Your Christmas Survival Guide

Let go of the pressure 

Many of us face an overwhelming number of demands during the festive period, with parties to attend, friends to meet up with, shopping to do, family to see and children to entertain – and that’s all before Christmas Day has even arrived. If you find yourself in a fluster, it’s worth remembering that you’re under no obligation to do everything. Sure, presents need to be bought. And yes, friends and family have to be seen.

But neither have to be done all at once, or even squeezed into the last week or two before the big day. Start early and schedule a few shopping trips in November, try your hand at late night shopping in December to avoid the crowds, and keep a diary to remind you of the social gatherings you actually want to go to, with friends you actually want to see. Focus on the things you really want to do – be ruthless!

Embrace the madness

Mountains of presents to wrap? An entire house to decorate? Tons of people to cook for? We know the feeling. Sadly, many people will try their hardest to resist the chaos, living from list to list and shopping trip to shopping trip, often resulting in them feeling ten times more stressed and missing out on all the good stuff the Christmas season has to offer. Our advice is simple: try to remain organised, but don’t forget to embrace a little of the festive madness now and again. No time to dress the tree? Let the kids take control and create their own masterpiece.

Can’t find the motivation to go food shopping? Hit the shops when the aisles are crammed (adrenaline will lead the way) and bring along your most organised friend for support. You’ll end up laughing about it in no time and having heaps more fun as a result.

Invest in some me-time

One of the many great things about Christmas is the fact that you’re supposed to kick-back and relax (who knew?). Should you be lucky enough to get a couple of days – or even weeks – off work, take advantage of this time by scheduling in a bit of R&R. Book yourself in for a Christmassy spa day, curl up on your own with a festive film and glass of wine, or set a Sunday aside for lunch and a long, relaxing walk.

Spending quality time with your loved ones, as well as stealing any quiet moments you may get for yourself, will not only lift your spirits, but really make you feel like you’ve spent your precious time off wisely.

Find your inner-child

There’s nothing quite like seeing a child enjoy Christmas. From the minute they arrive bouncing on your bed in the morning, asking if Santa’s been, to the minute they crash out in a sugar-induced coma at night, they really treat the day full-on.

It’s heartwarming to see and so many of us could do with taking a leaf out of the little peoples’ books. Our tip is to try and enjoy the day moment-by-moment: write your own letter to Santa with the kids, allow yourself to be caught up in the excitement of opening presents, blast cheesy Christmas songs from your kitchen and wear your paper hat with pride around the table.

Stick to your guns

People become sentimental at Christmas. How many times have you heard friends and family say things like “just make amends and move on, it’s Christmas”, or “Christmas is the time to forgive”? It’s all good advice in theory, but if you’re not ready to let go of old hurt, then don’t.

It can take more than fairy lights and tinsel to erase relationship woes and family struggles, so don’t succumb to the pressure of feeling that all has to be forgiven and forgotten, just because it’s Christmas. If you’re feeling far from warm and fuzzy inside when it comes to certain relationships, just surround yourself with those who truly matter.