The telephone counselling service, Lifeline, says the number of calls it's receiving is going through its usual summer spike.
It says there's a significant increase in calls from November to February, as people wrestle with the expense and family tensions of Christmas.
That's followed by credit card repayments and back to school bills in February.
Lifeline's national clinical manager, Melanie Ingram says planning ahead for things that could go wrong is a good way to lower stress.
She says children will appreciate parents being honest about a pared-back Christmas because of tough economic times.
She says they're more likely to adjust their expectations of what Christmas will bring.
In 2007, Lifeline took 80,000 calls.