tinsel_tangleChristmas is coming and the most stressful time of the year is drawing near. So much to do. The tree is top priority, followed closely by presents, food, drink and good-cheer in equal measure.

Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. More than half of us have family disagreements and a quarter of us say our relationships with our partners come under immense pressure.

We have never been under so much pressure to deliver a perfect Christmas. We’re lured into thinking Christmas is perfect by the glossy TV Christmas adverts, with celebrities smiling as they huddle around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts, beautifully wrapped. Everyone must be happy and cheerful through the season of goodwill. No one is allowed to be sad or depressed. NO ONE MUST GET ANGRY!







Here’s what to do and not to do over Xmas.

Prepare, prepare, prepare!


Its the only way you’ll give yourself the time to relax and enjoy the day. Don’t give yourself a hard time making everything perfect. Stop and look at the bigger picture, its just one day! Think about the incidents, which press your buttons in all the wrong ways. Our buttons are unique to all of us and what makes one person angry is completely different to the next. Figure out a strategy of how you are going to deal with those circumstances, whether it’s a brother-in-law, mother-in-law or wife.


Think about the Bigger Picture!


Christmas is the one day that getting angry isn’t worth the long term consequences. You are never as good as your last Christmas and a bad Christmas takes exactly a year to get over. We know Christmas means a lot of work and can be really stressful. Make this Christmas very different to any previous, by letting go of the anger and thinking about the bigger picture. Is it really worth destroying the family’s Christmas over a burnt Brussels sprout?


Delegate, delegate, delegate!


Share the responsibility of the day and delegate to your heart’s content. Do as much as you can in advance, to give yourself the time to relax and put your feet up on the day. Christmas is a team effort and there are jobs for every member of the family.


Don’t drink too much!



This is the biggest trip-up people make on Christmas Day and a big ‘What not to do’. Alcohol is the culprit of many arguments and clouds your common scene of the situation. Being drunk lowers your defence and alters your mood, often for the worst. Learn to break the reoccurring conversations or topics, which just wind you up. Take action and change the subject as soon as you can. If that doesn’t work get yourself out of the situation and if that doesn’t work, find yourself a quiet place, the toilet often works, or go for a walk to think about the bigger picture.


Accept the inevitable!


Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. There will be a mess, someone will say something that annoys you, the kids will get rowdy and you will get a pair of socks from Aunt Betty. Look to the positives of the day, seeing family and friends, creating lasting memories, presents and a delicious meal. It’s time to enjoy the day for it’s Christmas spirit and not to focus on one or two things that could make you angry.


Help the youngsters keep calm!


With Santa on his way, the kids can often go into overdrive with excitement. Busy kids means busy parents clearing up the havoc left behind them. Get enough rest before the day because you are going to need it. Tiredness makes everyone grumpy. If they get over excited, try ‘time-out’ to calm them down. The technique is used throughout the schools and is something the kids are used to. Keep the kids jolly and in the Christmas spirit with their favourite music and activities. Its a good idea to plan a few activities for them to do which can keep them occupied and out of your hair as you prepare, prepare, prepare.

Christmas is there to be shared and enjoyed. Make this Christmas very different to all the previous Christmases.

May we at BAAM be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…