How to make Christmas less stressful
Two champagne glasses ready to bring in the New Year

How to make Christmas less stressful – By the Coupon Detective

Let’s face it, as much as we all look forward to Christmas, it can take a lot of planning, stress and time. Here are a few ideas to help things go a little smoother.

1. Start now, if you haven’t already started your shopping for presents you might want to get cracking. There is nothing more stressful than trying to get it all done in a week once everything has sold out. Click and collect or shopping online will save you having to battle the queues and means you can take advantage of online comparisons, as well as having the security of knowing that you have buyer protection and can return things if they are not to your liking.

If you’re not computer savvy or prefer the in-store shopping, timing would be your best friend, don’t go at rush hour or on a Saturday if you can help it, plenty of places do late night shopping or if you have to go during the day, try and make it fun. Bring a friend and make a day of it. Scout out what stores you want or need to go into and stop for a coffee or lunch to break up the day.

2. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. There are some people that have had their tree and lights up for about 3 weeks already, don’t worry about it. There is still plenty of time to get it sorted and it can be fun to include the whole family with the decorating.

3. If it doesn’t have to be done on the day, pre-prep might be your best friend, the vegetables can always be peeled and left in the pan of salted water overnight. It cuts down on the stress of getting everything done. Turn the Christmas music on grab a glass of wine and dance while you stuff that turkey.

4. If you are having people over, don’t leave things like changing the sheets till the last minute, you can always do it in advance. It’s not being cheeky to get them to bring the pudding so it will be one less thing and also gives them the feeling they are contributing to the meal.

5. Leave it, if it doesn’t have to be done that day it’s stressful enough without adding to the list. Leave it and sort it out boxing day.

6. This may be a boring grown up one but check when the bins are being emptied. The schedule changes over Christmas and trying to stuff all the packaging, food and everything else into the bin and then finding out you have missed the pickup day and have to have it sitting there for another week can be frustrating.

7. Take time to enjoy it. The trap people fall into is that they are trying to make sure everyone else is having a good time and don’t take 5 minutes to stop and join in. Play with the kids toys, put a Christmas movie on or open that tub of quality streets.

8. All diets are null and void for Christmas. It’s a well-known fact that nothing you eat on Christmas counts. Being good is what the new years for.

9. Pick your board games carefully. In our house Monopoly is banned, there is no quicker way to spoil the festive mood than to start an argument over who’s being banker and if that hotel was on old Kent road or Whitechapel.

10. Grab a spare, there is always someone you forgot or who will pop in on the off chance. It’ always awkward when they come bearing gifts and you don’t have something for them. Smelly sets are always a good one, I wrap them in different coloured paper for men and women so they are ready to go should someone turn up, or I forget someone.

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