How to have a (relatively) stress free Christmas (sponsored post)

Christmas image © A Mummy Too

In words of Andy Williams Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year,” when the day eventually arrives. In the run up to Christmas however, it can be a mad rush to find the perfect presents, buy the turkey, send out the cards and find a room to accommodate the whole family. It’s enough to turn you into a bit of a scrooge and miss the spirit of the festive season so we’ll de-stress one Christmassy section at a time:

Presents

Instead of guessing what everyone wants for Christmas why not get your family to draw up a wish list? It still keeps the element of surprise but gets rid of disappointment when they see you bought a gloves and scarf set yet again. However if you prefer not having to make everyone compile wish lists, why not look at Christmas hampers or days out for those hard to buy for relatives.

We all know Christmas shopping can get extremely stressful; shopping centres acquire some sort of nickname that represents a bad place, popular toys sell out at the blink of an eye and sometimes you can end up running around like a headless chicken trying to find the perfect present for that difficult relative. Take a step back, make yourself a brew and do some online shopping! If you’re worried about finding a bargain, use comparison sites or websites such as eBay and Amazon. If you wrap the gifts once they arrive, it helps to make you feel less overwhelmed. Make sure you still venture out with the kids and look at all the festive activities going on in your local shopping centres.

Food

If you find yourself hosting Christmas this year, share out the responsibility among family. Ask people to bring a plate of nibbles or dessert over. Family are more than happy to help you out!  This can efficiently spread the cost, responsibility and effort.  For those more adventurous among us, do something different and host a Christmas themed pot luck dinner. You might end up with three plates of mash but at least you’ll all be fed.   Try and stock up on food such as nibbles and fill up your freezers early. Remember to make a list of things you already have so when it come to that final Christmas food shop you can nip in and out.

If you fancy the year off all the hustle and bustle of hosting Christmas day and shelling out for the whole shebang, why not save up for a Christmas away? Many hotels have festive deals on over Christmas so why not let someone else do the cooking and cleaning for a change? Just don’t forget to tell Santa where you are!

Money

Christmas is a time of giving but don’t go beyond your budget, the last thing you want to give yourself at Christmas is debt! At the end of the day it’s the thought that counts so instead, keep a strict budget and focus purely on what you think each recipient would personally appreciate most. Why not personalise presents by making them yourself, especially if you have a creative side. Grandparents love art work from the grandkids so why not buy a kit where kids can design their own mug or decoration?

Remember that most supermarkets have some sort of loyalty card so save up your points for Christmas to lessen the financial burden that comes along with the season. With many supermarkets extending their product ranges to toys and clothes you could also save money on gifts.

Preparation is Key

To really start the season off stress free you need to prepare! Buying Christmas cards, crackers and decorations straight after Christmas will not only save you money but it’s also one less thing to do next year.  If you see something that you know would make a good present for a family member get it then stash it away, even if it’s only March! Of course not all of us are that organized or remember to think about Christmas a year in advance so start thinking about preparation in November. Be sure to write it on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Most of all have fun. Don’t do it all yourself, assign the kids to wrapping presents or writing out a few cards and get the spirit of Christmas going in your home. De-stress, de-scrooge and join in the festive fun this Christmas!

This is a sponsored post

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