10 Tips to Enjoying a Stress Free Christmas
Christmas should be a relaxing, fun and contemplative time celebrating the good news of the birth of a new king. Instead it usually becomes a couple of weeks filled with stress.
I invite you to step back and decide that this Christmas is going to be different.
Here are my top 10 tips on how to make your Christmas Stress Free:
Why do mums think we have to do it all?
I am slowly learning to delegate. The other day the men in my house went to the supermarket and did the weekly shopping for me! Delegation can be done.
2. Start Early
Don’t put off until the week before Christmas what you can do now.
Complete your Christmas shopping as early as you can. You will be pleased you did the closer you get to the big day.
The earlier you start the less traffic you encounter!
3. Don’t Overcommit Yourself
Mums are so busy – especially working mums.
Give yourself a break this year.
You don’t have to prove your baking or cooking skills to your in laws or friends.
Instead of offering to make that amazing trifle or cheesecake – go and buy it.
Instead of offering to peel 20 potatoes – go and buy a pack of pre frozen roast potatoes. You will arrive with a smile rather than in a grump.
4. Embrace the Present Game
About 5 or so years ago our extended family embraced the present game. Instead of buying individual presents for uncles, aunties, grandchildren and cousins – we introduced the Present Game. Everyone buys a present for $20 (in past years this was $10). Even the teenagers are involved.
It can be a funny joke present (a spork – google it) , chocolates (boring), something unusual, Subway voucher (very popular), cooking book – the list is endless.
On the big day-
- randomly allocate each person a number ( we put numbers in a hat and draw one out)
- move chairs into a circle with the wrapped presents on the floor in the middle
- seat people in their number order
- start with number 1 – that person goes and selects a present from the middle
- everyone watches them unwrap it – lots of ohs and ahs
- number 2 then can choose to “steal” number 1’s present OR choose one from the middle – unwraps it – ohs and ahs
- number 3 now can either choose to “steal” number 1 OR “steal number 2’s OR choose one from the middle – unwraps it – ohs and ahs
- BUT the rule is that a present can not be stolen for more than 3 times – after it’s 3rd time it is now safe with the person who just stole it.
- keep going until everyone has a present
This is an incredibly bonding game. It has been used very successfully with “new” people who have turned up for Christmas. Nothing beats having some fun and laughter.
5. Book in Me Time
Do your nails.
Have that haircut.
6. Escape the City
I highly recommend this – as long as you have somewhere to go that needs no organising or finances.
I have just come back from spending 48 hours with my parents who live in a small town 2 hours south from my city. Great food. Interesting conversation. Peaceful mountain outlook. No city traffic to battle. Smell of cows and pollen – not so good for hayfever sufferers though.
7. Be Still & Know that I am God
This reminder needs to be on every list for every season. Take time out regularly to remember the reason for the season.
8. Shop Online
I have saved so much time and money this year by shopping online. I decided to buy each person 1 -2 books each – all online. No queues. No traffic.
Take up walking this Christmas season. It reduces stress.
It burns off cortisol and adrenaline hormones and produces mood enhancing endorphins which lifts your mood.
It’s also great to reducing the risk of Christmas eating turning into fat!
10. Remember the People Over the Tasks
Christmas is about celebrating Jesus with your friends and family. Make sure this Christmas that they come before the tasks of Christmas – before present buying, food preparation, Christmas events and work.
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Fellow Travellers – How are you remaining stress free this Christmas?
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