- Be realistic – Christmas represents a couple of days in 365. Don’t expect everything to change just for this. If you have friends and family that don’t get on well for most the year, then don’t expect Christmas to be different. Things can go wrong any day – please don’t take it to heart! If your Christmas is less than perfect you have not failed and you should not feel guilty. You are having a Christmas just like the rest of us!
- Write a timetable - If you are responsible for managing the day or for cooking then write a time table – for example, 10 am – put turkey in oven. Try to keep both the day and the cooking simple, if you can, and delegate some of the tasks. If you have a family party, can you have a buffet lunch and ask people to bring a platter?
- Avoid touchy triggers - If you are unlucky enough to have people who you know don’t get on, do your best to avoid the known triggers. For example, if religion is a touchy subject, then use distraction and move the conversation on. Perhaps you can get one of the parties to come and help you in the kitchen or to help with activities.
- Plan some activities - After lunch have an activity planned so that people are occupied and don’t have time to bicker. Activities are also useful for slowing down the alcohol consumption.
- Practice moderation - Even though it is the season to be jolly, too much food and drink is not good for anyone. If you have visitors who are known to drink too much, think beforehand how you are going to get them home – drink driving is always dangerous but more so at Christmas time.
- Have spare presents - Present giving can always be tricky. Try to have a couple of spare presents ready in case you receive unexpected visitors or gifts. Try to avoid anyone feeling left out if you can.
- Exercise for energy - If you have a regular exercise routine then try to keep it up even on this special day. It will give energy and stamina for the day.
- Have a quiet place! Plan to have ten minutes on your own in a quiet place at some point. Go there and use a relaxation technique like deep breathing or focussing on your breath to help you relax and make the most of your break. It helps as well if you can to have a quiet place for others to retire as well if you have a lot of guests.
- Make time to reminisce. Have a special thought for older members of the family who find their own Christmas memories a little overwhelming. Take some time for them to share reminiscences with you.
- Look after you - whether you are going to be alone this Christmas or with others, then plan something special just for you – your favorite food, or your favourite film perhaps? What do you like best? Remember - all over the world there will be others just like you – enjoying this day or just waiting for tomorrow to come! Right now it is time for spoiling yourself – enjoy your indulgence!
And now I wish you the happiest of Seasons and may 2012 be the most wonderful of years for you and yours!
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, and Writer. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
- Nigella Lawson shares some Christmas tips! (graziadaily.co.uk)
- SEE Alexa's Christmas Shopping List! (graziadaily.co.uk)
- Top Tips - Don't go out of control this Christmas (moneyexpert.com)
- Eight Ways to a Less Stressful Christmas (dorothystacy.wordpress.com)