Mother and Baby

Bah humbug! 17 ways Christmas brings out your inner Grinch

Yes, Christmas is a magical time of year. But it’s also fraught with organisation, stress and expense. For mums, ‘tis not the season to be jolly – here’s why.

17 ways Christmas brings out your inner Grinch:

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1) The noise

Excitable children who won’t go to sleep. Never mind on December 24, this starts in late November.
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2) Shopper’s delight

You find it hard enough deciding what to buy your own kids. Never mind their cousins who you rarely see. And your husband’s godson.
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3) Changing rooms

Shifting half your living room into the garage or under the beds in order to fit in a Christmas tree.
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4) Stealth toy cull

By January, your house will look like Smyths Toys exploded and if you don’t take action now, you may never escape the sea of coloured plastic.
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5) Tis the season to be sulky

When you were a child, an advent calendar was a cardboard window. Brace yourself for whinging if your beloved offspring don’t receive 24 Lego figures or two dozen mini Mars bars in theirs.
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6) Mass catering

Enough said.
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7) Wrap it up

In your head, wrapping presents is a festive joy accompanied by a Michael Buble soundtrack. Except you’ve lost the sellotape, didn’t buy enough paper and it’s 11pm on December 24th.
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8) The cards

You never intended to write any. But the thud of dozens of envelopes landing on your doormat means you’ve now got hand cramp and you’ve spent the GDP of a small nation of first class stamps.
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9) Party politics

Whether you stay at home or visit family, someone will be upset. See also your choice of Christmas roasting joint; what time you eat dinner and whether or not you watch The Queen’s Speech.
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10) Keeper of the lists

It’s a full time job keeping track of which relative has bought which little darling what. Neck a festive Baileys if your partner complains that he has too much Christmas shopping to do.
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11) Step away from the chocolates

You thought you were being organised when you snapped up a tin of Heroes in late October. Now you feel nauseous, guilty and your pockets are full of wrappers.
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12) Wish list woes

The panic when your little one announces he now adores Transformers. Not Octonauts. On December 23rd.
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13) Festive flu

Glad tidings of joy have been swapped with a runny nose and sore throat. Sadly there is no army of elves helping you out.
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14) Trolley rage

You swore you wouldn’t but here you are in Asda’s car park at 6am, armed with a metre-long list and some very sharp elbows.
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15) Christmas Eve boxes

The only box you want to know about is the selection variety. Any other kind will involve work.
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16) Elf on a Shelf

Because there isn’t enough to do with Christmas shopping, wrapping, tidying and decorating. Why not ANOTHER job on to your do list every blooming night.
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17) Eternal admin

You watched your kids open their presents like a hawk so you can round off the festive season with thank you cards. Merry Christmas


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  • Author: Joanna Dunbar Joanna Dunbar
  • Job Title: Contributing writer

As a freelance writer, Jo covers parenting, health and lifestyle with the odd opinion-based rant and celebrity interview thrown in.

Before freelancing (and juggling journalism with two young sons), Jo was on staff at Good Housekeeping, Bella, Woman and The Mail on Sunday. When not typing furiously or refereeing the kids, Jo can be found pulling on her trainers for a gentle run or baking up a storm in her quest to produce the perfect brownie batch.


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