Make your life easier this Christmas.

Christmas Day is exactly 5 weeks from today and next Sunday is the first advent Sunday. That means that the most magical and wondrous weeks of the year are here.

Every single year, I hear so many people complaining about one or more of the following: lack of time, ideas and/or the Christmas spirit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed instead of excited. However, I believe that it’s possible to do something about the stress and certain negativity that people feel in the run-up to Christmas.

Here are some of my favourite tips for a stress-free and magical advent time.

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1. HAVE A PLAN. Make a list of things you want and/or need to buy. Plan your meals. Plan your activities. Then go through the list again to see if you still like all that you’ve got planned. Adjust accordingly.

2. DON’T AIM FOR PERFECT. Instead, make it your goal to make your Christmas YOURS. It doesn’t matter if you’ve cleaned your windows or made as many kinds of Christmas sweets as you used to (or as your friends have). Christmas is not a competition.
Let yourself be inspired but let go of the idea of perfection. A perfect Christmas is the Christmas you fall in love with, not the one you see on the telly or that other people tell you about.

3. DELEGATE. The preparations are perhaps the best part of Christmas when you’re a grown up. But you really don’t have to do it all on your own. Let your family be a part of the process, too. That’s when all the best memories are made.

4. SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINES. I often hear people arguing that they have to do this or that just because it’s a “tradition”. Personally, I think it’s rubbish. What good is it to keep traditions you don’t like? Either I love the tradition and want to continue it so I give it my best shot, or I don’t like it, in which case I fail to see why I should keep it at all.

And anyway, how do you think traditions even came about in the first place? Someone must have started them! And then somebody else continued them because they liked them. I think it’s best to leave behind all the traditions you don’t like. Make your own and see if they catch on! Every little new thing you do could be a beginning of another amazing tradition that might continue for generations!

5. SLOW DOWN. Take time to just relax with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and a good Christmas film. It is so underrated and people tend to see it like a waste of time. It’s not. It’s in the calm moments you can really see and appreciate the beauty of the season.

6. FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS. Don’t think of the preparations as something you have to do. Make it something you love doing. It’s entirely within your power to do that. Put on some Christmas music. Light up a Christmas candle. Wear your favourite Christmas jumper. Go ice skating. Get excited!

7. FIND YOUR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. So many people are disappointed because when they grow up, Christmas isn’t what it used to be. Once again, it is entirely up to you to make it magical again. It won’t be the same as it was when you were a child. But it may be just as amazing, in a slightly different way. Accept the change and make some new Christmas memories. The good news is that eventually, you won’t have to try anymore because you’ll learn to love Christmas in a whole new way and the Christmas spirit might just come naturally.

8. BE GRATEFUL Instead of focusing on what hasn’t worked out, focus on everything that has. Take a moment to realise how much there is to be grateful for.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to add? If so, please share them in the comments! And do let me know how you’re getting on!

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