How To Ensure Christmas Doesn’t Get You Down

For most people, Christmas is a part of the year where we look forward to spending time with family and friends, enjoying sharing presents and taking time away from work to chill out, relax and just have fun.

However, financial constraints, family conflict, job loss or even loneliness can take the joy out of Christmas and for many it turns out to be an event that they come to dread.

So, what can you do to look forward to the festive season, with joy in your heart and with the intention of making it stress free? Here are a list of suggestions you may wish to consider:

  • Make a list, stick to it and budget accordingly – don’t think you have to buy every single person you know a present. If you are short of cash then consider making your gifts rather than buying them.
  • Buy online and avoid the large, busy shopping malls.
  • Don’t think you have to break the bank or put yourself under undue stress believing you have to spend a certain amount on each person. Despite what some people may think, it’s the thought that counts and when you choose to give a gift, it makes no difference what price tag it has on it – it’s the thought that has gone into buying or making it that genuinely matters.
  • Decide who you want to spend time with and don’t think you have to put up with a cantankerous Aunt or Mother-in-law for the sake of gaining others’ approval. Instead, if you must spend time with irritating folks, decide how much time you wish to spend with them and stick to it!
  • If you feel you may be alone on Christmas day, and don’t want to be, then consider sharing it with a friendly neighbour, close friend you may not have seen for a while or just take time out to plan how you would like to spend the day yourself. There may be other people in your community who are faced with a similar prospect, so find out where you can get involved and make a difference in the form of some kind of volunteering, for example.
  • Take time out for yourself and get others to help with the shopping, housework or any other chores you feel must have priority before the eventful day.
  • Let your husband / partner and children put up the Christmas tree whilst you are getting on with other things.
  • Get your husband / partner and children to help with the gift wrapping and make your own gift tags out of old Christmas cards.
  • Prepare Christmas dinner the night before. Peeling and chopping vegetables and stuffing the bird and encasing it in foil ready to go into the oven first thing in the morning – or even cooking your meat the night before – can be great ways to save time (and therefore reduce stress).
  • If you are cooking the Christmas dinner yourself, then get the rest of the family to lay the table, serve the drinks and / or wash the dishes afterwards!
  • Give yourself a day off. For many, preparing and cooking the Christmas lunch is enjoyable as it is a sign of love that you want to make such a big effort for all the family. However, make sure you have a day off soon afterwards so that you can re-charge your batteries and avoid exhaustion.

Whatever you choose to do in order to make Christmas less stressful, just enjoy being yourself and make it fun, rather than anticipating it could turn out to be a complete disaster!

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