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Yikes, with just one week to go, the festive season is officially upon us. Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, everything is all beautiful and twinkly, people are happy and jolly, and there is just an air of warmth and love – but it can sometimes be a little overwhelming and feel like one giant, stressful to-do list. As well as being a joyous time of eating, drinking and being merry, for many people the festive season can be one of the most stressful times of the year.
OK, maybe it's not that bad…. OK, maybe it is?
So if you're feeling a little swamped, fear not, let me offer up some handy tips, to help you survive the festive season.
With just a week to go, break down the 'one giant job' into lots of manageable little ones, and try to keep smiling!
If you haven’t already booked an online delivery, it’s probably too late. So put the date in the diary to do your Christmas food shop and stick to it. Note to self for next year: Book a delivery.
Are you cooking foods you're comfortable with? – now is not the time to learn new culinary showstoppers – That way, you will be able to enjoy the holidays too!
Make a list and a budget for what you still have to buy – then, you won’t be tempted to go overboard (easy to do when panic sets in). Don’t waste money; remember that Xmas is only one month away from your credit card bill arriving with the festive message 'page one of three’.
Buy a few extra presents – chocolates, champagne, candles in a pretty bag work well – so you'll always have a little something, for unexpected guests
Don't look at this as one giant job, as you'll only put it off. Try doing 20 minutes each evening instead.
Don’t try and please everyone – it’s near enough impossible. Remember that it's only another day – if you can’t visit everyone, then at least make plans to see people in the New Year.
Exhausted by going out? Invite friends round for early evening drinks (mulled wine and nibbles), in the lead up to the big day (works well, if you invite children, to have a Christmas film on in one room and do snacks for them, too – babysitters can be hard to find at this time of year!)
Christmas seems to be all about excess, and there’s no doubt that the holidays call for celebrating, indulging, and relaxing – but there’s not much enjoyment in feeling the size of a padded Santa suit or as stuffed as the festive turkey! The best advice is moderation – apply it to everything you eat and drink.
If you are drinking alcohol, alternate each drink with water, to make sure you keep hydrated and reduce the hangover. Try drinks such as vodka/gin, fizzy water, with fresh lime or lemon wedges and try to stick to the one drink, to minimise hangovers. Avoid the punch and alcopop drinks that are loaded with artificial junk, pointless calories, and too many preservatives.
While a little holiday decadence is a must, this time of year, there’s no reason to reverse your hard work and healthy habits, in a matter of a few days.
Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparations, start to relax, and enjoy the holiday. Work towards and try to stick to this goal, even if it’s in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Remember that Christmas is your holiday too.
A final word…
Christmas should be fun, but it’s not for everyone. So, if you find that previous years have not been enjoyable, consider doing something about it. Why not get away from it all and remove the hassle from the whole festive experience; although, we all know how stressful preparing for a holiday can be!
Happy (sane) holidays to all!
Got any extra tips? I'd love to hear them! Share in the comments below.