Christmas can be a stressful time for many but particularly for the ‘host’ who bears the brunt of the shopping, gift buying, prepping, cooking, cleaning, decorating and all with a festive grin planted on her face. A recent survey by Relationships Australia found that Christmas is considered one of the six most stressful life events, alongside divorce, moving house and changing jobs.
Despite the modern ways of the world, this said ‘host’ is usually female but short of women going on strike or becoming ‘The Grinch’, keeping it simple, delegating and remembering to stop to enjoy the moment are key to ‘keep it merry’. After all, it is supposed to be a happy time spent with loved ones; a time to relax and reflect on the year that was.
It’s all well and good to say ‘keep it simple’ but how does that translate to reality?
Let’s break it down.
- Set a budget and don’t go over it.
In doing so you might question whether the bonbons really are necessary whilst allowing you to realise how all the little ‘must haves’ really do add up. A perfect segway to point 2.
- Write a list and delegate tasks to relatives and friends.
Just like Santa and his elves, your minions will be more than happy to share the financial and time-consuming load. The delegation need not just be; ‘bring a salad,’ why not extend the delegated tasks to present buying, house-cleaning and selecting the table decorations. Delegation can be hard for those who like to be in control but relinquishing this power will be a great move in reducing your stress levels.
- Be prepared.
If you are prepared and have your list of required goods in advance you can reap the stress-free rewards of online shopping. Alternatively avoid peak hour shopping or enlist the help of friends and family to share the load.
- Do a Kris Kringle
Keeping gifts simple and fun by setting up a Kris Kringle will minimise the number of gifts you need to buy whilst enjoying the gift of giving. Better yet, allocate someone else to organise the draw and cross one more thing off your list.
- Have a clean-up roster
The cook should never do the washing up. Take the time to sit and relax and say goodbye to any guilt about your guests getting their hands dirty.
Remember, the more strain you put on yourself, the less likely you are to enjoy the magic and the moments that truly matter. Learning to let go, delegate and ignore the finer details will go a long way in the happiness stakes.