By: Kim Wilkinson

Christmas is a time of year to celebrate, and be grateful. It’s a time to think upon the year that has been, and the one that is yet to come. 

More often than not, we end up filling our days in crowded car parks and shopping centres, working long hours on end of year projects, and overbooking our social calendars in an attempt to find some enjoyment amongst the chaos.

Can Christmas really be stress-free?

Based on experience, you may think that there is no other option but to brace yourself and endure the stress that Christmas can bring. However these 7 tips will help you prepare for the extra demands, and give you a chance to enjoy this special time of year.

1. Make Some Space

Take time to make space for decorating your home, and hiding presents. Put away things you won’t need for a few months. This can be as simple has storing blankets and winter clothing in boxes under beds. Take the opportunity to donate or throw out things you haven’t worn or used in the last year. Having a general tidy up will give you the space needed for tip number 2.

2. Decorate

Decorating your home is a sure fire way to put you in a positive mood for Christmas. Getting your tree and decorations up early gives you sensory reminders throughout the season. Nothing brings a smile quite like twinkling fairy lights, fresh pine cones and shiny baubles.

3.  Clear out your pantry and fridge

Christmas celebrations always revolve around food. It’s a time when you want to be prepared with fresh and festive options as friends and family drop by. Check for best-before dates and throw out anything that has expired. Make sure all leftovers, and those cheese board items from your last dinner party, are long gone. You want to avoid having old food mistakenly included in the festivities.

4. Look for supermarket specials

As you will be preparing and serving festive food, make a list to check for in weekly catalogues. When on special, buy pantry items and cross off your list as you go. As you get closer to December 25, you can also look for perishable items with a January use-by date. Also make sure you add a box or two of chocolates to the list. These can often be found at half price, and come in handy for as last minute gifts.

5. Clean and plan preparation areas

This is a great time to clean the BBQ and oven in preparation for all the extra cooking. Make sure you have all the utensils, pots, pans, trays and equipment you need. Fix or throw out anything that is no longer working or useful.

6. Delegate

If living with other people in your household, Christmas preparation shouldn’t all be up to you. All these planning activities can be shared. Kids can help with cleaning out unwanted and old items, while grown ups can clean and shop. Decorating is always a great activity to bring the whole family together.

7. Rest

Make sure to book in time for yourself to rest, relax and unwind. That way, when Christmas Eve comes around, you’ll be able to enjoy every moment of the days to follow.

Article supplied with thanks to Kim Wilkinson

About the author: Kim Wilkinson is a media and communications professional who specialises in building community and valuable relationships.