If it were any other year, prioritising your mental load would likely seem like a selfish option to your loved ones. However with the cost of living crisis, Christmas doesn’t have to have the perfect shine and gleam that we see on Instagram.
But here are some ways you and your friends and family can all agree to make Christmas a group effort.
Book a pub lunch
One of the biggest questions you will have all asked each other is who is hosting Christmas this year? The person hosting then has a mountain of other things to plan alongside everything else. It is always worth suggesting a neutral space like a pub lunch for Christmas dinner when you can at least shake off the mental load of cooking.
If one of you is happy to host but wants to negate the cooking, then offer a pot-luck. Each of you must bring one dish, it can be assigned or allow everyone to bring what they like and see what you end up with.
This saves money and time compared to one person cooking the entire meal. And you also have the fun of it too to bring you all together.
Secret Santa is a popular game in addition to Christmas, but it can also be very useful in lessening the stress of buying multiple gifts for everyone. Whilst we are feeling the pinch, this game can be a great opportunity for everyone to receive one great gift.
If gifts don’t need to take priority this Christmas, then make it into a game. This game means each person just needs to buy one gift and not label it to anyone. Each of you can choose one gift and once opened, can either be ‘stolen’ by the next person or they can choose their own random gift under the tree. By the end, you may be left with a truly random gift, but a great memory of that day.
These are just a few small opportunities to lighten your load this Christmas. And this year I’m sure many of your family are feeling the mental strain of the day too.
So remember to always discuss your mental load this Christmas.
Once you talking about this, it makes it ok for others to talk about it too.
If you are usually the one to host, then be open with your guests about how you are feeling. Offer suggestions where everyone can help. It may not occur to anyone that you are feeling this way this year. So ensure that you take the time to decide what you want this year and how you can make it an enjoyable experience for yourself too.
If you usually visit a loved one each year, then remember to offer suggestions to lighten their load this year. It is important to ask if they are still happy to do certain things, many of us have that people-pleasing element where they might say ‘Of course! I do it every year, don’t I!?’
By offering suggestions you are taking away any guilt by showing that you have thought about how their load can be lightened logistically. Which goes a long way.