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Christmas and Gender

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Christmas can be a stressful time for families, which can be experienced differently by men and by women.

Alan Pease said
"The only good thing for [women] is the shopping, which is the most stressful for men." In fact, he said men found the stress of Christmas shopping "equivalent to a police officer's first time in a riot". The male perspective is that Christmas time is for doing nothing. You kick back, maybe have a few drinks, barbecues and watch a bit of TV. Men don't see the point in wrapping presents when you just rip it off."
The Daily (Sunshine Coast)
30 December 2007

Tis the season
By Rae Wilson

If you thought the only Christmas hangover you could suffer was the one resulting from too many bottles of festive cheer, think again.

January signals much more than the start of another year - it's also the start of the Great Divorce Rush.

Body language and communication expert Allan Pease - whose movie "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Reverse Park" knocked the $150 million American Gangster from the number one box office position in Europe last week - said it was a well-known fact that Christmas stress often leads to separation in the first months of the new year.

"Women are wired for nurturing and relationships; Christmas fits very neatly into that," he said.

"They love getting the right present for the right person because they believe it shows that person how you feel.

"It can be a traumatic stressful event for women.

"The only good thing for them is the shopping, which is the most stressful for men."

In fact, he said men found the stress of Christmas shopping "equivalent to a police officer's first time in a riot".

"The male perspective is that Christmas time is for doing nothing. You kick back, maybe have a few drinks, barbecues and watch a bit of TV.

"Men don't see the point in wrapping presents when you just rip it off.

"Most men do their Christmas shopping between 4pm and 5.30pm on Christmas Eve."

Mr Pease said women usually insisted on taking men Christmas shopping, which he described as "crazy".

"Take your girlfriends instead.

"If you must (take a man) then give him a chronological list of bloke gifts to get for male family and friends with 'what for who'."

And anyone who is having trouble coping with family over the holiday period could take heed of his three-step technique for dealing with them.

"One of the best strategies for Christmas with the rellies is 'don't have any'," he said.

The trick is to agree with everybody including those who "put you down badly", restate your position and then end with a question.

"If what they say is true, agree with them.

"Someone says 'if you get third helpings you're going to end up like the Good Year blimp'.

"You say 'You're right auntie Flo, I might burst but I love chocolate cake and there's a table full, would you like a piece?'.

"If you end with a question, they've got nowhere to go from there."

If you disagreed with a relative quipping about being left on the shelf because you were unmarried or had not had a baby yet, then you "agree they have a right to have an opinion".

"You say 'You know grandma, I can understand how you feel like that because women my age already had families when you were younger. But, you know, my life is terrific, I get to call my own shots. I'm going down to Gloria Jeans for a cappuccino, would you like to come?'."
I hate Christmas. Have done for a long time.

As soon as I had my children, it became work rather than fun.

I still have to put the tree down…..

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Funny, it's nearly the end of August and yes I am thinking about xmas.

It is a fun time for me and wife and step kids.  But still a $$$$ nightmare.  I always from now on make sure that my payments to ex will be there for Dec and Jan.  And also make sure I give my kids a present in the mail.

Also my wife needs thanks at xmas as well as step kids.  So $$$$ is an issue, but luckily I have an organised wife who every late August starts to get $$$$ sorted.

The only ones that cop the 'miss out' is usually the missus and me. That's ok as the kids are worth it.

Paddy
I see X-mas as a stress free zone. We don't bother with a tree and all the trashy decorations… hehe ( the shops hate me!)

I have a mother in law who thinks the same, no woman slaving over x-mas dinner / lunch here. We just take it really easy. The men in our family have a blast at X-mas too. Money wise, we budget for it early on. My partner and I don't usually bother too much about pressies for ourselves. We don't care about those things. I love it that way.

Oh, and just to add on, it's my partner who does the shopping in our house - he loves it. He loves pressie shopping… in fact he loves shopping fullstop.lol. Saves me having to do it!
It's not about the pressies here mate! its about getting the tree and the outside fairy lights out for everyone to enjoy!

It's about recieving a little thing off each other and just spening the day together around a BBQ or having a roast!

Not $$$ mate it's about having each other to enjoy!  Mothers, fathers, (if your lucky enough to have them) stepkids, wives, best mates, family etc! or if extra lucky your kids as well!

Paddy!
C'mon it's about the pressies for kids and the wonderment of all the trinkets, trashy decorations, presents for pets as well as the food being consumed as well as family and friends but you simply do not have to spend a fortune if you work at it through the year.

