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Present Pressure

So it’s that time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner and there’s a lot to look forward to. Beautiful food, family, time off work and sunny warm beach weather! For some people, Christmas also represents a time of stress; having to host family functions, the hustle and bustle, and the time constraints we are put under. Finding the right balance between handling the stress and kicking back to relax can be difficult. This article will focus on the different pressures we face around Christmas time; specifically with choosing and buying gifts for our friends and family.

Budgeting can be a real issue around Christmas time. Deciding who we want to buy for and how much to spend can be really tricky, especially if you’re like me and don’t have a lot of money to play around with. If we tried to get a present for everyone that we know, we would soon find ourselves living on the streets! It’s important to find a nice balance between being kind and generous for others, and being kind and generous to ourselves. A good alternative to buying every Tom, Dick and Harry a present, is to make your own! Personally, I am a lover of sentimental things. I don’t really mind how much money someone has spent, it’s about the effort you put in to make or pick a gift that says ‘I know you will appreciate this’ or ‘remember when we did this together?’ So whether you make it yourself, or pick up a $5 gift that reminds you of a holiday you went on together, it’s the thought that counts.

Buying the right gift for someone can also be a real anxiety provoking task for some people. It may provoke thoughts such as ‘what if they don’t like what I bought for them?’, ‘What if this gift insults them in some way?’ or ‘what if they think I spent too much or too little on them?’  Even when we try our hardest to do the same thoughtful thing, sometimes it will go unappreciated. If this happens, don’t get down on yourself. Often this says a lot more about the other person than it does about you. All you can do is your best, and if your efforts go unappreciated, there is nothing you can do about it, so try not to focus on it! True friends and family will appreciate the effort that you put in to giving, not just what was given.

Just because we don’t get everyone a present, doesn’t mean we have forgotten about them completely. A healthy and cost efficient way to make sure everyone who is special to you is included is to send Christmas cards. Christmas cards really fulfil the sentimental side of things for me, and help me focus on the people I am grateful for in my life. Christmas cards are also great because it’s a way we can reach out and reconnect with people we haven’t spoken to in a long while. A more modern and common version we now see of Christmas cards is simply sending a group text or Facebook message. It’s a really nice way of reminding someone you still think about them, even if you don’t make as much time to see each other anymore.

Yes, Christmas time can be stressful, but it’s also one of the best times of the year (and personally one of my favourites!) Try to focus on the positives, surround yourself with the people you love, and I guarantee you will have an enjoyable Christmas. 

Happy holidays!

Written by Michael, ADAVIC Volunteer

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