Christmas can be stressful on so many levels, I so know how that feels, but you can survive it and even have a flipping good time too, honestly it is possible. I have been “doing christmas” for more than 20 years now (the first 10 were the most painful 😂 !) and then I decided to flip the switch in my head and find ways to get on top of the stress and burgeoning to-do list so I could really enjoy the time with my family.
Here are my 3 tips on how to survive christmas….
Organise the heck out of christmas
To be honest, there is just no way to survive christmas without getting organised in my opinion, unless you are super chilled out and in which case you are probably not reading this blog post anyway. So, block off a morning to make a plan for the food at least. Light candles, make your perfect mug of tea and then plan the heck out of the festive season.
Figure out all the meals you are cooking and for how many. Book or add the large items you need i.e. turkey, ham, side of salmon etc.. to your existing online orders or shopping list and note in my diary when they are being delivered or when you have to go get them. Always copy in your other half so they know whats going on if you need help with pick ups.
Block out times in your diary over the next two weeks when you can do some cooking. Get as much done ahead of time as you can. Roast potatoes, gravies, sauces, puddings, casseroles, pasta sauces etc can all be frozen. For preparing the fresh stuff, then block out a few hours in your calender to actually cook the meal before the event starts, its surprising how often we forget this 😂 !
Ultimately, if you are feeling anxious about the Christmas turkey for example, remind yourself that it really is just a big fat sunday roast chicken with a few extra sides. No one will care a fig if its not exactly perfect, they will just be happy you are doing the cooking and not them.
One christmas I went to pull the turkey out of the oven to discover that someone had turned the oven off, so we played party games and drank some more before having “christmas tunch” at 5pm !! No one cared a hoot because I didn’t (I mean what could I do about it anyway 🤷🏼♀️). And remember they are looking to the host to set the tone, so if you are relaxed, they will be too.
Thats enough about food, I think you get the picture !
Now for the presents and stockings. Hopefully you have tried to spread out some of the cost by buying gifts over the past few months or so but if you haven’t then its worth sitting down and writing a list of who you have to buy for. Be realistic, you don’t need to get gifts for everyone in your life. Going small and thoughtful in the way of gifts rather than buying the same thing and giving it to everyone, not only saves your pocket but doesn’t everyone love a thoughtful pressie way more than a gigantic panic purchase on christmas eve that matches everyone else’s.
It does mean giving it some through but time spent over your list now will save you a load of angst when your out on the high street or endlessly trawling online for ideas.
A side note:- Schedule in times to wash and change sheets if you have lots of different people staying over, time to write christmas cards, you name it it gets scheduled in !
Find yourself a broom cupboard and lock yourself in.
This may not be as bonkers as it wounds, hear me out !.
I used to have a friend who would always call me from her broom cupboard, she would lock herself in (from the inside obviously !) so she was not distracted by one of her 5 kids and we used to enjoy a lovely long chat without interruption. By being in her chatting cupboard, the kids knew she was just not coming out unless someone screamed fire or an ambulance needed to be called ! You get the picture.
Now, I am not saying we should all take to our broom cupboards but I am suggesting that scheduling in some non-negotiable time outs for you are essential. Whether thats time to exercise, go outside for a walk, catch up with a friend on the phone, curl up with a book for half an hour. What ever it is, make sure you have a little carrot for yourself each day, otherwise the resentment and exhaustion build up and by christmas day you may not be so much fun to be around.
I make sure I go outside each day for a proper walk no matter what, otherwise I feel I haven’t left the kitchen for a week and that drives me potty (aka I drive everyone else potty !), so it doesn’t have to be something sassy just something easy that you enjoy.
Fun for everyone
Question for you. Have you texted your friends to book in times to meet up over Christmas ? No I thought not. I am sure you are cursing and swearing at this point going “are you mad, there isn’t a moment to do that I’m over committed already”. We get so wrapped up with our families wishes that we can easily forget to book anything for ourselves. Planning to see those friends that WE love to spend time with is a must for us too, we need to have fun just as much as the next man.
So go on, ping off a text and get some fun booked in for YOU as well as planning for your loved ones too.
Making plans outside the house is a good idea too e.g. a trip to a museum or to the cinema or a show if you can. It’ll guarantee you leave the house which is a blessed relief when we are feeling chained to the kitchen sink.
P.S. Please, please don’t forget to book in some meet ups for after Christmas and New Year. We can feel a bit blaaaah at that stage so its great to have something to look forward too when all the craziness dies down.
Ultimately the simple act of Getting organised – making a plan and building in chill out time for you is a great place to start and once you have done that, let things roll. If events don’t go exactly as you had planned, just go with it and make sure you have a fantastic time with your fam and friends. Squeeze them tight and feel the love as after the two years we have all been through, we surely need the joy and laughter that Christmastime brings.
Thankyou for reading and as ever please do come and share your thoughts and questions around your health and wellness either on Instagram or Facebook. or email me I love to connect and am happy to help and answer your questions. xo Sophie
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