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Stressing About Christmas Already? Here's Our Top Tips to Help You Plan and Prepare!

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Stressing About Christmas Already? Here's Our Top Tips to Help You Plan and Prepare!

How was Christmas for you as a kid? For most young people, Christmas is a time to enjoy two weeks off school, presents, family time, fun, chocolate, staying up late and fizzy drinks. For a kid it’s not a stressful time, full of scribbled notes, planning, panic shopping or worrying about where to sleep everybody.

At some point in adulthood, Christmas becomes stressful. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re even hosting or not. If you’re not hosting, deciding whose offer of Christmas lunch to take up (or decline), what to buy and wondering how many mince pies is too many mince pies is stressful enough. 

But if you’re hosting the big day, you may find yourself loaded with a whole heap of added stress. Here are our tips on making your festive break a faff free one.

  1. Write lists and then write more! Keep your food related list separate from everything else. On your food list, separate it out into drinks, snacks, kids’ food and the main event. To be even more in control, separate out the main event into meat, veggie/vegan options if necessary, vegetables and extras such as Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankest, sauces etc. Then have separate lists for presents, stocking fillers and table gifts if you’re having them and another for what needs to be done, such as food timings, borrowing spare dining chairs, getting the oven cleaned, decorating the tree etc etc etc.
  2. Use your imagination – to help you build your lists, sit down and allow yourself a quiet half hour to think your way through Christmas. Imagine everything from when guests arrive where they’ll be sleeping to when you’ll start cooking (preferably before the bubbly kicks in), who’s sitting where, who will do the washing up and how you’ll be getting about to visit other people etc. Write down each stage and make a note of all the things that need to be done.
  3. Get the gift buying done early – buying all your gifts and getting them wrapped by early December might not be your style, but it’ll be a relief once all the other planning needs to start kicking in.
  4. Let everyone know the plan beforehand – by this, we mean setting expectations, not that everyone has to be seated for dinner at 3pm on the dot, ready to toast the Queen. Notify the designated washer upper and tell everyone what’s for dinner, what they need to bring, where they’ll be sleeping and what time you’re clocking off! (Someone else can make the evening turkey sandwiches.)
  5. Let go of perfectionism – this is the most important. The best laid plans, lists and expectation management can all always go wrong. And if they do, it’s not because you’re a failure, it’s because sometimes, things just aren’t meant to go to plan. The less you worry about things being perfect, the less impact it will have on you if they’re not. Simply pour yourself a mulled wine and let things be.

Happy Christmas! We hope it’s a stress-free one. And as for that mince pie question, well, that one’s up to you…

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