Santa lives but in our home I ask him to leave a little something special under the tree for my girl and me to share rather than just me, he usually does the right thing.

 
This may end up taking this thread in a slightly different direction, but I'll ask anyway;
What is the preference of FLWG parents when it comes to spending time with the kids on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day?
There are definately two camps;
1. The usual split of first half / second half of the school holiday with no special arrangements for the festive holidays, and
2. Some division of Christmas Eve Christmas Day and Boxing Day so that the special days are shared.

My experience is that  there are (approx) equal numbers of parents in each camp.
My preference is for 1. Unless the parents get on very well and live close together, then sharing the day can work OK but otherwise, I couldn't think of anything worse for the kids than to spend hours on Christmas Day sitting in the car and then go through the emotional changeover. (They are often more emotional at this time of year.)
Although I haven't included it, I know that some parents put aside differences this time of year and spend time together with the kids. They are rare, but deserve a big pat on the back.
My household has both arrangements.

DP and his ex have turnabout long summer holiday time as the ex is an absolute head trip and could agree on her way out of a paper bag.

My ex and I split the day as we live about 15 mins apart. Last year he was a bit rude - insisting I return from a family Christmas event at a particular time, then was having too much fun when I showed up and wanted extra time…… I will be asking to split time around boxing day and christmas day. Christmas means little to me and I would prefer to have the joy of waking up in the morning unwrapping presents uninterrupted.

With the long holidays, we do not split them down the middle. My ex prefers week-about, Friday to Friday. This works, pick ups are at school care. Usually there is enough flexibility to have a different model if one of us wants to go away for a length of time.

I suspect your question was aimed at the more conflicted ex couples, though.


Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
My preference, is that Christmas is held together at least on occasions, not necessarily each year. I truly believe that the better parents are the ones who can bite the bullet and what better time of the year. However I'm not foolish enough to consider this appropriate for all perhaps not even the majority, but perhaps something that more should try.

I've actually been on alternate halves of the school holidays, so alternating Christmas. However Christmas isn't that special to myself my partner nor my partner's family. The only presents given and received were from or to my son.

However with what is happening now with my situation it's likely that most Christmases will be with the mother, although I haven't talked about this with my son to get his outlook on that.  Hey I can always invent a special Christmas and have it another time, uhhm perhaps even call it "???????'s Special Christmas Day". Perhaps I could rethink the "Bobtober" ad just for my son to name the day. :)

Last edit: by MikeT

Ours is year about from Christmas eve to boxing day morning, Santa comes to both houses but no doubt this will change in time and with age, when young it's more about the wonder of Santa, Reindeer and elf's than when they get older and as long as that lasts Christmas will come to both homes day about similar to the Easter bunny.

I know what the X is like on Christmas day after a few and she tends to diss those there on the day after they leave, so doing things together has never been an option and probably better this way, some bullets may go off if you bite them too hard so better not to bite at times.
At the moment we split xmas one year he has her xmas eve/morning then she comes to me early arvo then next yr I have eve/morning.

It makes the day rather exhausting and can feel rushed when u have the morning but I think its nice. I am thinking of doing alternate xmas tho when we get the orders done as I am having another child and it might be nice to have the whole day alternate years!
booberrypink said
At the moment we split xmas one year he has her xmas eve/morning then she comes to me early arvo then next yr I have eve/morning.

It makes the day rather exhausting and can feel rushed when u have the morning but I think its nice. I am thinking of doing alternate xmas tho when we get the orders done as I am having another child and it might be nice to have the whole day alternate years!
A very sensible approach as those who have alternate days will appreciate. The other major point is that you can never have a decent holiday if you have the first half of the school holidays unless you opt for year about along the lines you are exploring..


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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We have had many variations for Christmas, but have found that alternating years works best for all.

We also have orders that specify that in years ending with an even number the children spend the first half of the holidays with us, years ending in odd numbers they spend they spend the second half.

This ensures that we have 3 weeks holidays at Christmas break, with alternating Christmas days. Whether it is our Christmas with the children or not, we have a good block of time for trips away etc. This also allows the other parent to take the child to visit grandparents for Christmas.

If it is not our year for Christmas, we arrange a family day where all the garndparents, aunts & uncles and cousins come over to lunch and we give our gifts to the children and they give us ours from them. This is usually in early to mid January, (depending on when the holidays started), and the kids are more than happy to get a new bunch of goodies for the second half of the holidays!

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
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