Tips for a Happy Christmas
Tips for a Happy Christmas
Christmas is meant to be enjoyed but it can sometimes feel less of a happy Christmas and more of a chore.
If you’re feeling the strain, take a step back and re-assess things.
Here are some ideas that might help.
1. Delegate Tasks to Others
If you are the one in your family who ends up doing everything for everybody at Christmas, then look at who can help. Are the kids old enough to be able to write the Christmas cards for you? Not only save you a job but a nice touch for the recipients. Will your partner take responsibility for the pre-Christmas clean of the house, or putting up the decorations/wrapping?
2. Money - Don't Overspend
If money is tight, the first thing is to decide on your budget and stick to it. This will bring not only a happy Christmas but a much happier New Year if you didn’t overspend.
Look at everything that you need and add it all up. Re-arrange the list in order of priority and see if there’s anything that you can leave out. Do you need to send a card to every single person at work? Would it be cheaper (and less time consuming) to bake some cakes and announce that this is your gift instead of cards? Do you have a lot of presents for friends or grown-up relatives to buy? Is there the possibility of saying “Let’s just do cards this year” or “Let’s get everyone together for a drink in January instead of doing presents”. You may well find that they’ll appreciate it as it obviously means one less job for them to do and it also saves them money.
3. Manage and Plan Your Time
If time is what you’re short of and not money, again, suggest an alternative to cards and presents such as invite them to a dinner party in January instead.
If you have a long list of presents for friends, this will certainly take the pressure off of you in December.
Instead of cards, do a round robin either by text or email wishing everyone a happy Christmas, saying that you are donating £X to X charity rather than sending cards this year. Not only you, but the environment and the charity will also benefit from this gesture. Not very personal I know but needs must!
4. How to Deal With Relatives
If you have relatives that you have to see but who really do cause you a lot of stress on the day, is there the option of shortening the time that you spend alone with them?
If you are hosting, maybe you could have a later lunch than usual and have a few other people join you for morning drinks.
If that’s not practical, whether you’re hosting or visiting, maybe you can spend some time at the bandstand and sing some carols, or whatever the equivalent is where you live. You will be surrounded by lots of other happy people which may make things a bit lighter. Hopefully this will be less intense and enable you to enjoy the day more.
You never know – the relatives may feel the same as you do and be pleased for the distraction for part of the day.
Have you got lots of parties, meals and drinks do’s to attend this month? Lucky you!!
By the middle of the month, having been out nearly every night, you may not be feeling so lucky.
If you are attending any do’s out of duty, will it really matter if you’re not there? Will they really miss you? If not and you don’t want to go, make your excuses and give it a miss.
If scaling down your social events in December will give you more time to get everything else under control and will help you to feel more relaxed and happy, then it might be worth seeing what you can do.
I’m not suggesting that you back out of a dinner party that you’ve promised to attend, but if there is an event where your absence won’t affect the evening for everyone else and you don’t really want to go, it might be worth taking a look.
These events are always more enjoyable when we are feeling fresh and looking forward to it rather than completely worn out and wishing we could stay home. To select the events that you favour might be a good idea.
The list is my favourite in stress busting tools. If everything is on a list and prioritised, it doesn’t have to sit in your head. It’s hard work trying to remember everything that has to be done and in what order. If the list is so long that it has the effect of scaring, rather than calming you, then do it in sections.
Item 1: Cards
Prioritise people I don’t see very often
Item 2: Presents
Write list Buy presents Wrap presents
Item 3: Decorations
Get them down from loft Decide what will go in each room and distribute
The reason for the prioritisation on the cards is so that if you get half way through and decide that you’ve had enough, the important cards are done. I’m sure your neighbour, who you see everyday, would understand if you didn’t get time to write them a card.
As you work through your list you can cross the items off which will let you see how you are doing and hopefully inspire you to keep on top of things.
7. Enjoy yourself!
Whether you are responsible for just buying a couple of presents and then being available to serve drinks on Christmas day or whether the whole shooting match is down to you, it can seem a burden.
The key here is to put it in perspective.
So what if you forget the cranberry sauce? It’s shame but not the end of the world.
So what if the decorations are the same as last year? Will anyone but you really notice?
So what if Christmas lunch is an hour late because you forgot to put something in the oven?
Does any of the stuff that we get het-up about really matter?
It’s great when everything gets done and goes right but so what if it doesn’t? It really doesn’t matter and the chances are that you will be the only one to notice anyway.
Have a fantastic Christmas and don’t worry!
If you are still feeling stressed and need some support then do get in touch. I’ll be happy to have a free chat, and let you know how I can help.
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by Jessica Hylands Confidence Coach