December might be the busiest and the craziest time of the year, especially considering the amount of holiday preparation that has to be done and the money that is normally spent on Christmas. These tips will help you not to let the holidays turn into a stressful job and enjoy the festivities with the people you love.
When the most wonderful time of the year hits you with a load of additional responsibilities, shopping chores, family duties, and holiday preparations, it’s not too difficult to fall out of the festive spirit and get quite stressed and overwhelmed with everything you need to do and survive this Christmas season.
If you feel like you’re drowning in the doubtful Christmas joys and it seems that you’re being torn apart by Christmas shopping, making sure to include everyone on your gift shopping list, sending a pile of cards no one ever reads, but gets quite upset with you when doesn’t receive one from you, being broke after all the purchases, decorating your space, attending numerous parties, cooking and cleaning for the one you’re about to host, use these tips to survive this holiday and actually manage to enjoy it.
Tips for a stress-free Christmas
- Don’t set your expectations too high. Things rarely go to plan, and they never do when it comes to organizing a huge Christmas party for all. Try to be less of a perfectionist and make your holiday preparation more manageable by splitting the tasks among people who’re more than glad to help and concentrating on what’s most important.
- There’s nothing that may ruin your holiday as bad as being stuck in the middle of nowhere on the Christmas Eve/Day. Thus, if you’re going to spend this Christmas at your family member’s house, make sure to bring your vehicle to a quick check at the auto repair’s before you embark on a long road trip to prevent unexpected breakdowns caused by hidden flaws or maintenance issues you slacked on. Avoid traveling hassle by packing beforehand and leaving your house a day-two early not to get into the terrible traffic.
- Don’t be all over the place. Once you promise too much, you get too stressed about making sure that you’re actually able to stick to your words. Thus, plan the moths thoroughly and promise to attend only the parties and activities you really have time on (but not need to find the time for).
- Do a good share of your gift shopping online and never go beyond your budget. That will save you a lot of time and energy, as well as money, as you’ll be able to compare prices and find the best deals without running around numerous stores and trying to find a parking place in front of those busy malls scoring their year-worth revenue. Pour a glass of wine or brew a delicious cup of coffee, grab a few snacks and shop for the people you love without leaving the house and giving in to the Christmas shopping anxiety.
- Have fun. While making sure that everyone enjoys Christmas and receives everything they wished for, it’s quite easy to let the holiday go by unnoticed and forget to enjoy the moment and feel the spirit of the grand festivities. Make even routine chores projects like decorating the house, going grocery shopping for Christmas Eve dinner or watching a Christmas movie with your kids just a little bit extra special.
- Make Christmas shopping a lot easier by purchasing not material things, but experiences for the whole family or a group of friends. Tickets to a show you’ll always remember or a day at the spa you may spend together will be much greater gifts than another ugly sweater, gift card or kitchen appliance everyone receives every single year.
- Gift cards aren’t that bad. Actually, they make great travel-proof gifts and gorgeous presents for people you don’t really know too well. So, stop stressing about spending too much money on sending Christmas presents to your parents or choosing gifts for your co-workers and stock on gift cards. Just don’t forget to make them a little bit more personal with the help of a unique Christmas card or a tiny addition to the main present (for instance, you may tie a cute ornament to it).
- Save time on wrapping and assembling. That’s just too much to handle. Wrap the presents at the store right after you buy them and ask the service people to assemble those ridiculous kids toys or furnishing pieces not to add another point to your to-do list.
- Don’t be ashamed to ask for assistance. Christmas is for sharing, that’s why everyone should take part in pre-holiday preparations. Ask your family members to take an active part in signing and sending cards, cleaning the house, preparing guest bedrooms or cooking Christmas dinner and let your guests help you set the table and clean up after dinner and gift opening.
- Eliminate the major source of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day stress – food prepping – by ordering most of the dishes from the local caterers from HireRush.com and cooking only the main courses that are meant to be served extremely fresh and straight from the oven at home. In addition to that, stick to the recipes you know you may rely on not to end up with a failed experiment of a Christmas turkey or a burnt pie you’ve never cooked before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elena Sheplyakova, an independent writer, blogger for HireRush.com, concentrates her attention on small business issues, online marketing, home improvement and organization, healthy foods, family living, useful life hacks and beauty tips.