With Christmas just days away I thought it may be handy to look at 5 ways to survive the festive season with a sense of humour and your wellbeing intact.
Remember that Christmas is about the company not the decor, food, presents or tricky hand made wreaths and perfect social events. No-one remembers them anyway but I bet we can all remember the disaster which seemed so terrible at the time but make us laugh now.
So,if you want to survive Christmas and are hosting, plan ahead.
1. Make a list of what needs to be done and when do that you don't have a still frozen turkey on Christmas morning and the sprouts aren't still in the shop.
2. Accept offers of help and if it's not offered - ask! They'll all want to eat it and even the youngest of people can help in someway, after all putting the crackers on plates is a very important job.
3.Manage expectations. Father Christmas puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on the families of young children and he gets to take all the credit. Maybe its time to come up with an alternative Christmas story that suits your family and your budget. 1 gift from Santa is enough to keep the magic alive. If the idea of spending time with the family fills you with dread, look at ways to arrange things so that you have different groups at different times. Arrange activities like a walk, or a quiet puzzle for those that get anxious or find the excitement all to much and let people know in advance what the plans are so they can prepare and ask any questions.
4.Make time to relax. From experience I know how exhausting it is to finish work, get the shopping done, prep the food ,manage excitable kids, play Father Christmas, cook the dinner and be fun and excited Mummy on Christmas day. Why do we do it to ourselves? I found that taking time for a walk or booking a treatment or even that very welcome chilled glass of wine with friends put things into perspective and allowed me to come back to it all less frazzled.
5. Be grateful!
Make the time to remain present and fully experience the day. Enjoy the pretty lights and haphazard tree, the looks on peoples faces as they chat and laugh with family and friends and just relax and enjoy it.
This is the stuff of memorable Christmases. Not the presents or the food. It's the shared time and experiences that we remember. So be thankful for what you have and most importantly, enjoy yourself.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.