Ah, Christmas, that most wonderful time of year. Children having snowball fights outside. The hearty sound of Christmas carollers at your door. Family get-togethers. The giving and receiving of gifts. Hark, the herald angels are already singing, welcoming in this most festive of seasons. Peace and goodwill to all men indeed. Except…
Snow is a hazard, and it’s cold to boot! You have already paid off one lot of carol singers, and you don’t want to bankrupt yourself on every X-factor reject patrolling your neighbourhood. You love your family, but having your blasted in-laws staying for the week is not your idea of a relaxing holiday. And gifts? It’s hard to buy for people who already have everything, and you are tired of putting on your faux grateful face when you receive yet another Christmas pullover with a reindeer (and flashing red nose) emblazoned across it. Oh, and you did remember to defrost the turkey, didn’t you? Christmas, that most wonderful, and yet most stress-inducing time of the year is almost upon us. Bah humbug indeed!
Fret not. If you are short of the Christmas spirit at the moment, here are some ways you can reduce your stress.
Make a Christmas list
No, we aren’t talking about your list to Santa! Rather, make a list for yourself, writing down everything you need to do over the season. From shopping to baking, write down each task in order of priority, and tick them off as you accomplish them.
Delegate to the family
Christmas is a time for family, right? Exactly, so get them involved in the planning stages. Separate your jobs list and let them share in the cheerful act of giving by lending you a hand. You might want to get out them out from under your hair anyway, so get them out of the house doing errands while you catch up with the important jobs, such as having a cup of hot chocolate and adding festive films to your Netflix watchlist.
Escape the shopping frenzy
There are loads of things to buy over Christmas, from food to presents, but thankfully you don’t have to head to the local high street which is populated with frazzled shoppers. Instead, go online. Whether it’s buying toys for the kids or gathering in your food supplies, browse and select from the comfort of your living room, avoiding the cold weather (and angry shopper glares) outside.
Santa can seemingly do everything he needs to each Christmas Eve, but you can’t, so don’t burn yourself out trying to get all you need to do at once. Pace yourself, and set yourself specific tasks each day. Put up the tree one day, bake a cake the next. Again, many hands make light work, so involve your nearest and dearest. Then set aside time to relax. Remember, Christmas should be an enjoyable time and not an endurance test.
Get out of town
There’s a reason many people go on holiday over the Christmas period. It’s to avoid the madness and chaos that ensues, as well as those dreaded in-laws. See what the
Bolsover Cruise Club have to offer, or consider renting a holiday cottage nearby. If you have the additional funds, you can still enjoy Christmas away from home, whether it’s a few miles down the road or in the middle of the Caribbean!
Remember the meaning of Christmas
It’s easy to lose sight of the meaning of Christmas. For some, the season holds spiritual significance, so focus on those aspects if that is true of you. If you don’t hold a particular faith, the message of love still rings true during this time. So, in amongst the chaos, take stock of all you hold dear and let that be your driving force for everything you do over the holidays.
Do what you want to do
It’s strange how we feel the burden of expectation over this time. We may resist unhealthy eating the rest of the year, but suddenly we feel the need to binge on cake, turkey, alcohol and sweets! We may enjoy the great outdoors, but at Christmas, we are inclined to bring the outdoors to us, with mistletoe, holly, and a blooming great Christmas tree shedding needles all over our carpets. We might avoid certain people over the year (perhaps with good reason), but at Christmas, we welcome them with open arms, and then do all we can to get them out of the house again before they set up roots. So, what we are saying is this. Do what you want to do and don’t conform to expectation. Don’t be a Grinch, but if parts of the season give you stress, don’t assume you have to endure it.
Get ready for next year
Finally, you can save yourself a huge amount of stress by planning for next Christmas. As soon as the January sales begin, stock up on gifts. Decorations and gift wrap will be reduced in price, so buy as soon as you can. A little planning goes a long way, and while everybody else is running around in a frenzy the next time the festive season lands, you can sit back with a glass of mulled wine, knowing you have been ready for ages. Just don’t forget to defrost the turkey.
We wish you a happy and stress-free Christmas!