhelmed parental burnout parenting tips preventing parental burnout stress toddler tantrums u time Oct 25, 2023
Family around Christmas tree celebrating with gifts


Okay, Muma, who else is in disbelief that 2024 is in 55 days?  

Another year over and Christmas will have come and gone! 

And if, like most mums, you’ve pushed yourself trying to create the perfect festive season, you’ll likely be a little less healthy and wealthy. 

But before you buy into the consumerism of Christmas and get burnt out, make yourself a nice warm cuppa, put your feet up, and read on. 

If the thought of Christmas is making you feel tired or sick and you’ve no motivation to order a turkey, let alone socialise, then just remember …. 

Christmas is about spending time with those you love most and giving from a loving heart of gratitude.  

Forget the perfect gift or entertaining those people you despise.  

Or setting goals you know you’ll never achieve because you don’t really want them.  

This time of year is about being present…  not buying presents!   

It’s about appreciating what and who you have in your life, not thinking about what you don’t have or what you need to achieve.

It is about enjoying the experience, not making it perfect.

None of us are perfect parents with perfect children ever. And I’ve yet to experience the fairytale Christmas we see in the movies in my house. But that’s what makes Christmas so special, the reality of it.

It’s best to manage expectations during this busy time of year to ease stress.



We are not the only ones who feel overwhelmed at this time of year. Our children do too. Routines are key to reducing overstimulation and overwhelm. Children need to know what to expect, when, where and why more than ever during the holidays.

Work things around your child’s routine, not around anything or anyone else. Stick to regular bedtimes and mealtimes, while offering plenty of warnings and reminders of what’s to come.

And spread the joy, anticipation and appreciation for visitors and gifts, over a few days, rather than in one go.



Take daily U Time for yourself to just relax. Not everyone likes a soak in the bath, but doing what makes you feel good after a long day will help reduce stress. It’s not the one- off massage that counts, you need daily time for you. That’s why U Time comes first in the UURSELF Routine I use with parents. Take a look at our The U URSELF Routine page link below.

The UURSELF Routine

Sitting down with a cuppa, taking time to breathe in the here and now and to get organised in your head, reduces stress.


When travelling to visit family and friends expect your child will get bored and restless. If you have more than one child, there’ll be squabbling along the way too. You can lessen this by:

Making sure you and your partner are not stressed with one another to begin with.

Ensuring you pack your child’s comforters and favourite toys.

Making the journey enjoyable by taking regular breaks for food, stretching, and using the toilet.

Keeping them entertained by playing favourite songs, pointing out the scenery, and playing games like spot the red mini.




Forget obligation. Okay, you may have to endure your mother-in-law for one day, but don’t feel you have to visit everyone. Be selective with whom you spend your holiday break with. It’s your holiday too, so you should spend it with people who bring you joy, not suck the life out of your soul and criticise you or your children.

When you choose to be around family and friends, be proactive in pre-empting your child’s moods and emotions and get everyone in your team. Let others know your child’s routines and triggers. To prevent undue attention, remind everyone that your child may act childish and to just ignore any carrot flinging episodes or melt downs at bedtime.



Children don’t understand the financial cost of gifts. They value things in the value they have to them, entertainment wise. Children like to play and experiment with toys, which usually means expensive things get broken.

A good trick is to look at any new toy that you give a child as broken already.

This money saving technique will prevent overspending on expensive toys, next time you’re gift shopping.

To avoid overspending and last-minute panic buying, make a list of what you need to buy and keep a note about what you bought for each person and how much it cost. And wrap gifts as soon as you buy them, instead of spending a manic Christmas eve scribbling sherry written gift tags on the wrong gifts.



Stay present- it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Forget what you didn’t do or buy and stop worrying about how tomorrow will work out. Christmas is a memory making moment. Make happy Christmas memories your child will cherish and enjoy this time yourself. Build that Lego castle, watch that family movie together and stay present in every moment.  

Until next time, Stay Present!

Em x


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