In theory Christmas is a time that is filled with joy and celebration. A joyous holiday when you get together with loved ones and catch up, exchange gifts and generally have a good time.
Unfortunately in practice it can be a time of great stress and unhappiness. There is so much to do and so much to organise. And sometimes getting together with your extended family can be uncomfortable and even painful.
So here is a plan that will help you to relax a little more this Christmas and hopefully a good time will be had by all.
Don't leave everything until the last moment. Rushing will just make you tired and more stressed. Get you Christmas shopping done early, so you don't have to spend hours fighting other shoppers for the last doll or Christmas turkey.
Don't over spend. It is very easy at Christmas time to spend too much and put yourself in a financial hole for a good part of the new year. Decide before you go shopping how much you can afford to spend and stick to your budget. Shopping early will help you stick to a budget as you will not be in a last minute panic, picking up anything that may be suitable regardless of the cost.
If money is a little tight for you or some of your family members there are a couple of ways you can reduce your spending costs. Together you could decide that all gifts should be handmade or second hand. Or you could all decide that each of you will only buy for one other person. This way instead of spending $5 on 10 people and getting them all little cute but junky things you spend $50 on one person and get them something that they will really appreciate. Decide between the family an amount that everyone is to spend and then draw names out of a hat to see who you will shop for.
Wrap the presents as soon as you can after buying them - that will leave one less thing to do on Christmas eve.
Again planning is very important. You don't have to do it all yourself. Ask members of your family to bring something along. This way the chore is shared amongst many and everyone can feel like they have contributed.
See what preparations can be made a few days before hand. The plum pudding and mince tarts can be made weeks before hand. Do what you can, but make sure everything is stored at a safe temperature. You can wash the potatoes but they will go black if you peel them. Dealing with the Unpleasant Relatives
At Christmas time we can be thrown together with people that we would really rather not have anything with. Do your best to be pleasant to them but if they cross the line and say something that is rude stay calm. Do not attack them back; let them know that you do not appreciate their comments and that you would rather here positive comments about yourself and other members of your family.
Do your best not to let the comments of one person spoil your day. Try not to dwell on any negativity. Instead think about the things you are enjoying about the day and go and find someone you do get along well with and talk to them.
Alcohol can increase your emotional reactions to any situation so only drink in moderation.
One final word
Make sure that you look after yourself with appropriate exercise, relaxation, sleep and a healthy diet on the days leading up to Christmas. When we are feeling fit and energetic we are able to cope so much more easily with the ups and downs of life. However if we are already feeling tired and stressed any little thing can overwhelm us and this can make Christmas day more tension and tiresome.
Have a great Christmas
Want more ways to enjoy life? Kerry-Ann Cox, author and healer, has just released her new book “10 Spiritual law for stress reduction" Find our more at http://www.exaltedliving.com/stress.htm