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Out of the Woods December: Changing the way we view Christmas holidays

What Christmas is really about? Do you find yourself stressing out about Christmas? Trying to navigate cleaning the house, buying presents and cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Christmas doesn't have to be stressful - there are ways to honour this tradition that are more harmonious for you and your family. Here's how.

Do you stress out over Christmas?

Whether you celebrate Christmas, some other tradition or nothing at all, there is no missing the excitement in the air – but also the stress. Are you someone who puts so much pressure on yourself to host or contribute to the ‘greatest Christmas ever’ that you never actually enjoy the holiday season? Do you spend money you don’t have on things people don’t really need?

This is what Christmas is actually about

I read an great article the other day called ‘Your kids don’t need toys they need experiences’. I felt myself thinking back on my childhood and the memories I have. Aside my favourite teddy bear, I can’t remember a single toy from back then. What I do remember is swimming in my grandparents pool, playing backyard cricket, playing boats in our bunk beds, riding horses and motorbikes, sitting around campfires cooking doughboys (damper on a stick), catching yabbies in the creek, building cubby houses – and the list goes on!

What to get your children for Christmas instead

We have the choice about what the Christmas  tradition will be and mean for the family we create. It can be a big stressful time where we spend our life in the kitchen, fighting queues at the shops, driving to many different events over a day or it can be a time focussed on sharing, gratitude and spending time with family. I create a gratitude and good deed calendar each year and the first 24 days of December are spent out with my kids doing good deeds like picking up rubbish in the neighbourhood, making and delivering Christmas cards to the neighbours, findings toys to donate to charity and so on. On Christmas day, my children have to choose something to leave out for Santa in return for something new. And lets face it, what does a 1-2 year old really want anyway? I know my darling 18 month old daughter just wants to throw the dog biscuits into the dog water (or eat them), ride the dog, wear my over sized shoes, read books or throw things in the toilet. Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be! Don’t get me wrong, our home has way more toys than I had ‘planned’ to buy for my kids, as its exciting and fun to buy things for them. And thats just it. A lot of the present buying comes down to fulfilling our own needs as parents more so than the needs of the child. All kids really need is love, attention, guidance, cuddles and, of course, the boob if they are anything like my kids!

As you move into Christmas I urge you to really think about what you are teaching your child and focus on making it a fun, relaxing holiday. If you do hurt yourself or are around then please come in and see us as we are open all the way through the Christmas holidays except for the public holidays (Christmas day, Boxing day and new years day). Merry Christmas from my family to yours and may 2019 be an even healthier, happier year for you and your loved ones.

Kate Wood is a chiropractor, kinesiologist, doula, cofounder of Health Space Clinics and mumma to 2 children, Mimi and Maxi. She is located in the Mona Vale clinic and loves to help athletes, paediatric clients, those who require pregnancy care, and those presenting with Lyme-like diseases. Reach her at the Mona Vale clinic on 9979 8887.

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