I think there's quite a few ladies out there who are feeling the pressure the same as me right now. Sorry men, but you don't endure the same amount of stress as us ladies. We are the ones decorating the tree, we are the ones buying all the Christmas gifts for everyone including your parents too! And we are the ones writing out the Christmas cards, wrapping the presents and mentally compiling a list in our heads for what to buy from the supermarket so you've got every food which has to be cooked, steamed, stuffed and seasoned next Friday.
I mean, let's be honest here, name me a man who is debating which christmas pudding to buy because Grandad doesn't like it with nuts in and it must be a gluten-free one too? Not forgetting every type of alcohol which all relatives like to drink at this time of year.. Yep I'm considering everyone's favourite tipple so they're happy on Friday.
What's adding to my stress the most is the fact I haven't bought all the presents yet. Haven't got a single one for my children and I know there is plenty of time to get them because there's another four days yet and hopefully items will have been reduced as sales start early. That's my plan anyway.
But, I'm being mostly affected by the bombardment of retailers nearly every hour of every day in the last fortnight saying quick last minute chance to buy, offers run out, last day to order in time for christmas, buy whilst stocks last!! Then if you pop onto Instagram or Facebook you are inundated with photos of everyones trees with all their perfectly wrapped presents ready underneath. Years ago it was not the norm to have everything bought and wrapped before end of November but some super organised people have got all there's bought before we've even watched a fireworks display on November 5th.
There wasn't this pressure years ago to have your presents wrapped so beautifully that they are Pinterest-worthy. And I will not cave in to the crafts of handmade gift tags, ribbons and bows bestowed on every present. I mean, come on, when you receive a present are you thinking "oh how lovely they've decorated my present a la Martha Stewart" or are you thinking "I wonder what's inside, I love surprises?" I'm sure it's the latter and no matter how you wrap a present all the paper, tags, bows etc are thrown in the bin within seconds of removal!
There is enough pressure as it is trying to find the right gift for each person: spending more money than you can afford; having to wrestle in the supermarket with other customers as you endure steering with your trollies like idiotic morons; and getting your house clean and tidy before the in-laws arrive. Why give yourself more stress of trying to have a Pinterest Christmas?
This year I can feel my blood pressure rising because every retailer has got me thinking I'm running out of time to buy all my gifts. Being told this all day everyday as another email notification flashes up on my phone is giving me a sense of panic.
Christmas shouldn't be about retailers bombarding you. I don't think I need to even explain what Christmas is really about, we all know the real reason. I am determined to keep this week family focused, fun and exciting and festive whilst I do my shopping. It's not impossible to get everything I need in time no matter how much pressurising advertising, marketing and social media leads me to believe.
Because I've saved myself from Panic Saturday, the shops will be much quieter on Wednesday and Thursday except for men running around trying to buy their other half something. The best bit the shops will have slashed prices on everything and I will save myself some pennies. Christmas eve I will be wrapping presents listening to carols and munching on mince pies.
Plenty of time for me to have another lovely Christmas.