Article by Christine Ida Harrington
Christmas can be both the most enjoyable time of the year and the most stressful. Here are my top ten tips for a stress free Christmas.
- Start thinking about Christmas early, preferably in September, jotting down ideas as they come to mind in a special Christmas notebook.
- Make lists in this book for cards, presents, shopping, jobs plus don’t forget the armoury of stationary at your disposal allowing you to accessorize these lists anyway you want for instance colour coded highlighting modeled on a traffic light – ‘RED’ you need to get this done now!
- Keep a detailed accurate diary or calendar. View it daily and enter dates and times of commitments as soon as they are known – I prefer a traditional paper diary as it never runs out of battery life!
- Make a point of thinking about yourself, carefully planning your outfits for every occasion, caring for your skin and losing weight if necessary. It is very important to look and feel good at Christmas functions both as a guest and a hostess – nobody wants to have their favourite party outfit held hostage at the dry cleaners or bodycon control underwear left in the wash basket!
- Do a safety check throughout the house to avoid accidents for children and the elderly – A&E during the festive season is not for the faint hearted.
- Aim to do something new every Christmas eg. a different pantomime venue or show, a new game, a completely different food item.
- Prepare as much food as possible and freeze beforehand to maximise free time over the Christmas period, joints of meat cooked in advance will be your best friend for those family members and friend who pop in unannounced.
- Have some unlabeled spare “stand-by” presents under the tree for any unexpected surprise visitors for example a wooly scarf or a nice bottle of red which can be enjoyed by men and women!
- Write out detailed menus for all meals with a chart for ” start cooking times”, undercooked vegetable especially roast potatoes are unforgivable.
- But the most important is: Keep calm. Enjoy yourself. Always keep Christmas.
Christine’s Christmas Countdown by Christine Ida Harrington (published by Clink Street Publishing, RRP £4.99 paperback) is available to purchase online at retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores.