It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Or at least that’s what the ads we see and hear all around us are saying. You’ve surely noticed them yourself — they start running on TV and the radio and popping up on YouTube and other social networks when Christmas is still more than a month away.
According to these ads, Christmas is a magical time of year when we spend our days with our loved ones, gathering around the tree, unwrapping gifts, having a big mug of hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows, and not changing out of our pyjamas for a whole week. Ideally, we would also have a fireplace lit in the background to complete the fairytale atmosphere.
However, if you live in the real world with the rest of us, you are more likely to get anxiety from these ads than a sense of relaxation. While Christmas might be a magical time, experiencing it that way is often hard because of all the extra life admin this holiday brings. Does this sound more relatable than wearing PJs for an entire week?
Now, before you allow anxiety to take over completely while thinking of all the tasks you need to do in preparation for Christmas, let us give you some good news. Those fairytale scenarios from the ads? They can be real. You can do all the Christmas prep and enjoy the holiday. All you need to do is be smart about it — here are some tried and tested tips.
Buy Christmas Presents
To keep stress at bay when buying Christmas gifts, do what Santa does — make a list and check it twice. And set a budget because, unlike Santa, you don’t have a bunch of magic elves making toys out of thin air for you.
Not everyone you know needs to receive a present. And not all presents you give need to be expensive. While your kids will find their favourite toys under the tree, your next-door neighbours will be happy with a “Seasons Greetings” card.
If you don’t like malls and big shopping centres, there are a few alternatives for Christmas presents this year that are guaranteed to be less stressful:
- Christmas fairs happen throughout November and December, and they are a great way to support local businesses. You can buy the smaller gifts here, such as Christmas decorations, scented candles, or artisanal sweets.
- Online shopping is the best alternative if you don’t want to deal with the crowds of shoppers — just make sure you take delivery times into consideration.
- Gift vouchers are the easiest option of them all — they take all the guesswork out of gift buying and save you time.
Organise The Christmas Party
Hosting the Christmas party requires a bit of preparation but we promise it will be a success as long as you keep calm and remember why you’re doing this — it’s not to give yourself a headache, it’s to help your friends or your family get together to celebrate.
Start by making a list of everyone you plan on inviting and stick to people you actually enjoy spending time with. Then, as you send out invitations, make sure they all know when they are expected to RSVP. Don’t accept late replies — your time is valuable.
Make Food for the Holidays
You will probably be tempted to worry about this more than you have to so there are two things you should keep in mind. The first is that leftovers from Christmas dinner make a lovely breakfast the next day. No need to plan five course meals over the holidays — it might be the second day of Christmas but it’s also just a normal day.
The second is that supermarkets will be open. The world doesn’t stop spinning just because it’s Christmas — the shelves might not be as full as they were a few weeks ago but you will still find plenty of food should you need it. And guess what? Restaurants will also be open. There are no rules against takeaway on Christmas week.
Get Into the Christmas Spirit
This should be at the top of your to-do list. Before you dive into Christmas related tasks, take a minute to ask yourself what it is that you love about Christmas. Decorating the tree? Going out to see all the lights on the streets? Building a snowman? Regardless of the answer, make sure to put it on the list.
And if you need help organising your Christmas tasks, why not use Lifefyle? You can download it to your phone for free and use it’s tasks and calendar features to help you stay on top of things. Happy Holidays!