I actually love Christmas, but I know it can become a time of extra pressure, expectation and ultimately, stress. I figure that as it’s valuable time off work, I’d rather have some fun and a really good rest than get sucked into feeling obliged to do too much. Everyone will have their own ways of being stress-free, but here are my top 10:
1. Stop sending Christmas cards.They’re a waste of trees and barely get read anyway. Save yourself a huge administrative task and don’t bother with them. If you’re worried about offending people, text or send ecards instead.
2. Downsize present buying.I buy four Christmas presents every year. That’s for my Mum, my partner and my two brothers. If you buy a lot of presents, can downsize your list? This will save you time, money and hassle.
3. Go away on holiday. I spend Christmas with my family most years, but I’ve been on holiday for a couple of them. It might let you avoid the occasion altogether, or at least celebrate a very pared down version of the event.
4. Volunteer for charity. One of my Christmases was spent volunteering in a homeless shelter. I didn’t really want to “do” Christmas that year, and volunteering was the perfect remedy. Although, of course, we celebrated Christmas at the shelter, I was too absorbed in my tasks to notice it too much.
5. Order online. If you’re cooking for lots of people, doing the grocery shop online will make things much easier. That goes for presents, too.
6. Get help. Be sure to delegate cooking, washing up, present wrapping etc. amongst family members. Although I’m giving this advice, I’m actually bad at delegating. Must try to do it more.
7. Bring a friend. Most people have a family member they don’t like, if not many family members who grate on their soul like sandpaper. Why not invite a couple friends along too, to help dilute the effect of difficult company? Some people are forced to be alone at Christmas and may appreciate the invitation to join in with a family meal.
8. Serve herbal tea or decaf coffee. A lot of tea and coffee is imbibed on Christmas day, and of course, all that caffeine’s a recipe for stress. Just serve herbal or decaf instead.
9. Create a peaceful atmosphere. Use calming music and nice scents to create an atmosphere conducive to a lovely Christmas.
10. Finally, don’t be afraid to say no. Christmas is supposed to be an enjoyable holiday. Let go of the need to accept every invitation, or do everything that’s asked of you. Wishing you a Merry, and stress-free Christmas. :)