8 Tips for a stress free Christmas

8 Tips for a stress-free Christmas

So December has crept up on us and Christmas is approaching fast. If you celebrate this magical holiday, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start the preparations.  But please DO NOT PANIC – it doesn’t have to send your blood pressure soaring!

The thing about Christmas is that so many of us get stressed about having to get everything done in time and not going over budget. If you make a plan and stay calm, it can ease the stress dramatically.
Do you know someone who has all their gifts bought and wrapped by 31st July? And you find them a little irritating because you have so much to do and they can just relax? Well don’t worry about them – that’s far too organised, even for me!  If I did that, I would never remember what I’d got anyone, and probably wouldn’t be able to find it in December! So while that may work for a few, you certainly don’t need to be that organised!

Yes it’s December already, but don’t panic – there’s actually plenty of time.  The important thing is to keep yourself stress-free, which will actually make you more productive too.  The last thing you want is to be stressed, run-down and exhausted by Christmas Day.

So here are 8 tips for you to try:

1)  Make a list of all the people you will buy a gift for, however big or small.  Include ideas that you have, a maximum you wish to spend, and two satisfying tick-boxes for when it’s bought and wrapped! This will save time when shopping and help you keep to budget.

christmas shopping list2)  Make a similar list for your food shopping for Christmas week.  Make two separate lists: things with a long shelf-life and food you need to get fresh.  Start buying the long shelf life items now along with your regular food shop, and you’ll find that Christmas food shop bill less painful.

3)  Do you write Christmas cards?  Consider writing a newsletter to email out to everyone instead – it is much more interesting to your family and friends (unless you make it smug and pretentious!), and you only need to write it once, saving you time , plus there’s no postage cost (a huge saving if you have a lot of friends abroad).

4)  Choose a date (or multiple dates) when you are going to shop for gifts.  You may be better off getting some things online, but do support your local shops too.  If you can take a day off work in the week (and before the schools break up) you’ll find the shopping experience much nicer, as it’s so much calmer.  And if you have young children, see if you can get a friend or relative to look after them – a day of shopping with a toddler is not much fun for either of you, and you’ll get more done in less time.

candles handmade
Handmade gifts

5)  Have a tight budget?  There are plenty of ways to save money and still give lovely gifts.  You can hand make a multitude of things such as sweets, biscuits, bath bombs, candles, toys, and more – search the internet for a million ideas!  There’s something really special about receiving a hand-made gift.

6)  Set a date for wrapping gifts so that it’s not left to the last minute. It always seems to take longer that you anticipate, and it’s not fun frantically wrapping gifts until 2 am Christmas morning!

7)  Delegate!  If you think you’ll still be struggling for time, enlist the help of a friend or family member.

8)  Decide if everything is actually worth stressing over. For example, if you don’t manage to bake homemade gingerbread cookies, what’s the worst that could happen?

And here is a handy countdown to Christmas for you to bookmark, set in UK time.

I hope that you can make use of some of these tips, and if you have some to add, then please share.  And I will now wish you a happy, stress-free run up to Christmas.

Remember, the Time Fairy can help you with almost anything: shopping, planning, gift-wrapping, house organising, present-making, putting up Christmas decorations, etc.  Have a look at the packages that I offer on the ‘Christmas Packages’ tab at the top, or just get in touch with me to discuss your needs and to see if I can make this season less stressful for you.  You deserve it!

The Time Fairy

Ruth Lowe
Personal Concierge based in Southam, Warwickshire
Twitter: @UKTimeFairy