Stress busting tips for a relaxing Christmas
Christmas is often a busy time for us all, organising gifts and spending time with loved ones (though this year, that may be virtual as well as in person). We pulled together our top tips to help you glide easily through the festive season.
Now this one does require a bit of initial effort and may seem like it’s achieving the opposite effect, but being organised will make Christmas much less stressful. Whether that means making a list of everything you will need for Christmas dinner and making sure you’ve bought it a week beforehand, or writing out a blow by blow timeline of what needs to go in the oven and when, we promise it will help. It’s much easier to follow a set of instructions than to think about what you should be doing as well as having to do it.
Prep, prep, prep!
Most elements of a Christmas dinner can be either pre-made or at least prepped beforehand, to avoid having to peel vegetables or roll stuffing balls on the day. Try to balance your meal with an equal amount of hot and cold elements as the cold elements can be made beforehand and set aside ready to serve. It will also save you oven and hob space!
Share the load
Make sure everyone is given a job. You could even create a rota and print it out so everyone knows what they’re doing. If you’re stuck with the job of masterminding the Christmas dinner, at least you know that someone else will be doing the washing up!
Virtual Secret Santa
For work colleagues or groups of friends, Secret Santa is a great solution because it reduces the list of people you have to buy for dramatically, but also ensures that everyone receives a gift. Set a budget to avoid any awkwardness and arrange a date to exchange the gifts. A Covid friendly gift exchange could involve posting the gifts to each other’s houses and then setting up a Zoom call to open them together.
This Christmas, the difficult times in which we find ourselves mean that video calling will be an inevitable part of our celebrations. Make sure you set boundaries – if you don’t want to have to spend hours on FaceTime on Christmas Day, let everyone know well in advance and set a date and time that will work for you! Read our tips on connecting with loved ones this Christmas here.
Don’t forget to buy batteries
This one is particularly relevant in a year where ‘popping to the shop’ can be a complicated affair with masks, sanitiser and potential queuing. If you have bought any gifts for the kids that may need batteries, remember you can almost guarantee that they won’t come included. Best to stock up on some AAs and AAAs before the day to avoid any tantrums.
Find more Christmas tips and recipes on the Mayfield retirement blog.