It’s probably fair to say that many grown-ups have a love-hate relationship with Christmas time. It’s fun, it’s festive and it’s all about family. But Christmas doesn’t just happen; it takes a lot of preparation. All that time spent working like elves on creating a great Christmas can take its toll and be quite stressful. To help take the pressure off, we’ve put together some quick tips and ideas to help make this year the smoothest Christmas possible.
The season of giving
Santa not pulling his weight when it comes to presents? Organising the gifts under the tree can be one of the most stressful parts of Christmas. The number one rule for working out presents is: don’t put it off! Try to make a comprehensive list of everyone you’ll be buying for and what to get them (or some general ideas if you don’t exactly know). A list sounds so simple, but it functions as a physical reminder of how much you’ve accomplished, and how much closer you are to relaxation time!
Smart gift planning means having a plan for the unexpected, too. Buy up a few generic gifts, like wine or chocolate, that you can have ready in a pinch. Should you have forgotten anybody, you’ll be covered!
Lastly, if you’re stuck for gift ideas, we’ve put together a gift guide series for everyone in your life. Check them out here!
The season of travelling
It’s happened to us all: you’re sitting in the home of a friend or family member around Christmas, you’re ready to exchange gifts and suddenly the realisation drops – you left their gifts at your place. It’s certainly not the worst thing that could happen, but it is a little embarrassing. Avoid this by separating gifts out – keep the ones that will be given in your home under the tree and those that need to travel together near the door.
The season of feasting
If you’re putting on a December spread, plot out your menu well in advance, with ingredients listed separately. Armed with this knowledge, better advantage can be taken of grocery specials, which will help to keep costs down. Big items, like hams and turkeys, should be ordered from your favourite butcher as soon as possible too,
Don’t try to cook everything in one go, either. Plenty of the elements of your meal (e.g. turkey stuffing) can be cooked in the days prior to the feast and stored in the fridge or freezer. If you’re stressed about storing the food, adding a chest freezer to your home is definitely something to consider.
Lastly, pat yourself on the back! With so much else going on, the Christmas meal is no small feat to take on, and your family and friends will love you for it!
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(image by Joe Buckingham)