Wednesday, 11 November 2015

How to Do Christmas Without the Stress | Lifestyle

I love Christmas and enjoy it every year, but that doesn't mean I don't get stressed out. There's a lot to do, from buying gifts to preparing food, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by everything. Not to mention that there can both other issues to deal with, from family to travel restrictions. By now, I have a few strategies for making sure everything doesn't get to be too much. I can make sure that Christmas is fun and not too much hard work by getting organised long before Christmas Day arrives. Here are some of the techniques I use to keep everything under control.

Do Your Christmas Shopping in Advance
Only the most disorganised people are foolish enough to buy presents at the last minute. There's no excuse for it when it's so easy to get everything done in advance. You don't even need to go to the shops. You can sit at home and do all your shopping online, even while you're busy doing something else at the same time. If you hate picking out gifts, tackle it all in one evening. There are lots of ideas out there to inspire you, from giving Scotch as a gift to toys, gadgets and home accessories. Once you've done it all, you don't have to worry about it anymore. For extra convenience, get them wrapped by a wrapping service.

Simplify the Menu
Do you always end up spending half of Christmas Day slaving away in the kitchen? I refuse to spend the whole day cooking when I should be with my family. The key to a successful but easy Christmas dinner is to keep it simple. Firstly, think of all the things that no one really eats and don't bother with them. Then consider anything you can do shop-bought instead of homemade. You might want to make turkey and roast potatoes yourself, but do you need to bake your own mince pies? Buying prepared things can help too, such as chopped carrots and other veggies.

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(image credit John Stratford)

Cut Back on Decorations
Going all-out on decorations can be fun, but it can also add extra stress. The decorating part is often a fun-filled evening, but you don't have to go overboard. Too many decorations mean having always to check up on everything. You'll be re-pinning falling tinsel, switching lights on and off and lighting and extinguishing candles all the time. Plus, you'll have to spend time putting everything away once Christmas is over too. And while a real tree is beautiful, it means you'll be sweeping up pine needles all the time. Consider going for an artificial tree this year.

Don't Do It Alone
Remember that you're not on your own. You aren't the only person in your house, so make sure everyone else is pulling their weight. Get them to do their bit in the kitchen, help to wash the dishes or collect wrapping paper. You shouldn't have to organise Christmas single-handedly, so get everyone else to join in too.

Christmas doesn't have to be stressful. Follow my tips to make it a joyous occasion without the stress.

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