It’s the most wonderful time of the year….. or is it? Sometimes it’s cookie making on steroids and the only time of year that you have to listen to the same songs all day every day with only gingerbread lattes and mulled wine to get you through.
But then add a couple extra family members and it can all get a bit hectic. There’s meals to plan, schedules to compare and presents to buy. Add in all the nativities, Christmas parties and special church events and you’ve fit an entire years worth of socialising into one month.
Here’s a few things I’ve been reflecting on that help me enjoy the best of Christmas.
1. Don’t cook turkey
This may seem strange and go completely against your Christmas tradition, but honestly it is the most difficult and time consuming meat to cook. Don’t spend your entire day slaving in the kitchen switch up your Christmas meat and keep the sides simple with fewer choices to cut cooking time by over half. My favourite for Christmas is gammon which is very affordable and makes amazing left overs.
2. Shop online
I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it’s been a life saver. Not only do I get a huge thrill at all the discounts out there online, but I never have to stand in the queue, pay for parking and get stuck in traffic – lovely.
3. Make it more about people than presents
I have always found that the less I spend at Christmas the more I seem to enjoy it. I’ve had a few Christmases were I’ve been so inspired with Pinterest Christmas ideas that I’ve spent all my time thinking of how much everyone would love their own crochet snowflake in their Christmas card only to discover that it will take me 5 years to make enough for everyone. What a waste! Just spend time with the people in your life rather than fixating on what absolutely perfect Christmas gift you could give them. Too many details = stress.
4. Throw out a few traditions
Traditions are a wonderful thing to have and instil great memories, but when they become counterproductive by inducing stress and tension in the family it’s time to let them go. We’ve had to work through this each year as we’ve never spent an entire Christmas on our own and so there is, of course, lots of compromise involved. We tend to see the traditions more as guidelines than rules. For example, giving christmas pajamas on Christmas eve is a favourite tradition of mine, but not one we’ve always been able to afford. So switch it up with Christmas socks or santa hats to keep the tradition going. Another example is the date and time of things. We’ve always traditionally put up our tree on the 12th, my brother’s birthday, but we tend to do it sometime in the week or as close to that date if we’re not available that day. We’ll still get a Christmas tree and Christmas will still happen even though the tree is up on a different day of the year.
5. Stick to a budget
This is usually the one that always gets thrown out the window as soon as we spot that amazing deal or the massive toy that would just blow our kids minds, but it’s what can cause the most stress about Christmas – overspending. There is no bleaker month than January with zero money.
I hope these tips help you stress less and enjoy this special time of year.
What are your best stress busting tips for Christmas??