Do you find buying Christmas presents stressful? if you do, you are not alone!
Whether it's buying gifts for adults, friends, relatives, work colleagues or your own children the list can seem never ending. It's one of the many heavy expectations you can feel at Christmas time. Below are 14 tips to help you tame that anxiety around Christmas gift shopping and reduce the stress associated with Christmas.
The two key things to keep in mind when buying Christmas gifts:
🌟 It is experiences that contribute to our happiness. Not stuff!
🌟The simplest way of making gifts easier is to reduce the number of gifts you buy, and the number of people you give gifts too.
General Tips to reduce Christmas Present Stress
*What is a Kris Kringle
A Kris Kringle is when each person buys a gift for just one person in a group, hence reducing excess and cost. There are many variations. Names can be drawn and allocated (Secret Santa) or it can be pot luck – everyone brings a gift. If it is pot luck , here are three variations of how to distribute the gifts.
How to reduce stress when selecting children's gifts
Stress around buying children's gifts comes from a range of sources - wanting to make Christmas special; being presented with a long list of items from your children; you children not knowing what they want; your children having too much stuff (read previous email about a pre-Christmas cull); not having the money to buy what you would like; trying to make up for Christmas' where you have felt disappointed; trying to make Christmas make up for the stressful year you might have had....COVID anyone???
Or maybe you really dislike making decisions and your thinking might go something like mine does on occasion - This is me looking at underwear - "how much cotton is in this?", "is it organic and/or sustainable cotton", "how much is it?" "what size are they?", "what style would they like best?" "what colour /pattern will they like?" "do they really need them?", "if I buy them this, does that mean I need to buy the others underwear as well?", "do the others need underwear?", "but I only recently bought underwear". Maybe I won't buy underwear, and then I leave the shop....
To reduce stress around buying your children gifts start by:
What to buy
🌟 Remember the law of diminishing satisfaction.
The first present your children unwrap will usually give them the greatest joy.
Of course, gifts are not the only potential stress at Christmas, maybe the Christmas Tree presents a dilemma for you. I've got that covered as well - with Three Tips to Reduce Christmas Decoration Stress.
Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds
ps This year I am having a break from the 17th December to the 11th January. If Christmas is causing you stress, book a time now for some support. There are limited spots available.
*updated 6th December 2021
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is a Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Essential Self-Care for Psychologists.