With just days to go before the big event, how are you feeling? Are you stressed, anxious or exhausted? Or relaxed, prepared and feeling festive?!
There’s no doubt about it Christmas can be a very stressful time for all of us! There’s the present shopping, the extra cost, the big food shop and the decorating to do not to mention the fact that you often need a degree in diplomacy at this time of year when it comes to family and friends.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this. Christmas is a joyous time after all! A time for getting together with loved ones, spreading some cheer, indulging a little (or a lot!) and taking some time out from the hustle and bustle of life.
Here’s how to win at Christmas and survive it with your sanity and wallet in tact.
1) Be realistic - only spend what you can afford and only do what you can. If you haven’t got time to trim up the whole house, then just decorate a tree. If money is a bit tighter this year then cut back. Christmas is not about how much money you have to spend or how much you get done.
2) Lower your expectations a little - we all want our Christmas to be the most magical on record but things don’t always go to plan. Remember what is important (mainly loved ones and your health) and don’t sweat the small stuff. It really isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get all your Christmas cards posted or your turkey dinner ends up burnt!
3) It’s about the giving not the receiving - A little obvious perhaps but it’s true. Christmas becomes magical when we ‘give’ to people, when we do our part in spreading a little joy. And the best news is? It doesn’t have to cost you a thing. Wish people a merry Christmas, go and visit your elderly neighbour who is alone, donate a toy to a children’s hospice. Do something thoughtful.
4) Hold your tongue - There’s something about Christmas that can make us all feel a bit sensitive and for many of us, this time of year can be particularly poignant. So stay away from drama, forgive your Mum if she gets a little weepy, ignore your Grandad’s bad temper and let bygones be bygones. It is the time of peace and goodwill to all men, after all.
5) Ask for help - if you’re struggling, you don’t have to do this alone! Get your family involved or ask your friends for help if you’re drowning in Christmas jobs. One person alone should not have to shoulder all the Christmas chores and responsibilities.
6) Remember those in need - Christmas isn’t always a happy time for people so count your blessings and keep a look out for those who may need a shoulder to cry on or some extra support at this time of year.
7) Enjoy it! - Christmas is what you make of it so let you hair down and live a little! Have fun, embrace the traditions, take time out away from work and cherish the time you spend with your loved ones. It really can be ‘the most magical time of the year’ if you let it.