Now Why The Hell Are They Blinking?

Do you breeze through the Christmas holidays, especially the first 3 weeks of December leading up to Christmas day, or do you quickly feel frazzled and find the Christmas holidays too stressful?

Right about now you are probably still feeling pretty good about Christmas. Heck, its weeks away. You have plenty of time, right?

Or do you?

Have you heard of the 12 Pains of Christmas?

If Christmas to you means spending lots of time entertaining, cooking, cleaning, decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts, and so on, then you may find the month of December to be a bit overwhelming.

You may even find yourself singing the 12 Pains of Christmas throughout the next few weeks.

Do Women Feel More Overwhelmed Then Men at Christmas?

More often than not it is women that feel stressed and overwhelmed throughout these next few weeks.

Why? Because typically women manage the household and that usually includes managing all of the holidays.

When you ask men if they feel stressed about the holidays how often do you hear them say no, as well as“I only shop for my wife and she does all the rest”?

As Charlie Brown would say “am I right, am I right?”.

Whether you are a man or a woman, here are some quick tips to help you breeze through the Christmas holidays.

Ways to Breeze Through the Christmas Holidays

Take a Break

Take a bit of me time every day. Soak in a warm tub, read or listen to your favorite music. Put your feet up and close your eyes, and clear your head, even if it is just for 10 minutes. You will feel relaxed and refreshed and you will be ready to continue on with whatever needs to be done that day.

Create a Plan

Grab a calendar and plan out what you need to get done and by when. Make a list of any appointments you or your family members have between now and the end of the year, such as doctor or dentist.

As well, include on your schedule any parties that you will be hosting or attending, shopping that you need to do, baking, cleaning, and so on. Remember to include events or Christmas pageants at your kid’s school.

By writing it all down and scheduling things for specific days, you can rest easy (and sleep at night) knowing that you’ve got everything covered, and that it will all be done in plenty of time.


If you are looking after a large family and managing many of the tasks associated with Christmas you do not need to do everything on your own.

Delegate as much as you can when it comes to house cleaning, cooking, even gift wrapping. Let the rest of your family contribute to the holiday preparations so you do not feel like you are doing it all yourself.


christmas presentI remember as a kid, when it came time to wrap Christmas gifts in our house, we would pull an all-nighter.

At that very moment it was fun to stay up really late and wrap gifts. My mother had a knack for making nice big bows for the gifts too.

But then the next day very little got done because we were so tired and worn out.

Instead of doing that, plan your schedule so that you do what you need to do while still getting a good night sleep each and every night.

Stay Active

At this time of year it is more important than ever to maintain some balance in your life.

Add some time into your days to go ice skating with your friends and family or go see a good movie.

Take your significant other out on a fun date.

If the weather is nice where you are, go for a jog or a nice hike.

Go out for a walk at night and check out all the neighbor’s Christmas lights and decorations.

Go dancing or meet up with friends for coffee.

Travel Plans

If you are traveling this Christmas, either as a vacation or to be with family and friends, make sure to organize everything well in advance.

This trip may be different than other trips because you may be taking Christmas gifts with you as well as nice outfits.

Do your clothes need to be dry cleaned? Take your clothes in the first week of December instead of the week before you leave just in case they are busy and behind schedule.

If your gifts are big, consider shipping them ahead of you instead of trying to pack them in your luggage.

Eat Well and Drink Lots of Water

Eat on a regular basis and be sure to include fruits and vegetables at most meals and snacks.

Eat well both at home and at any parties or luncheons you attend throughout the month of December.

If you let yourself become too hungry you may feel angry, lonely or tired and bad habits will kick in.

As well, eat before you go to the mall so that you aren’t spending tons of money on food court food that is full of salt and carbs, because that too will make you feel tired and cranky.

Be Smart When You Attend Christmas Parties

Do you attend many business or work related Christmas parties? 

If you do, are you careful when it comes to how much alcohol you drink?

I remember one of the work related Christmas parties that I went to many years ago. It was hosted at a local sports bar and it was right after our annual performance reviews. One of my co-workers was upset because he had heard that some people on our team received promotions and he didn’t.

He used our party as an opportunity to get drunk and then out of the blue he began yelling at one of the managers that was sitting with us.

The point of this story is to always be cautious when you attend work or business parties, especially at Christmas.

I know you want to relax and have fun, but at the same time if you feel frustrated about work, or the holidays, a Christmas party is not the time to drink too much and then tell everyone how you really feel about your boss and the company you work for.

In the end it will only make you feel worse.

Car Maintenance

Ensure your car maintenance is up to date and that you always have a full tank of gas.

The last thing you want is to come out of the department store late a night and not have your car start.

Double check your wiper blades and windshield washer fluid to make sure they work properly.

Are your tires appropriate for the season? Now is not the time to get stuck in snow because your tires aren’t good, so get that looked after as soon as you can. 

Give your car a good once over and make sure that everything is working well.

