Article by Fabafterfifty
Its only one day in the year, so why does Christmas create so much stress ?
You’d think by the time we reach our 50s we should be able to take it all in our stride, but as I sat talking to one friend who confessed to dreading Christmas and the prospect having 23 family members arriving for Christmas lunch for the 5th year running. So as she prepared to become part Superwoman and part domestic goddess it seemed that a plan was needed.
1. Plan ahead.
2. Make lists- from presents to groceries. Give yourself weekly targets and deadlines so that its not all left until the last minute. Set a budget and try to keep to it. For gifts – ensure you keep all the receipts together, some larger stores offer ‘gift receipts’ which make returning wrongly sized gifts easier.
3. Hate Shopping? How much can you order online- make sure you are aware of delivery timescales and build these into your timings
4. Cards- maintain a central list and update every year. For friends overseas do you need to send a card- or would an email complete with your family news and recent photos attached be a more attractive option. Think about the dimensions of the Christmas cards you buy in terms of sending with the correct postage.
5. Keep a list for all your basic Christmas food shopping. Is it is the same each year? Think back to what didn’t get eaten last year- do you really need to buy this year or will it go to waste again?
6. The meal itself- how much can you make ahead of time and freeze ( or even buy ready prepared)? Its OK to cheat!
7. Delegate tasks to other family members- both in the build up and on the day itself. I know this was the one thing on the list my friend was most worried about, everyone was so used her doing everything- but its your day to enjoy too- allocate drinks to one person, clearing away wrapping paper to another, table clearing to another etc they’ll soon get used to it!
8. Contact friends you’re planning to see over the holiday period and book the dates ahead of time
Enjoy the holiday season and please feel free to share any additional tips you may have!