Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends. A time of togetherness, of kindness and yes, presents, copious amounts of chocolate and enough food to feed a small country.

It’s a busy time of year with lots to do, but in spite of the sentiment above, all the work usually falls onto one particular person. Now I’m not going to get into a discussion about who that person is – but you know who it is 😉

Whether that person is you, or a family member or friend, or anyone else you know, how about making the season a little less hard work, a little less stressful and a little more relaxing and joyful.

 Here are my top 7 tips on how to have a more relaxing, stress-less and more enjoyable Christmas…

  1. Make a cup of tea, sit down and make a list of everything you need to do. Make sure include the ‘hidden’ work like going shopping, writing cards, wrapping presents as well as the usual things
  2. With another cup of tea, go through that list and cross off everything that is not actually necessary (I mean, do you really need to be stuffing your own olives???)
  3. Now take what’s left and work out what shortcuts/advance prep can be done. Let go of some of your beliefs around what you‘should’ be doing. We all love the idea of a Dickensian Christmas but let’s be honest, we’re busy and we don’t have the time to be making and creating lots of stuff.
  4. Now, what can you delegate? Does it have to be you who wraps the two million stocking fillers? What about getting your groceries delivered instead of struggling around the supermarket fighting for the last pack of pigs in blankets (Tip – book your delivery slot now as they will disappear quicker than that chocolate stocking!) Who can bring food or drink for your meal? Who can stick the stamps on envelopes? Who can lay the table, clear up the wrapping paper after the manic Present Opening Session? Get the family involved (ignore the grumps, the sulks and the whingeing)
  5. Put everything in a diary or notebook so you know what needs to happen and when, and who’s doing what so you don’t do double-duty. Tip – make sure you put some time at least three times a week where you can just chill out (even for 10 mins)
  6. On the day stop making sure everyone else is OK and don’t take all the responsibility yourself. Give out jobs so you’re not running around like a headless chicken. Make sure all ages get age-appropriate jobs to do. See my ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ guide
  7. And probably the most important – let go of the idea of a ‘perfect Christmas’. It only exists in film and on cards. Make your Christmas unique, have your own traditions and for the love of all things Christmassy – ENJOY YOURSELF

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