December is often jam-packed with activities, shopping, entertaining and celebrating. While it’s a time of year that’s all about merriment, it can feel a little stressful if you’re underprepared. The trick, of course, is to prepare properly. But sometimes you need a helping hand.
That’s where we come in!
All you need are our 10 tips for stress-free Christmas preparation so you can enjoy the festive season to its full.
Ready, steady, let’s jingle all the way.
Set A Festive Season Budget
‘Tis the season to be jolly—and smart with your money! Feeling festive doesn’t have to cost a fortune, you just need to plan ahead to make sure you don’t overspend.
Before you hit the shops, sit down and draw up a budget. When that’s done, draw up a list. On your list include all the people you need to buy gifts for, decorations, food and anything else that you’ll need over the festive season. Then, stick to your list so you don’t end up overfilling your trolley.
Schedule Some ‘Me Time’
Christmas is a joyful time, and one of the ways to achieve this is by making some time for yourself. Don’t forget to factor in the things you love to do too. A few hours set aside for just you is a festive season treat everyone needs, and it’s good for your mental and physical health.
Book a massage, go for a walk or spend a few hours lazing about without any plans or time constraints. Whatever makes you feel recharged—do it!
Plan Holiday Dates
The festive season is all about being with the people you love and making special memories. But sometimes, you need to plan a bit in advance to ensure you really enjoy the time that you spend together, stress-free.
Make a list of everyone you need to prioritise for the holidays and book dates with them ahead of time. This way, everyone feels included, and you don’t miss out on seeing the ones you love. Be sure to share the load with catering too, you can always ask guests to bring a dish or drink along with them, and when you visit, you can do the same.
Have A Little (Lots!) Fun
Prepping for Christmas can be fun, even if you’re doing something simple like stuffing a turkey, wrapping mountains of gifts, or laying the table.
Love Christmas carols? Play them to your heart’s content on repeat. Want to put up your Christmas tree in November? Go for it. The same goes for dressing up, decorating your home in lights, and watching all the classic Christmas movies.
Do whatever takes the stress out of preparing for the holidays and brings back that magic you felt as a kid.
Enjoy The Simple Things
There can be so much happening over the festive season that you miss the joy and wonder of it all. You don’t need a gourmet dinner, a big fancy tree, or a stack of presents, especially if the preparation that goes into them leaves you feeling worn out.
Take a step back and simplify. Practice living in the moment and forget the rest for a bit.
Revel in the excitement of children, bright lights, and catching up with your favourite people.
Create New Traditions
The festive season is also about tradition, but there are no right or wrong ones. If you know there are some parts of Christmas that cause you stress, it’s time to change that.
You can make new traditions that you enjoy, from the way you open presents (one at a time with lots of oohing and aahing), to swapping out the traditional festive fare for food you really like and can cook with ease. Christmas nachos? Why not!?
Stock Up On Festive Food
Speaking of food, it’s always a good idea to stock your pantry with a few extra boxes of mince pies, a large Christmas cake and some extra chocolates. This way, you know that you have something to offer anyone popping in for a visit or for those impromptu festive season parties.
It’s also a good idea to stock up on Christmas tipple well in advance. In doing so, you won’t have to brave the shops at their busiest because you’ve run low on Santa’s favourite single malt.
Shop For Gifts In Advance
There’s nothing worse than a mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve when everyone’s clamouring for that last roll of gift wrap or sought-after kid’s toy. Start thinking about gifts in advance, and if you see something on sale that’s perfect for someone, buy it! Even if it’s only November.
Don’t stress about finding the perfect original and imaginative gift either. Universal favourites like gift cards are an excellent, easy choice that just about everyone loves.
Give Yourself A Gift
Don’t get so wrapped up in Christmas prep that you forget to give yourself a gift. It’s a great time of the year to treat yourself, so include your gift in your budget and make sure you put it on your list.
A hot stone massage, a facial, a new pair of shoes… whatever it is that you want, make sure that you play Santa for yourself too.
Make Giving Back A Priority
Christmas is a season of giving, and there is an opportunity for you to pay it forward this holiday. A shift in perspective is great for stress relief, and focusing on acts of kindness will give you a dopamine boost.
Perhaps you can donate a whole lot of items you no longer need or spend a bit of time providing a service that’s needed in the community. During the festive season, there are always campaigns and initiatives to get involved in, so find one that speaks to your heart.
Have Yourself a Merry Stress-Free Christmas
Having a stress-free Christmas really is quite simple. With a little bit of planning, you can make the preparation an enjoyable process that fuels that festive feeling.
Follow these tips for a holly jolly good time!
For this blog post, thank you to donnajefferson.com