Christmas decorations are in the shops and the party invitations are coming thick and fast, but for families already under strain Christmas can be a difficult time of year.
To help you have a happy holiday season, here are five tips to ease the holiday stress:
Build relationships and support networks. Christmas can be a lonely time for some. Get to know your neighbours, pop over with a small Christmas treat and introduce yourself. Arrange play dates for kids with friends from school and sporting teams, its a great way to keep them entertained and you can share the supervision with other parents.
Lend a hand if you see a struggling parent. Help a mum carry her groceries to the car or offer to babysit your neighbours kids for a few hours while they do their Christmas shopping. Little things can make a big difference.
Look for free activities for kids. Check your local paper for free events and activities for kids, most councils, libraries and community organisations offer some great options to keep kids occupied.
Plan some time away from the crowd. Christmas is a great chance to catch up with friends and family, but remember to give yourself a break especially if youre a host. Take the kids to the park to burn off some energy and you can enjoy some quiet time. Get out of the house without an entourage of cousins, aunts, and uncles a couple of times.
Dont be afraid to ask for help. Share the cooking for family gatherings or parties, ask your friends or neighbours to mind the kids so you can get some chores done or just have a few minutes to yourself.
Want to give a meaningful gift this Christmas? Donate today to the Act for Kids Christmas appeal actforkids.com.au/christmasappeal and help us reach out to more kids and families in 2014.