Family

Your guide to a stress-free Christmas

What’s meant to be the most wonderful time of the year can often be very stressful - here’s how to simplify your Christmas.

Christmas is supposed to be fun and rewarding, a chance for the whole family to get together, and a reminder of what’s really important in life. Yet, all too often, it turns out to be a week-long rollercoaster of stress.

Here’s how to apply the brakes and have a good time.

Delegate

Delegate tasks like cooking, cleaning up, decorations, transport. You don’t have to do it all yourself. After all, Christmas is for the whole family, so get the whole family to do the work.

Design your Christmas to suit you.

Know ahead of time what you want to do for whom and how much. It really is the thought that counts.

You don’t have to do something just because you’ve always done it. Most of us no longer risk writer’s cramp sending Christmas cards to a list of thousands. Try the 30-minute rule: if it takes longer than 30 minutes, don’t do it.

Plan

Deliberate and plan Christmas well in advance, but remember to expect the unexpected: the long-lost relative who turns up in town, the old friend you bump into who hasn’t got anyone to spend the day with.

Lists, lists and more lists are the key.

Stick to a budget

Decide on a budget and stick to it. Your loved ones don’t want you running up credit card debt and they’ll appreciate the permission your being sensible gives them to do the same.

Bring all your family groups together

Demands on your time are a Christmas reality. There are a lot of blended families around these days, which can double or even triple the number of ‘compulsory’ visits to be made on December 25.

Talk with your partner, your ex, the grandparents and anyone else who’s involved well ahead of time and come to a compromise about who will be where, when. ‘Christmas’ can mean December 24 or 26, too.

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