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Stress less Christmas

Christmas should be a time for family fun, time off work for rest and relaxation, yet more often than not it can cause stress, heartache, overwork and money worries.

Below are 10 Tips to survive the stressful parts of Christmas

  1. Take it in turns as to who hosts Christmas each year. It will make others appreciate the work involved and encourage them to help out more.

2. Don’t do everything yourself. Give older family members who are visiting either a job to do, e.g. games master, peacekeeper, childcare assistant, drinks waiter or ask them to contribute by bringing the Desserts or Nibbles, or Christmas cake.

3. Prolong the present opening ceremony by playing a game like, ‘throw a 6 on a die before you can unwrap a present, throw a 5 you have to make the coffee or serve the next round of drinks, throw a one and you lay the table etc., you get the idea. With younger children ask an adult to create a treasure hunt with clues as to where the presents are hidden. One hunt in the morning, one after lunch and another at teatime if you have enough, the kids will love it. Prior to the treasure hunt set a task e.g. the kids will have to clean away all the dishes or lay the table or tidy up their stuff before they can play the game. You will be surprised at how keen your teen suddenly becomes in washing up a few dishes.

4. Set Courtesy rules, “This Christmas we will all respect each other and put differences aside whilst we celebrate this time with family” or No cell phones at games time or mealtimes, anybody found using one must complete a forfeit.

5. Time out room. This is for children AND adults, any tantrums, insults poor behavior requires 10 minutes cool down period, and may result in removal of a present 😊

6. Set an understanding that the people who cooked the food DO NOT wash up or clear away, this is reserved for other family members so that everybody works as a team. Purchase a couple of funny Aprons for them to wear and take plenty of pictures.

7. When the family have grown change to a ‘Secret Santa’ type gift giving. Instead of buying people $10 presents that they are unlikely to want or need buy 1 present worth $60 or more for one person and everybody else does the same. You can draw the names of who will buy for whom out of a hat each Christmas for the following year. It is a much less stressful solution and each person ends up with a more valuable gift that they like.

8. Go for a walk together or get outside and play games after lunch. Trouble can start when people are slumped in the chair on their cell phones, snoring or watching some boring speech on the T.V. Getting outside lifts the mood and helps your body to digest all that rich food.

9. If you live in a warm country consider having a barbeque on the beach or by the lake for a change, everybody can bring some salads and drinks so that it isn’t all down to just a couple of people to supply and cook it all. Alternatively, you could decide no presents, but everybody will pay towards accommodation of a house or motel rooms away somewhere different and celebrate with a mini break.

10. Best of all ENJOY, do what makes you happy, book a few days away alone if that’s what you prefer, Christmas is not only about family but of self-love, time away from work, you work hard all year around so make sure you reward yourself with time to do what you love too.

Happy Christmas and love and light to all, celebrate YOU

Kymberley Carter-Paige

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