6 Top Tips For A Stress Free Festive Period
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song says. Lights are beginning to adorn the houses on your street, star anise and cinnamon scents are filling the air, and the kids have sent their wish lists to Santa. The festive period is well and truly upon us, and while this should be the season of goodwill to all men and a time to eat, drink and be merry, you’re beginning to feel a little anxious at the thought of enduring another Christmas with the in-laws. Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways you can limit the impact of any stress-inducing situations.
While in a perfect world, you visualize yourself as a supreme domestic goddess able to whip up two dozen mince pies at the drop of a hat and capable of creating the perfect Christmas spread that fulfills every dietary requirement known to mankind, you are well aware of your limits. This is where the stress creeps in. You compare yourself to everyone else around you and you shouldn’t. It’s time to learn to love your talents and limitations in equal measure. If you do find the festivities getting on top of you and causing rampant heart palpitations, take a look at these tips that’ll keep the stress at bay.
Every December you begin the month with a list as long as your arm. You have food to buy, presents to purchase, gifts to wrap and the tree to source, not to mention sorting out the guest rooms ready for your nearest and dearest to stay over. It’s time to relinquish some of the organization and start enjoying the moment. Instead of purchasing a physical item for every friend and family member, why not group gifts together. For your aunt, uncle and cousins, why not gift them an experience day. They could have fun paint balling together, having a go at indoor skydiving, or heading out on a wine tasting day. Think a little outside the box and you won’t have to wrap so many gifts and feel like the four walls of your home are overflowing with packages, gift wrap and bows.
Cut Corners Where You Can
It always pays to go for the simplest option no matter what aspect of Christmas is being considered. If you have the opportunity of forking out $50 for the material to make a handmade table centerpiece that will take you over three hours to produce but you can buy one that looks a hundred times better at your local crafty store for half the price, do the latter. You might dream of being a craft guru, but unless you actually have the skills and time to dedicate to homemade wares at Christmas, you could be opening up a can of elves that will simply see your stress levels skyrocket.
Instead of purchasing over a hundred Christmas cards this year to write out, stamp up and post, why not send greeting cards online. You can select the design you want or personalize your cards with a family photo and get them delivered directly to your recipients. This will free up your time to do the more pressing activities like finding the elusive toy for your little darling that every child seems to want this Christmas.
If you’re heading out on the road this Christmas, don’t allow your vehicle to be the cause of any stress. Do the basic maintenance checks that should be carried out before any long journey making sure that the tires are at the correct pressure, the oil level is sufficient, and you have enough washer spray. Ensure that you have plenty of food packed, blankets and a shovel, especially if you’re venturing out onto icy and snowy roads. If you do end up getting stranded you want to be as comfortable as possible.
Hopefully, you have already begun, if not be nearing your Christmas shopping adventure this year. If not, get cracking. By leaving it to the last minute, you will miss the delivery cut off time for online retailers, and you’ll be forced to endure the busy, manic streets of the shopping mall and town center. If you get started early and purchase as much as you can from a single online store, you’ll be able to save money on delivery costs, and you won’t have to endure the pushing and shoving of the crowds.
Another useful aspect to online shopping is the availability of gift wrapping. If you adore wrapping presents, this does not apply. However, if your gifts look like they’ve been in a tumble dryer or dropped from a great height, spending some extra cash on a gift wrap service is economical and will save you time and keep you de-stressed.
Find Time For You
It’s ok to want a little alone time among the chaos and business of Christmas. Before your family and friends descend on your humble abode, take some time out to go for a walk, breathe in the fresh air and take in the festive scenes that your neighbors have so lovingly placed in their gardens. You shouldn’t forget that the festive period is also a time for you to relax, unwind and reflect on the past year’s successes. Curl up on the sofa and read a book while the slow roast is in the oven. Have a glass of wine and a long hot soak in the bathtub on Christmas Eve. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas and grab opportunities to make those seasonal family memories.
Get The Kids Involved
The only reason you start seeing flaws creeping into your kids behavior is that they’re bored and restless. Do everything you can to get them involved in the festive preparations. Ask them to help you make gingerbread cookies, get them to make the brine for the turkey and see if they are keen to get their creative juices flowing to decorate the tree. By giving them some of the less arduous tasks, you can monitor them from a distance while embarking on some more important duties such as fixing the leaky tap before Grandma arrives.
Christmas is the greatest time of the year for family get-together, enjoying quality time with your loved ones and enjoying seasonal festivities. Don’t lose sight that this is your holiday time too and you should be giving yourself the rest you deserve. Grab yourself a hot chocolate, relax in front of the fire and have a very merry Christmas.