Christmas is supposed to be fun, but anyone who has visited a shopping centre over the last two weeks will know what Christmas stress looks and feels like. To stop you from blowing a gasket, here are some suggestions to help take the frustration out of the festive season.
Don’t blow your budget
There’s so much pressure to find the perfect gift, or to ensure everyone receives something, but the point of giving is not to bankrupt yourself. If you haven’t managed to put a little away for Christmas over the last year, now is not the time to start spending money you don’t have. Think about gifts you can make, or re-gift, or why not give a Christmas promise?
If you have a large family, why not suggest a Kris Kringle gift, or only buy for the children in your group? Most importantly, set a limit to spend on each person and stick to it.
Try to get your shopping done early and pop a few extra non-perishable items in your trolley when you’re doing your normal food shop. Don’t leave home without a list and mark off the items as you buy them. Where possible, get your supermarket shopping delivered and order your turkey, ham or beef in advance. Keep a spare, wrapped gift under the tree just in case.
The joy of having everyone to yours on Christmas Day can soon be overshadowed by the hard work involved in cooking for them all. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple and delegate where possible. Prepare what you can in advance and consider serving a buffet-style lunch where everyone brings a platter and can help themselves. If your budget allows, have Christmas lunch at a restaurant and let someone else take care of the washing up.
When you’re tired, you naturally become more irritable, so if you’re having someone to your home who normally sets you on edge, assign them a buddy to keep them out of your way as much as is polite. If there are two people who constantly bicker, don’t expect civility just because it’s Christmas; if you can avoid inviting one, do.
Keep everyone busy, appoint someone as head of activities and arrange a game of backyard cricket, a walk to the park or some simple board and parlour games.
Limit your alcohol intake and avoid self-medication.
General health and wellbeing
To avoid becoming ill over the festive period, it’s important to look after your general health and wellbeing. Consider:
- Everything in moderation – it’s ok having fun but don’t eat and drink too much. Drink-driving is dangerous and illegal, so don’t think you’ll get away with it. And take a day off the social merry-go-round and relax.
- Get plenty of sleep – don’t try to keep going continually and do enjoy a few early nights and long lie-ins.
- Keep to your regular routine – if you usually exercise, meet friends or have regular appointments, keep doing these things.
Remember, Christmas is about having fun. Don’t get too worked up and take plenty of time to enjoy having your family and friends close by.