It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but it’s also one of the most stressful! Keep reading to see my little tricks, tips and thoughts on how to handle festive stress and keep the magic alive on a budget!
The pressure is real
There’s so much pressure to have the biggest tree, give the best gifts, have the biggest lights, go to see the best Santa, wear the best Christmas jumpers… I mean the list goes on! But let’s cut the crap and put things into perspective… We (well, I) never had a lot of these things when we were younger and Christmas was just as magical! Here are my top tips on a budget friendly, stress free Christmas!
- Shop online – Keep a tab on online sales and offers. Black Friday deals are great and there are some amazing discount codes too. One of my fave online retailer in Dubai is definitely Mumzworld. Use code Carey10 for 10% off!!! They sell everything from toys, clothes, kitchen ware… you name it, they sell it! Take a look here!
- Order in – Groceries aren’t cheap in Dubai. And for all the stress and time if you’re hosting Christmas simply order your Christmas dinner in and split the cost! Easy!
- Skip the brunch – Brunches on Christmas Day double if not triple in price. We love to spend the morning opening presents then head to the beach which is so lovely and surprisingly quiet then home to eat Christmas dinner and let the kids play with their toys… which lets face it… that’s all they really want to do!
- Bargain hunt – So I’m a big fan of Daiso Japan and Dollar Plus in Dubai. And it’s not all tacky. If you look carefully and you’re selective you can find some really cute (and budget friendly) decorations!
- Free activities – Just take a walk round the malls and you’ll find lots of free festive activities set up, the same with beaches and most Meeras developments! Free festive fun… what’s not to love.
- Beach days – Winter in Dubai is the absolute best… so what better way to spend days than at the beach. Take a picnic and pitch up for the day!
- Desert drives – We’re so lucky with all this natural beauty on our door step. Explore but be safe. It’s best to go in convoy.
- Festive Glam – It’s always nice to get your nails done for Christmas or lashes or a cheeky pedi and hair refresh… Again, keep an eye out for discount codes. Beauty Garden in JLT offer 30% off any first treatment with code TheCareyMum! Perfect for a little festive pamper. Click here for their Facebook page. Or here for the Instagram page!
- Hotel Lobby Hop – Some of the best Christmas displays in Dubai can be seen in the hotel lobby’s! They’re truly magical and kids go nuts over the big Christmas trees!
- Gifts that last – Avoid tat and invest in toys that last and can be passed down. Another one of my fave retailers is Eco Souk! Their stock is absolutely gorgeous and I’m still obsessed with our bumpa mat! Visit their website and get 15% off with code TCM15 – Eco Souk is owned by a fellow British expat mama so show her some love please!
- Say no – It’s ok to say no to yet another ladies night, yet another Christmas party, another school event. The costs seem small but they soon add up. 50aed here, 100aed there… I sometimes feel like I’m throwing hundreds around for fun especially since Mason started school this year. But then again you don’t want them to miss out… It’s a tough one and the struggle is definitely real. I’m really trying to prioritise events and parties and only taking Mason to things that I know he’ll love!
- Reign it in – It’s one day of the whole year, less gifts, less stress and more making memories. We tend to treat the kids throughout the year for good behaviour etc so Christmas is more about a day being together than gifts. Although since Mason is getting older gifts are becoming more important to him… as is my ability to use calling Father Christmas as a threat! 🤣
- Hand made – Hand made cards and decs are just the cutest! especially for teacher gifts! There’s usually a class whip round but the a little handmade card is always a nice touch too!
- Get an App – Get a Christmas app to keep the magic alive with messages and videos from the big man himself! I love the PNP (Portable North Pole) App! AND… IT’S FREE! You enter your kid(s) details in and get personalised calls, messages and videos!
Wishing You All A Magical Christmas
I really hope these little tips and tricks help with Christmas pressure… If anything to let you know that you’re not alone in feeling stressed! One final point… In Dubai we don’t have chimneys in most villas or apartments… ‘So how does Santa get in’ I hear little squeaky voices ask… Well he either has a magic key that opens all doors or he just comes in through the patio doors and leaves sandy foot prints…. Whichever version you go for I hope you manage to keep the magic alive and make precious memories with your little ones! Merry Christmas lovelies! xoxo
P.S. If you have any tips and tricks for the festive season please share them by leaving a reply in the box below. Thanks so much!
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