The Christmas break is a time for family, friends, good food and celebration. But along with all the fun can also come a lot of stress. The high expectations we set on ourselves can make the holidays a pressure filled stress fest. Follow our top tips to have a stress-free Christmas that allows you to enjoy every step.
Don’t set out for perfection
Set realistic goals, and remain flexible. It won’t matter if Christmas dinner is served at 1pm or 3pm. If there are a few minor arguments, don’t worry. You can still have a great day overall.
Buy presents for Christmas throughout the year
Buying gifts as and when you see them makes the run up to Christmas a lot easier. Keep a special box, drawer or section of a wardrobe just for Christmas gifts and store them throughout the year. You can buy the main ones nearer the time but little things like this really do take a lot of stress out of December. You can even buy things in the sale and save them!
Cut down your to-do-list
You won’t need to do a lot of things on your list so why have them there to add unnecessary pressure? Scale it down to just the basics. No one will notice if you’ve not cleaned the floors for example; focus on what really matters.
Share your plans
Discuss where, when and what is happening with family and friends for a rough guide. Agree on the plans then everyone involved knows what to expect. It’s the fear of the unknown that often drives stress. They may even offer to help!
You don’t have to cook all the Christmas Dinner on the 25th
Things like the turkey are of course best done on the day. But many of the other things can be done the night before if not earlier. That’s what freezers are for! A bit of food prep on Christmas Eve will pay off massively on Christmas Day. I’m sure you’d much rather be in the living room with friends rather than getting hot and flustered in the kitchen.
Or, you can ask friends and family members to oversee one course of the meal. For example, your great aunt can bring the starters, you’ll do the turkey, your brother will do the vegetables and your mother-in-law can take care of the pudding. People like to be involved and it’ll give your Christmas dinner a real sense of togetherness.
Put the children in charge of the decorations
Decorating the house always takes longer than you imagine, so why not delegate the task to the kids? They’ll love the sense of power, and it will keep them busy for an evening. Don’t worry about it not being perfect, it’s part of the charm.
Lastly, remember to have fun!
It’s supposed to be a fun and positive time. Relax as best you can and enjoy the mistletoe and wine.