Personally, I think this relates to the self-inflicted expectations that erupt.
This likely starts as a kid with the joy of trying to catch Santa dropping presents around the tree, or ripping through wrapping paper before the sun has come up.
We want to bestow similar memories on our own family, hoping they too fall in love with the glittery balls, gaudy stockings and gold tinsel.
This results in us battling overpacked shopping centres, scouring the internet for bargains and blowing our pre-determined budget.
If you’re in my family, this also means lots of traditions!
It all starts on Christmas Eve with a church service, followed by Indian food (no idea where this came from).
Then when it’s about to get dark, we cram my half dozen overtired kids into the bus we now drive and scour the streets for the craziest house overdressed in dazzling Christmas lights.
We retire around 10pm – well the kids do, I stay up well past midnight disguising all my carefully collected presents as ‘Santa’s’. He gets all the credit of course!
On Christmas Day I used to run a ‘hills session’ when I was an athlete, but now we feast – and feast again and again and again. It’s exhausting, although my mother’s trifle is to die for.
Beat the Burnout
So, what can we do to break the beast of Christmas burnout?
Well, most of it is obvious: wrap presents early, budget and say no to all the requests!
Some other tips include having a wrapping party the weekend before with other adults (and a wine).
Buy some of next year’s presents in the Boxing Day sales. Take the family on a Christmas Day walk before the feasting starts so you get the good endorphins from exercise and combat the overeating.
My favourite one – instead of presents and the expense of food, go on a family holiday, have an adventure and escape the chaos of Christmas.
This is a new tradition I might employ next year!
Lastly, for some, Christmas can be hard – it’s lonely or financially impossible. So remember, no matter how tired you are, hopefully it’s because you were privileged enough to have a good one!