Most importantly remember that the Christmas holidays will come to an end and that everyone will get back to their normal routines soon. If something does not get done the way you wanted it to, don't stress about it. Chances are good that no one will even notice. And if they do, put them in charge of it next year.


    • Pauline

      Pauline 11/30/2012 6:13 a.m. #

      Ouch drunk insulting your boss, not good!! I used to find Christmas really stressful and now I try to have no plan. No expectations, no deception. Last year we ended up with a few friends having dinner, it was lovely. The year before that I was stuck in a snow storm anyway, and joined other friends who were also away from home. With a family things are different but a lot of the Christmas joy we see on TV is sold to us so bad it can get really stressful to try and reach those marketing standards.

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 11/30/2012 6:16 a.m. #

      These are all really good tips. I have had a lot on my plate and I'm a bit worried the holidays will just bring more stress. I think the biggest thing is making a plan: when in doubt, make a list and plan out when things are going to happen. It helps me, at least, feel like I'm in control.

    • John S @ Frugal Rules

      John S @ Frugal Rules 11/30/2012 6:23 a.m. #

      Good tips! Normally it's a fairly stress free time for us as it's just us and the kids. This year, however, my Dad's entire side of the family is coming for a visit and are staying with us...I think it's going to be just a bit nutty. That's why it's important to remember to not get stressed.

    • Greg@ClubThrifty

      Greg@ClubThrifty 11/30/2012 7:57 a.m. #

      I think that you are on to something. Holly is much more stressed out during the holidays than I am. Of course, she is basically in charge of making all the plans, planning all the gifts, and keeping track of what we spend. When I put it down "on paper" like that, I realize that I'm a total lazy louse...

    • Rod J Rogers

      Rod J Rogers 11/30/2012 9:10 a.m. #

      My wife shops for the kids; My daughter orders everything for my wife. Christmas a problem? Nah!

    • Kim@Eyesonthedollare

      Kim@Eyesonthedollare 11/30/2012 10:06 a.m. #

      I don't get too stressed. The hardest thing I'll do is host our office Christmas party. I have to feed about 15 people, but they aren't picky and it's pretty fun. I think shopping early and planning trips way before hand is the key.

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 11/30/2012 11:25 a.m. #

      Great tips, Sicorra! It's sad how Christmas has become such a chore. I think it's key to delegate. We don't have to do everything ourselves! I want my girls to have a magical and fun Christmas, which is impossible when their Mom is running around like crazy. Thank goodness for online shopping; it really is a timesaver!

    • canadianbudgetbinder

      canadianbudgetbinder 11/30/2012 12:44 p.m. #

      Lots of great tips here Sicorra. Mrs.CBB and I work together when it comes to Christmas to lighten the load. We always get enough sleep and planning is key for us. There's nothing worse than running around town chasing deals so we plan. Mr.CBB

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 6:14 a.m. #

      @Pauline - Sometimes getting together with friends can be a lot less stressful then getting together with heaps of family members.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 6:20 a.m. #

      @DC - I love plans too especially when you already have so many other things on the go like work and day to day household things.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 7 a.m. #

      @John - Sounds like you are going to have quite a house full for Christmas. I hope it is all lots of fun. It will be interesting to hear your stories come the new year.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 8 a.m. #

      @Greg - No, you aren't lazy! It is just the way it works out sometimes. Maybe you can help wrap the gifts. :-)

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 10 a.m. #

      @Rod - It is good to have a system.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 11 a.m. #

      @Kim - Exactly. Spread out the work over the time to come instead of cramming it in.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 noon #

      @Shannon - Thanks Shannon! Yes, online shopping does make a huge difference. In many ciites you can even buy your groceries online and have them delivered to your front door.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 11/30/2012 2 p.m. #

      @CBB - I love it when couples work together. It just makes the whole season so much more fun.

    • CF

      CF 11/30/2012 8:10 p.m. #

      I'm a little more stressed than usual I think. Brian and I have been in the middle of a move, so no internet and the new home is still getting put together. It's a bit of a mess!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/02/2012 11:40 a.m. #

      @CF - Hopefully you two will get things sorted out soon! Just take it easy and it will all work out.

      3 years ago my husband and I moved on Dec 1st. I thought it would be a real hassle but it all worked out well and we were quite organized by Christmas day.

    • savingadvice

      savingadvice 12/02/2012 2:16 p.m. #

      I solved the issues of Xmas stress by opting out (I know this isn't an option for most people, but it works great for me). I don't celebrate it in the traditional way -- I end up getting gifts for the nieces and nephews on January 15 (they call it their second Christmas) and they like it because they know they end up getting twice as much as they would if I purchased the stuff on Xmas. Weird, I know, but it works and takes away a ton of stress...

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/02/2012 4:49 p.m. #

      @SavingAdvice - I really like the idea of holding off on gifts. When my nephew were kids I spent so much money on them each year, which could have been spent better if I had waited to. I wonder if they would have liked that idea though.

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