Christmas shopping and its associated costs, family gatherings, social engagements, food and alcohol – can all put strain on you – sometimes making you wish you hadn’t bothered.
So what can you do to survive the season and come out the other end actually feeling you have had a break, rather than feeling in desperate need of one? We have compiled 10 top tips to ensure you get the most out of the festive season and make it through relatively unscathed…
1. Plan ahead
Too many people spend weeks worrying about getting the shopping done – it’s far easier to do it when you first start thinking about it. Start stocking up with the supplies as soon as possible – try getting a few items over the remaining weeks leading up to Christmas along with your regular shopping. As for presents, a great tip is to have an emergency supply, just a few small gifts to save you from embarrassment in the event of someone arriving unexpectedly with a prezzie for you.
2. Don’t embarrass yourself at the work Christmas ‘do’
Our partying generally starts with the work’s Christmas do. Of course, it is the time to let your hair down – but not at any cost! All too often people go a bit too far and then live to regret it. If you don’t care what an idiot you make of yourself, then go ahead, just make sure you are not causing a nuisance to anybody else. However, if you’re the type who is going spend the next six months red faced after kissing the office nerd, then just remember to take things easy.
3. Don’t over-inflate your expectations
Don’t expect to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas as it’s near likely to fall short of your expectations. The most important thing is for you and your family to have fun. That does not mean landing yourself in debt for the next 12 months by buying expensive gifts – just spending a bit of time together can be the best present. Remember, if something does not go quite to plan, it really is not the end of the world.
4. Don’t try and do everything
If you are responsible for cooking and hosting the Christmas Day activities, then don’t take it all upon yourself. Why not ask other family members to bring different parts of the meal, such as snacks, salads or desserts – don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could even rope in the kids to help out. Make sure you have some time for YOU, even if it’s just allowing yourself to watch one special TV show that you really want to see.