A Few Tips To Make Your Christmas Stress Free
We all have our traditions at this time of year, last minute gift shopping, pulling crackers and eating our own bodyweight in Christmas food, sending cards to distant relatives and falling asleep in front of the Queens speech is all part our Christmas repertoire. It can get a little repetitive to be honest, we make a lot of effort, cause ourselves and un-quantifiable amount of stress to make sure we get that “perfect” Christmas, an ideal instilled upon by the great masters at Hollywood where everyone gets along for at least one day. Where no child ever throws a tantrum, no drunken uncle makes an inappropriate joke about an auntie’s weight, and no turkey was ever burned to a crisp. Here’s a guide to making your Christmas run a little bit smoother than normally, I’m not saying your day will be totally stress free, but maybe a little easier on the blood sugar levels and the heart rate.
You’ve been rummaging around in the loft for approximately 500 hours now and you can’t find the fairy lights. The tree has seen better days and the tinsel has molted all over your favorite Christmas jumper. Not a good start, but fear not there are easier ways to make your home into a grotto in no time. There are plenty of cheap alternatives than going down to your local high street and spending a wad of cash on expensive decorations that will only be brought out once a year and then stuffed back in a box, all it takes is a little imagination.
The epicenter of all of Christmas nightmares, whether you go for real or fake, as long as you have one does it really matter?
The traditionalist will say ‘oh but you must have a real tree it’s just not Christmas without a real tree’ but the economist will say ‘but I can use it for the next five years and it won’t try and ruin my carpet when it falls to bits in a weeks’ time’. Fake tree’s offer you an advantage because they look perfect all the time, they come in a range of sizes to fit whatever living room you have and it’s true, they pack up nicely in the box they came in and will look just as good in five years’ time. Fake tree’s come in a range of styles and colours and can also come pre fitted with lights so you no longer have to waste another 500 hours of your life untangling the mess of bulbs and wires only to find out there’s a broken bulb somewhere ruining the circuit, so that’s another 500 hours of your life saved trying to fix that problem.
So now the tree is up you've just got to decorate it, that and the rest of your house.
There’s plenty of room for maneuver here, but you should always remember the golden rule of house decoration, less is more. Don’t go mad, flooding every single room of your house with decorations can drive its occupants insane, pick a room in which to decorate and stick to it. If you’re struggling for ideas for decorating then it’s often a good idea to look outside in the garden. Holly bushes, although prickly, are great for homemade decorations. Trim a couple of long strands away from the tree and plait them together, add a few berries and wrap round a picture frame or mirror and there you have it, a beautifully decorated ornament that didn’t cost you a penny.
Other great homemade decoration ideas are hanging cookies. Gather an ensemble of sons, daughters, nieces and nephews and head to the kitchen. Add ingredients for cookie making (2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup white sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, 1 cup white chocolate chips) and get cooking. One you have your mix cut out into appropriate Christmas shapes, poke a small hole in in each one and bake in a pre-heated oven for around eight to ten minutes and leave to cool. Once fully cool thread ribbon through the holes in the cookies, tie in a bow and hang on the tree. And there you have it simple, edible and tasty decorations.
So you've got a list of friends and relatives as long as your arm, each one needs to be lovingly hand written, licked, stamped and sent off in the post.
There are plenty of places online and on the high street where you can find a number of different cards all with bog standard Christmas designs and sentimental greetings, but you can do a little more than that. Cards are a really easy way to give a little extra to those less fortunate this Christmas. There are now a number of charities producing Christmas cards for sale online which include a donation for their desired charities. The cards are simple and pleasant, they don’t scream at the recipient that you have bought these from a charity in order to make them feel guilty; they’re just pleasant Christmas cards. If you’re looking for ways to give a little extra this Christmas to those less fortunate than yourself then there are wildlife charity, children’s charity humanitarian aid charity and cancer research Christmas cards that any relative or friend would love to receive.
In The End.
This, of course isn’t an extensive list of what to do and how to manage your Christmas, it’s just a few ideas shuffled together to try and make your life easier at the highly charged and stressful time of year. Try not to get too upset if it all goes wrong, the important thing to remember is that as long as you’re surrounded by family and friends then it’ll all be okay. Plus you’ll have to do it all over again next year so it’s good to get some practice in!