Christmas? stressful? No, what could possibly be stressful about a shopping list longer and three times as costly as a Burberry scarf, cooking a meal which incorporates a triple-figure total of separate dishes that have all been specially requested, whilst navigating a social diary that's had more December updates than all of Kim K's social media accounts combined.
No, I don't think Christmas is stressful at all. That's perspiration of joy you can see leaking from my forehead as we speak.
OK, so we all know that Christmas can be a little demanding on every resource that we have, and didn't even know we had. However, there are certain things you can do to give yourself the edge and boss it in the run up to Christmas.
While you give the impression of having superpowers, with the way you manage to juggle work, a social life and family commitments; you are in fact only human and everyone has a maximum capacity before the "engine light" starts coming on.
Be savvy when prioritising what needs doing in the run up to Christmas. For example, it's not the end of the world if the hoovering doesn't get done because you were focused on little Jimmy's costume for the Christmas play. Go easy on yourself and keep in mind that it's impossible to do it all, so prioritise the things that truly matter.
Order and send things in plenty of time
Online shopping and next day delivery has us feeling like postage is pretty instantaneous. Not in all cases, and certainly not in the run up to Christmas. Don't put yourself in the position of having made the effort to buy amazing gifts for people, only to miss the post and it not arrive in time. Be it little old fashioned in this department and ensure a sensible amount of time for parcels to reach their intended destinations.
Make a budget and stick to it
We all have a limit when it comes to our finances and it's best if we are honest and fair with how much we can afford. Nowadays, with credit cards and 'contactless', it's easy to become estranged from the reality of our accounts and bury our heads in the sand.
This only leads to increased hardship and stress down the line when you can no longer ignore what is happening. Make a budget and stick to it; your January self will thank you and it is still possible to enjoy Christmas without spending a small fortune, despite what the adverts want you to believe.
Be selective with the events you attend
Burnouts are a very real threat over the Christmas period, as we recklessly burn the candle at both ends in the name of festive fun. But that's really not what we want and in order to protect ourselves, we must learn the value of saying no to things.
Support local suppliers
Supporting local businesses embodies the true ethos of giving at Christmas, not to mention the fact you are almost certainly purchasing better quality produce than you would find in more corporate outlets.
Keep track of gift buying
We come back to good old list making again. This time for the presents you have sorted and the people you still need to buy for. It's very easy to keep topping up with presents and winding up with tons of stuff for one person and zilch for someone else. Keep gifts all in one place and be diligent with your list keeping in this department.
Remember, it's just one day
It is hard, but try to keep in perspective that it is only one day. And you and everyone's happiness does not ride on getting the stuffing out perfectly cooked in time for dinner. In fact, if you forget the stuffing all together, it really doesn't matter in the great scheme of things. It's one day of 365 and of course you want it to be special, but it's not worth making yourself sick with stress over. Relax and enjoy!
Make time for you (your sanity depends on it)
Some people actually feel a sense of guilt if they dare to enjoy a bit of time to themselves, when there's still things that need doing. The trouble is, especially for some women, the work is never done and therefore an opportunity to relax never comes. This is dangerous and detrimental to both physical and mental health; so make sure to look after yourself over Christmas and make time to properly relax.