It's all too easy to put pressure on yourself to have for the 'perfect Christmas'. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, decorating and even volunteering - the list is endless at this time of year.
As someone who tends to be a perfectionist in every task I set out to do, even I struggle with the idea of letting go and cutting back but with five little kiddies to think about now, something's gotta give. This year say screw you to the idealised media expectation of a perfect Christmas by implementing some of these simple tips and tricks for a pressure-free festive season.
Learn to say no.
While everyone is saying "Ho, ho, ho," it's time to say "No, no, no." You don't have to attend every family gathering that you're invited to over Christmas and New Years. Prioritize your wants and needs and leave the rest by simply saying no.
Make a list and check it twice.
As the build-up to Christmas starts to ramp up, manage your time by making a list of everything you need to do and buy. Include everything from gifts, social occasions and get-togethers that you have planned over the holidays. This way you will be able to stay on top of things and chances are you won't forget anything.
Wrap as you go.
Don't leave everything to silly o'clock on Christmas Eve. As you pick up gifts for the family wrap them as you go and leave some time to actually sit and enjoy a brew or beer before the big man arrives. In fact, cut out the wrapping completely by investing in reusable Santa sacks. It's much more environmentally friendly too.
Ask for help.
If it's your turn to host Christmas dinner don't be afraid to ask for help. Help keep the day stress-free by assigning dishes to everyone. For example, let someone else look after the starters while another does dessert, it will free up your time in the kitchen allowing you more time to enjoy the day.
Don't shop till you drop.
Christmas is the most expensive time of years and well, it can be very stressful trying to keep up with all the wants and needs. Consider Kris Kringle with friends and family, make homemade gifts for teachers and group together your common gifts for your mum or dad if at all possible.
Less is more.
Keep it simple when it comes to decorating and gift-giving. Too many decorations can make a house less clean and cluttered meaning you will naturally feel claustrophobic in your own home. As for gifts, it's about presence not presents.
Make time for you.
It's not the season of pleasing, make sure you make time for you. Give yourself a break over the holidays by taking an invigorating walk, an afternoon off or by just doing nothing. This Christmas get snug on the sofa, with the curtains closed watching festive flicks back to back with or without the kids. The key to having a stress-free Christmas is looking after yourself, too.
What are your top tips for a pressure-free Christmas?