It’s true what they say, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It can also be the most stressful. Even though I love Christmas more than chocolate covered pretzels (ie, a whole lot,) I still find my nerve endings a little frayed during the festive frenzy. This year, I’ve come up with 5 ways to stay smiling and enjoy a cool yule.
1. It’s OK to say No!
This is a real biggie for me as I have a fear of “missing out” on fun stuff and want to sign up for all the things. This year, I shall try to go for the quality of my Christmas jollies rather than quantity. Burning one’s Christmas candle at both ends, isn’t a good look and it’s not a good feeling either. I loved my counsellor’s idea of crossing out days/hours in your diary to be sure you don’t get led into temptation and make plans when you should be enjoying some down time.
2. There’s Life After Christmas
This kind of leads on from saying no. We are not going to spontaneously combust on December 25. Don’t you think, all this “oh, we must catch up before Christmas” lark is a bit overrated? Because guess what! We can still catch up after the holidays. Now there’s a novel idea! January can be a bit of an anti-climax after the silly season with it’s lull in social commitments, a drop in morale and a return to routine, so it’s nice to have some fun to look forward to.
3. Gift From the Heart
These days we only buy presents for small people (as in kids, not those vertically challenged,) which makes Christmas a whole lot easier. Our friends and I have decided rather than spend money on presents, we’ll spend some quality time together over dinner and/or drinks. You can’t put a price on friendship, y’know! I’m also going to try and be a bit more environmentally and credit card friendly this year, and make, or should I say bake my own gifts. It takes a little more time and effort, but it’s so great to give something from the heart. If you have kids, let them pitch in. The more the merrier! I’m also a a big fan of the charity gift. In Australia, there’s the Kmart Wishing Tree, the Unicef Programme for Change, where you can make a gift that counts from the comfort of your very own computer. That’s a win win for me! If you’re in Australia, you can get in on the Christmas act and send Christmas gifts for free to troops serving overseas. I wrote about how my parcel is on it’s way to one of the 2900 Aussie troops deployed overseas this Christmas here.
4. Stay Healthy
In the old days, I could easily consume a year’s worth of calories over yuletide and would spend the next year on the treadmill trying to work them off. It took me many years to work out (excuse the pun, ) it’s good to eat, drink and be merry, but in moderation. These days at our place, we have a super special dinner on Christmas Day, get a few treats to eat, and the rest of the time it’s kitchen business as usual which saves time, money and calories! If you have a good diet and exercise routine, you might want to ease up over the holidays, but don’t throw in the towel altogether. It’s hard to get back on the wagon! Exercise before excess!
5. Recruit Elves
Christmas can be an outrageously busy time of year for most people and it can involve a lot of juggling of time, energy and resources. So be a smarty and enjoy the party – delegate. so that you don’t have to do it all. Remember “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” If you are surrounded by reluctant elves, who don’t offer to help, why don’t you ask? After all Christmas is a time to share; food, gifts, love and the hard yakka!
I’m going to try to practise what I preach and have a stress-free, fun-filled Christmas. How do you stay sane over the silly season? Is there anything you can add to the list? Please share in the comments below!