Q. How are you managing with Christmas preparations?
I find the expectation of exchanging gifts the biggest stress. I can just about manage to buy presents for the children, my partner and my parents. It’s the extra people, who we’ve somehow ended up in a present buying routine with (usually for their/our children) that make it difficult. It’s so hard to say ‘can we please not do presents this year’ especially when they’re much more financially secure than us. And then there’s the stress of trying to find a present for them that we can afford that is something they will like - a bit hard when they like luxury items. School events are also hard. My daughter is very aware of fitting in, so there’s absolutely no question of not taking part in Christmas Jumper day, Party packed lunch day, Secret Santa Stall etc. Our local parish council is great and they give out extra supermarket vouchers in the holidays, which has definitely helped with the Christmas food bill. Although, with restrictions looming I’m unsure whether we will be able to stay with my parents for a few days, so I’ll need to find food for then. It’s a difficult holiday for childcare too. I’m expected to work, but my youngest’ son childcare is closed and there’s nothing for my school aged child. How am I supposed to work and look after two children?