How to survive the Christmas holidays

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Christmas cookies

Many of us count down to Christmas, but as the date gets closer, the pressure to buy everyone’s presents, stock up on food and make your home look suitably festive can start to mount. Especially if you’re the person hosting the Christmas celebrations this year. Whether you’ll be spending Christmas with your immediate or extended family, or cooking for a wider group, we take a look at how to survive the festive season without feeling overwhelmed. 

Reconnect with what you love about Christmas

happy woman at Christmastime

Most of us can remember some festive highlights that we found magical as children – whether that was enjoying pretty Christmas lights, helping to decorate the Christmas tree or the excitement of heading to bed on Christmas Eve. Try to focus on activities that reignite that sense of fun. Also, try to work out which aspects of preparing for Christmas tend to feel stressful, whether that’s last-minute Christmas shopping or feeling obliged to attend events that you don’t really want to. Work out how many of your Christmas ‘obligations’ you really need to meet. For example, could you do a little more shopping online this year to avoid the queues and could you cancel one or two plans to give yourself a little more time to relax and unwind over the Christmas holidays?

Remember that you don’t need to do it all

Christmas dinner table

It can feel like the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas is everywhere at this time of year – from TV advertisements to Instagram. And most of us can think of at least one time when we’ve spent more than we could comfortably afford on Christmas presents. If you’re starting to feel the financial pressure, or are wondering how you’ll get through your festive to do list, it’s worth remembering that you don’t need to do it all. Don’t be afraid to simplify things, and if it’s the challenge of hosting for a larger group that’s leaving you feeling worried, why not enlist a little help? Perhaps you could invite each guest to bring something for Christmas dinner (this could be a bottle of wine for those who don’t rate their own culinary skills, or perhaps a friend or family member’s famous dessert).

Go outdoors


No matter how much you love this time of year, you may wake up on Boxing Day feeling tired and a little drained. If you’re looking for a simple (and free) way to recharge your batteries, walking can help boost your physical and mental health, leaving you feeling more energised. Either going out for a stroll as a family, catching up with friends over a walk, or simply spending a little time in nature alone should help to boost your mood. According to researchers at the University of Vermont, who analysed thousands of tweets for ‘happy’ words, spending time in a park ranked even higher than Christmas itself in terms of inspiring happiness, so it makes sense to incorporate spending some time outdoors into your festive plans.

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Lights4fun. For more articles, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.

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