So much to do  (34505)

December is already well underway, so how can you make sure you stay on top of all you still have to do this Christmas? There is so much to do over the festive season, that it can feel as though you'll never get it all done. Take a look at this list for some tips to help you get control.

1. Don't panic! The first step to gaining control this Christmas is to think calmly of all you have to do, however late in the month it is that you are starting to plan.

2. Make a list of everything you have to do. Make several lists. It's already December, so there's no time to lose. List the tasks you have to accomplish week by week and, when it comes to Christmas week, day by day.

3. Don't get into debt. Make a budget beforehand as to how much you want to spend on each person and stick to it.

4. Buy gifts online, like this fab World of Warcraft guide! Or this converter that enables you to watch satellite TV through your PC! That way, you won't be tempted to spend more than you can afford, and you'll avoid the stress of shopping in crowded malls. When you buy presents online you can control your stress and spending.

Just waiting for the gifts

5. Cook as much as you can before the day. Make good use of your freezer. You could also buy ready-prepared vegetables, ready-cooked puddings – or ask guests to bring a dish to the holiday feast.

6. Accept that not everyone who comes to visit you this festive season is necessarily going to get on well all the time. So maybe Auntie Flo hates brother-in-law Fred. Try to make sure they spend as little time together as possible.

7. Don't expect everything to be perfect. Someone may not like the gift you have bought them; the turkey could burn. Let go of expecting that everything has to be absolutely perfect all the time. It won't be. But it can still be pretty good.

8. Grab a little me-time on the busiest days. Relax with a lavender-scented bath, or do some deep-breathing in a darkened room. That should help you relax.

9. Get the rest of the family involved in the "work" of Christmas. Delegate tasks that are appropriate to their age. Teenagers can run errands, younger children can lay tables. Husbands, sisters, family friends, can cook, serve drinks

10. Think about what Christmas really means. It is about the birth of Jesus, a time for celebration and love, rather than spending and materialism. If you keep that in mind, you'll feel happier even in difficult times. You'll feel in control this Christmas.