Surviving Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 

It is also one of the most stressful times too. The pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas can take it’s toll on us. Christmas can be an amazing time of year but it can also bring its own stresses and strains. 

Financially it can be a huge stress too and puts a lot of pressure on families. You might even have a family member poorly this year. 

The pressure to have the perfect instagrammable Christmas can leave you feeling burnt out come Christmas day. 

I have some tips for getting through it all to share with you today. 

I have had my fair share of shitty Christmases, I remember the year my dad died our heating broke and we had that snow! yep remember that snow! Now that was a crapy one. 

I love the time of year, I love the decorations and exploring places when its festive but I actually am not a massive fan of the day itself. 

I work long hours over Christmas which leave me feeling burnt out and come Christmas day I just want to hide under a blanket with a box of Tayto and a 6 pack of Guinness.

Christmas isn’t like the ads on telly. 

Well for some it can be but don’t be putting pressure on yourself to have the perfect turkey and table settings like the ones you see on the telly. That pretty table setting and perfectly glazed ham lasts all but a few minutes and its in your belly.

These ads and movies of society’s idea of the “perfect” Christmas can make some people feel empty.

The truth is you can eat your dinner on your lap if you want. Honestly once you are eating dinner with the people you love that is all that matters. 

Also don’t worry if your puddings don’t turn out like the ones in the Marks & Spencer ad, they will still be delicious. 

There’s always someone looking for an argument, pick your battles wisely. 

Yep even in my house. It wouldn’t be Christmas without an argument, ahh Christmas, that time of year you see people you don’t normally see and the awkward questions about your life choices. “so no plans on getting married yet, no ring under the tree this year? maybe next year?” lol!

Don’t fight with partner over silly things, I can be so ratty after a shift in work and I can come home like a little ball of thunder but I try and leave it at the door. If I am really overwhelmed and feel irritable I will say it. “Sorry I had a tough day and I got stuck in traffic, I didn’t mean to snap at you” 

Thats all you need to diffuse a potential argument over something small. 

Life has thought me to pick my battles, be assertive and stand your ground but don’t bother arguing with an idiot, politely excuse yourself and go run to the fridge for more alcohol. 

Which leads me onto the next tip!


Last Christmas after a long day in work I came home to unwind, 3 hours later and 6 pints of Guinness later I found myself throwing up my dinner in the local pubs carpark. Not my most glamorous moment but I did learn my lesson. I was put to bed by 10pm and didn’t even hear Santa come down the chimney. 

Know your limits and don’t lose the run of yourself. Wether its Christmas eve, day or St Stephens day. Them hangovers are not worth it. Getting tipsy at christmas and unwinding is fun but don’t do what I done and spend Christmas day with a hangover.

Remembering people who are not with us. 

 It is okay to get upset, I cry every Christmas morning when I think of my Dad not being here with us. Don’t ever feel you cannot do this. Set a seat at the table, visit their grave, light a candle. Whatever you need to do to feel that little bit better. 

Its a tough time for bringing emotions to the surface so let yourself grieve. Fighting off them feelings will only leave you feeling angry or irritable. 

This year I am excited as Jack is here and he is a little breath of fresh air and always brings a smile to my face. 

Get out and have a few minutes for you. 

I always feel Christmas day you are confined to your house. The shops might be closed but the parks are not so why not have a little 20 minute walk alone or with your family and get some fresh air. A short stroll works wonders for clearing the head. So don’t be chained to the cooker, take a few minutes for yourself. Why not even have a bath or a longer shower on Christmas eve and unwind before the madness. 

Delegate out some jobs. 

I absolutely hate the food shopping with a passion, Aw nothing strikes terror into me like the Aldi checkout queue. Thankfully Mr Dainty loves the food shop and all that but If he didn’t I think it would be a Tesco online shop for me. 

The details.

Do they really matter? I couldn’t care for wrapping presents! Honestly you wrap and wrap, for it to cause a pile of paper Christmas day in the living room and your wheelie bin full of fabulous bauble paper. 

I know tons of you love a good therapeutic wrapping session but I like a gift bag, or even a little hessian sack to put presents into . 

Also don’t panic if like me you still need to get presents, if all fails just make sure you have enough presents for the people your gonna see on the day. The shops will be back open the 26th so don’t be panicking. 


Spend what you can afford, I try and put a little extra aside in savings for Christmas. I remember one year my mortgage was due to come out the 4th of January and it bounced because I went mad on the 3 for 2 in boots and spent my money on absolute shite that I don’t even remember. I hated how this made me feel so I now only spend what I have. 

I go the shops with cash and leave my card at home so wether I have €200 to buy five presents I make sure I stick to it, I find when I have my card with me I overspend and all of a sudden I am at the checkout in Pennies with the till telling me I owe them €100 when I only went in for new knickers. 

There is a lot of pressure when you hear that some people are spending up to a thousand on presents. Growing up I never got massive presents. We had a budget and it was always stuck to because my parents had to. 

Once a present is thoughtful then that is all that matters and if someone is going to judge your €20 present then fuck them, they are not worth the present. 

Unplug and have a digital detox. 

I will be unplugging this Christmas day, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and watching people’s Christmas dinner selfies and ‘look what I got’ posts are not for me. I love you but its not all about the material things and I want to completely unplug and be in the moment. So wether its watching movies or playing with my nephew I won’t be having the phone in my hand. 

There is enough noise around us so for one day I will be leaving the phone in the bedroom and not checking it. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, wether you spend it in your pyjamas, eat your dinner on your lap or have a relative in a head lock. I hope you have a magical Christmas and just know that you are not alone of you struggle this time of year as a lot of us do. 

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will chat to you all in the new year. 

Chat soon,




  1. Catherine Carton
    December 24, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    I am so glad you found this post useful x I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and make sure to get some me time over the festive season x

  2. Unknown
    December 24, 2016 / 7:55 am

    I've been struggling a bit this Christmas and I have to say your honesty and sound advice in this post has helped a lot. Thanks Catherine😘

  3. Catherine Carton
    December 23, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    Thank you so much for reading Anna x your comments mean so much to me. We will get to have a chat at the next one ! Have a wonderful Christmas x

  4. Anna Caria
    December 23, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    What a lovely post! You are such a wonderful person Catherine I m sure your father must be so proud of you! I m kicking myself I didn't stop for a chat with you over the Christmas fair.. def next year! Wish you a wonderful Christmas and an even more successful 2017☺️With love Anna💕

  5. Catherine Carton
    December 23, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much for reading x hope you have a wonderful ( and dress free ) Christmas x

  6. Unknown
    December 23, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    Brilliant & So True! Love your "fuck them" if they dont like the presents 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmast

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