Surviving Christmas

Your guide to surviving Christmas with the family

Christmas is a time to be merry, relaxed, and celebrate with family and friends. There are so many great looking parties and glittering trees splashed in your social media so the pressure is on to make yours just as perfect.

The reality, for most, is that crazy end of year frenzy. Juggling finishing work projects, making sure the kids million-and-one- school related tasks are covered and even simple diary dates with friends can turn into full on event planning.

Fortunately there are cold hard stats to show that we’re not alone. Officially Christmas is the sixth most stressful life event! It’s right up there with divorce, moving house and changing jobs. The worst on the list for us is Christmas shopping with 86% of us dreading

According to Magimix, the most stressful moment is 12.56pm on Christmas Day. Just before lunch is served. (for us this translates to 2.59pm) and coping with interfering relatives is one of the biggest contributors to stress.

So now that we’ve established it’s okay to be falling apart at this time of year let’s share our top survival tips below.

#1 Book in Downtime

Escaping Christmas

Okay so Christmas Day is going to be a bit stressful. It’s all your worries in one.  Will everyone like their presents, did you spend enough, who’s going to start the family bickering, why didn’t you stop at one glass of wine on Christmas Eve, the list is endless and that’s not even accounting for getting a meal at the table on time.

Make sure you plan something to mark the end of the year and it’s something just for you. Escape for the weekend by hiring a last minute cottage, Go out for a slap up meal or get away for a week of sunshine – check out exchange rates for where to get the best bang for your buck this time of year.

Need a little inspiration? Check out some weekend escapes or totally radical experiences here

#2 Delegate those pesky tasks

Getting help at Christmas

If you’re hosting Christmas and are dreading the endless cooking tasks create a list of tasks to delegate. It’s hard if you like to be in control but you can hand out peeling, chopping, hoovering and others so you can focus on creating that all important Turkey chemistry. Better still draw up a list a week before so everyone gets a heads up.

#3 Go Alternative

Alternative Christmas lunch

Why not give yourself a complete break – forget family tradition – and book a table at your favourite pub. Great food, Great service and someone else does the cleaning up. What more could you ask for. The Good Pub Guide has some great recommendations on Christmas Dinner escapes here

In Japan, after a successful advertising ‘Christmas Chicken’ advertising campaign, a KFC Christmas Feast has become the traditional way to celebrate – bucket of fried chicken, Christmas Cake and a bottle of champagne. So if all else fails hit the high street for your own brand of takeaway!

#4 Hide Away

There’s a talent to keeping a low profile over Christmas. Sound. Really. Busy.

You can even try it on Christmas Day – we all know that family member that manages to find the comfiest sofa and drift off away from it all. Pick tasks like choosing the family movie, laying the table slowly or entertaining the kids. They’ll soon get bored. Just make sure you come prepared to bury yourself in your Kindle or a good book once you are alone.

#5 Avoid crowds and do your shopping online

There’s nothing more annoying than hearing from those that got their Christmas shopping done in October. Still not got around to it? If you can’t face the onslaught of fellow stressed shoppers on the high street then avoid it all and do it online. Here are some of our favourite sites for finding last minute gifts including NotontheHighStreet, Firebox and our very own Cahootsy, where you can find all the latest offers from your favourite brands all in one place.

Got any of your own secret tips to managing a stress-free Christmas? Share it in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

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