Five Ps to a stress-free Christmas

Five Ps to a stress-free Christmas - Ever-changing Life of a MumNovember is here and the weeks until Christmas has hit single digits.

Immediate thought is panic stations, am I right?!

Now take a deep breath as there’s still plenty of time to get organised for the holidays without your stress levels rising, because in today’s already frantic world who seriously needs to feel like that?

I’ve pulled together a few tips to help you prepare and get through the festive season – these are what I call my five Ps to a stress free Christmas.

PLAN early and budget

When you have children it’s often easy to start thinking about Christmas quite early. My girls are super excited for Christmas this year. They have already watched their first Christmas movie (quite frankly, I’m surprised they haven’t watched more), their letters to Santa have been written, and gifts for classmates and teachers have already been planned.

But even if you don’t have kids, it’s really never too early to start preparing for Christmas and I know many people who collect presents throughout the year to help them get on top of their Christmas shopping.

While that’s not for me, I did start my Christmas shopping in October this year, which is the earliest I have ever started. This is partly to stretch my family’s Christmas spending out over several months instead of leaving it all until the month of December, and partly to avoid the craziness of Christmas trading hours at the shopping centres, especially the car parks! Online shopping is also a good idea to avoid the shops altogether and even better if you can take advantage of any pre-Christmas free shipping specials so you can get your parcels delivered without any worry of being caught up in the postage rush.

Take the PRESSURE off

Remember, Christmas doesn’t need to be perfect and it’s certainly not all about presents. It’s about spending time with family, friends and loved ones that mean the most to you.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider speaking with members of your family about a Kris Kringle gift exchange to reduce the number of presents you need to buy.

Also, if you’re hosting Christmas this year for family and friends, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it and get others to contribute something to the meal if you feel like you need a hand.

PRIORITISE the most important things

While I absolutely love keeping up Christmas traditions with my family, if you feel the festive season is getting a bit too hectic try to be a bit more flexible. Perhaps pick a few of the traditions you cherish the most and take the time to truly enjoy these, rather than rushing to get through everything just because it’s what you have always done in the past.

PUT yourself first

Every year, I find the last few months of my family’s calendar starts to fill up earlier and earlier. We still have several birthdays to celebrate in November plus dance concerts and rehearsals to get through. Add in work, school and social Christmas functions and most of our weekends are already starting to look pretty full.

It’s important to remember that it’s OK to say no every now and then to someone’s request to catch up before Christmas, particularly if it’s something that can easily be arranged for after Christmas or in the new year.

In the lead up to Christmas, I try my best to stick to my intention of only committing my family to one social event per weekend in order to give us a bit of downtime or allow us to be a little more spontaneous with our plans. It’s not always an easy thing to do at this time of year, but it’s still something I like to keep in mind where possible.

Find some PEACE

When it all does get a bit too much, make sure you take a few moments for yourself. Whether that be flicking through your favourite magazine over a coffee; going for a facial, pedicure or a massage; taking a walk in the sunshine or meeting up with a friend for a chat. It’s far too easy to get caught up into the craziness of Christmas as you try to make the festive season special for your family. It’s important to take some time to breathe and refresh yourself.

And finally… POP that champagne and enjoy the day

OK, I’ve added in an extra P for a bit of fun! Because why bother going to all that effort if you don’t take the time to truly enjoy it!

I hope these suggestions get you on the right track towards enjoying a stress-free Christmas with your loved one. Wishing you all the very best for a fabulous festive season ahead!

17 thoughts on “Five Ps to a stress-free Christmas

  1. Argh I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! I really don’t know where this year has gone. We are going to NZ for Christmas this year, so presents will have to be small and portable, and we’ll be having a very relaxed beach-side Christmas day. #teamIBOT

  2. I have my first Christmas party this Friday. It just seems too early. I’m all for being organised but can’t seem to find my Christmas spirit this year. Probably everything to do with being in the thick of exams for our three girls (yr 9, 11 & 12).

  3. What a great post Erika! I miss Christmas prep because we are now living by ourselves and the family is split into their own small groups for Christmas now. But when I was the hostess…it was B for busy but it was the kind of BUSY I thrived on. Hope it’s all a great success at your place!!

  4. Great advice, Erika!! I’ve started my Christmas shopping already, albeit only a tiny bit. This is the earliest I’ve started, but I’m working right up until 2pm on Christmas Eve, so I need to be organised this year 🙂

  5. Love all your suggestions Erika, although I can’t pop champagne because I’m pregnant. Which is actually making the festive season more crazy than ever as I have heaps of dr, hospital and physio appointments on top of everything else and we’re hosting this year. I’ve finished shopping for my daughter though so that’s a plus, now just to do all the rest of the family.

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