Christmas is supposed to be the time when everyone is jolly and celebrating. After all – it is the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ isn’t it? But if you take a wander around your local shopping centre I would go so far as to guarantee you’d see people looking stressed and scowling rather than happily singing along to the Christmas tunes. 

But why does this happen?

We have this big expectation that surrounds Christmas – we need to find the perfect everything, serve the perfect dinner, give the perfect gifts and have the perfect day. Which may seem over the top to some but for someone like me, Christmas is incredibly stressful. 

I am a perfectionist. And it makes Christmas a nightmare. Regardless of how much I swear ‘next year will be different’ it always plays out the same.

I struggle with the idea of purchasing a present that I think someone will like, because just liking a present isn’t good enough. It has to be perfect. I literally spent two hours the other day going to each and every store that sold teacups in a shopping centre to find the perfect one for my son’s day care provider. A tea cup. 

And I know that it’s not healthy to be this stressed – I know that good enough is good enough… but I can’t help it. 

Then there’s the food. This year we are having a pre-Christmas lunch at our house because we won’t all be together for Christmas Day. While I have very little time over the next few days to prepare for it, and my family would be happy with a roast chicken and basic dishes, I can’t do it. Oh no. 

I’ve had to go and create an elaborate menu and because that’s not enough, I’ve also committed myself to making gingerbread biscuits as gifts to give to others as well. 

I wish so much I was the kind of person who could just relax and enjoy the time. It is a beautiful time of year. Here in Australia we have beautiful sunny weather, gorgeous days and warm nights, perfect for relaxing with the family. 

And this year I will do the same – I will declare I will cut back on my commitments, I will promise next year I won’t be in search of the perfect gift and be happy with good gifts. And I hope this time it’s true. 

So spare a thought when you see that person out shopping looking stressed, give a smile and a little cheer because I know how hard it is to have a stressful Christmas. 

Wishing you all a Merry (and perfect) Christmas. 

Krystal Kleidon

My name is Krystal and I am a first time mum. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend (sometimes neglectful) and a paramedic. I live in a small country town in Queensland Australia and am the first Australian contributor to Her View From Home – something I am very proud and excited about. I love my Australian culture and lifestyle and you’ll have to promise to cut me a little slack when you see me writing things like ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’. I'm the creator and editor at Project Hot Mess, a site dedicated to empowering women and encouraging them to embrace who they are in their own perfect way. Even if that means running late with a cold cup of coffee in hand and not brushing your hair for 3 days (that's what dry shampoo is for right..?).