Deep down, you know you're dreading the festive season as much as looking forward to it.
The stress to create and pay for the perfect Christmas overwhelms you as surely as your impossible yuletide to-do list.
Coping with the pressures of crass Christmas commercialism and hype leaves you as frazzled as an over-cooked turkey.
It's another Christmas you secretly wish you could miss. Another one you'll remember for all the wrong reasons.
5 festive tips for a stress-free Christmas.
- Start a new tradition by making one resolution right now: resolve that this Christmas is going to be different, way less stressful and way more enjoyable.
- Instead of dreading opening your January credit card statement, stop being some marketeer's Christmas cash cow and agree a price limit for presents among your family.
- Decide what's ideal for you and your family this Christmas not what you're fed by TV commercials or glossy magazines.
- Get together with potentially stressful guests just before or after the holidays. Christmas may be a time for getting together, but sometimes it's better to stay apart.
- Break with tradition at this most traditional of times by bringing one resolution forward: resolve to make this Yuletide one you would love to repeat, year on year.
The reality is, you can't live up to the ridiculous ideal of 'the perfect Christmas', because such a thing doesn't exist.
- Instead simplify and grab that crazy Christmas to-do list that's overwhelming you and trim off any fat to make it YOUR Christmas.
- Then rather than dashing through your remaining tasks, have fun seeing where you can find a simpler alternative…
- Rethink any complicated or hard to find gifts.
- Swap elaborate meal plans for a simpler, less expensive but equally tasty version. Ask each guest to bring a contribution.
- Pare down any over ambitious planned entertainments and allow time for contingencies.
- Be strategic with your decorations. Instead of them being the envy of your neighbors, your stress-free household could be the talk of the street.
Doing less will give you more this Christmas "“ less stress and more memories you'll remember for all the right reasons.
Forget all your previous Christmases, focus on the one you have yet to unwrap. Every festive season brings the gift of creating a new memory "“ and a better one.
- One where you spend more time chilling out than burning out.
- One where you cry until it hurts, but with laughter.
- One where you make everyone's year by hosting the most relaxing Christmas they've ever known.
Forget about the "˜perfect Christmas', you don't live in a movie or a fairy tale. Delight in writing your own wonderful seasonal screenplay.
What better time to put every old argument and dispute to bed than the season of good will. Do it for you, for them, for the blissful serenity being at peace brings.
- Forgive your partner for all their forgotten gifts or unhelpful remarks.
- Forgive your family for all their quarrelsome quirks and unthinking actions.
- Forgive your neighbor for their opposite opinions and impossible habits.
- And most importantly, forgive yourself. Make peace with yourself for all that you've done and not done, for all that you've said and not said, for all that you've tried and failed.
Ease towards the new year without the burden of acrimony or animosity. Start afresh and give yourself the gift of forgiveness.
Christmas is your holiday as much as everyone else's. Don't wait until it's over and all the tidying up has been done to enjoy it.
- Enjoy the varied company who have chosen to spend such a special day with you.
- Enjoy all the wonderful food and drink you consume. Be grateful that it's there and that you can indulge once a year.
- Enjoy the magical spirit of Christmas unfolding around you.
Give your friends and family the greatest festive gift "“ a relaxed and happy Christmas you can all enjoy.
Celebrate a stress-free holiday this year.
Swap the nightmare of a stressed-out Christmas for the dream of a stress-free festive season.
Stop dreading the guests, the shopping, the bills, the hype and imagine wishing instead Christmas could come round twelve times a year.
See yourself skating through the holidays, calm, relaxed, but excited.
Treat yourself and your family to a stress-free Christmas to remember- and make some festive memories to keep forever.