If you’re anything like me, every time you see those ‘x days to Xmas’ posts on social media your tummy clenches with fear and you feel a little ill with ALL-THE-THINGS-YOU-NEED-TO-DO. The trees to decorate (and let’s not forget the real versus fake judgement), the food to buy, the presents to wrap. And then there’s the sweet horror of spending a prolonged period of time with your family and extended family.

The festive season is of course exciting and wonderful (especially if you have small humans) but it’s also hugely tiring and puts a lot of pressure on us mums to make it ‘perfect’.

So if you’re getting sweaty about Christmas and are more ‘no, no, no’ than ‘ho, ho, ho ‘– this is the article for you. 

I’m going to share six refreshing ways to ensure that by the time New Year’s chimes in, you aren’t feeling like a leftover Christmas pudding.

1. Learn the art of perfectly imperfect celebrations

All the movies, the TV shows and the social media posts push the idea that – for Christmas to be great – it should look a certain way: the perfect tree, the immaculately decorated dinner table, the impeccably wrapped gifts.

But here’s the truth – life isn’t a glossy magazine, and those imperfections? They add character.

There’s no point pressuring yourself to reach some Christmas nirvana if it’s going to make you stressed and irritable as a result.
The kids won’t remember that the plates matched the tablecloth, or that your Christmas tree had a gold and silver theme. But they will remember if you have a meltdown over the roast potatoes not being crisp enough.

Kate Toon Six Figures in School Hours

2. Enlist festive helpers

Just as Mr and Mrs Claus don’t do all that Christmas stuff themselves, you need to remember it’s not all on you.  You must enlist your trusty elves (partners, kids, family).
Even if you do have to make them exact lists of what to do and buy – eye roll.

And yes, I know, you love being a martyr and muttering those fateful words ‘just let me do it’ – but in that way, burn out lies!

There’s no award for doing everything yourself. Draw up a schedule. Divvy up the tasks and put your little helpers to work.

3. Learn to say ‘No.’

You’ll find yourself being pulled every which way and having a gazillion events to attend. From school plays to neighbourhood gatherings, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not enjoy or be present at anything. (And if you’re a blended family, trying to deal with everything gets two times harder.)

Remember, every ‘yes’ to someone else can sometimes mean a ‘no’ to your well-being.

It’s not just about declining events; it’s about setting boundaries around spending. Of course, you want to give your kids a memorable Christmas but not at the risk of putting yourself under financial stress (cost of living crisis anyone?).
Prioritise what truly matters and feels right for you and your family and don’t compare your gift pile with others.

4. Take the shortcuts

Of course, I’d love to be the kind of mum that knits my child his own cashmere stocking, or hand-makes individual name cards. But I have Netflix shows to watch (and a job, and I’m tired).

Order the pre-cooked thing.
Buy the pre-iced cookies.

Ask the dude in the shop to wrap the thing.
Hell, you can even get Christmas trees that are pre-decorated.

If it keeps you calm and sane, take the easy route.

Kate Toon Six Figures in School Hours

5. Accept holiday hiccups

No matter how hard you plan and prepare, something will go wrong.
The dog will wee on the gifts under the tree. You’ll forget to defrost something and one of your kids will throw up a mix of  Brussels sprouts and jelly on your perfectly decorated table.

Expect the unexpected. 

Someone at some point will throw a tantrum and it may be you.

Instead of stressing, try to lean into those moments, when you look back it’s probably those that will be the most memorable and the giggliest!

6.  Find time with you

The festive season is intense and while it might feel like you should spend the entire Christmas week in the same room ‘being a family’ we all know how exhausting that can be.

Take moments for yourself.

It’s absolutely fine to flop your kids down in front of a movie for an hour or two while you lock yourself in the toilet and eat their Christmas chocolate.

It would be wonderful if your partner takes them out for a Christmas walk while you lie in the bath and groan.Do what you gotta do to keep on keeping on.


So, let’s wrap up (pun intended)

The truth is Christmas isn’t about the spectacle but about the special fabulousness of your little family.
It doesn’t have to be Instagram-perfect.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to tick off everything on your list and remember that kids care more about presence than presents (most of the time).

I hope your festive season is filled with love, laughter, and plenty of recharged mum-moments – and not too many Brussels sprout vomits.


Kate Toon Six Figures in School Hours

Kate Toon is an award-winning entrepreneur author, speaker, educator, podcaster, and parent to one human and one fur baby. From her humble backyard shed she masterminds an ambitious business universe, helping thousands of other humans to build their own version of success through digital marketing business know-how. Check out her latest book, Six Figures in School Hours. The practical, no-nonsense guide to building a successful business while raising your family.