Monday 23 September 2013

Top Tips For A Stress Free Christmas

It’s hard to believe, but that time of the year is nearly upon us again.

I know you don’t want to think about it yet, but with the tins of Roses piling up in supermarket foyers I’m afraid there’s no getting away from the fact that Christmas is less than 100 days away.

In fact, the secret to a successful, stress-free Christmas is to not bury your head in the sand, but instead to be prepared. Nothing is guaranteed to send your stress level through the roof like a Christmas Eve shopping trip to Toys R Us.

Here are four ideas for things that you can do now to help take the pressure off as the big day approaches.

Sweet treats
If you like to make your own Christmas cake and haven’t already – do it now! It’s never too soon. What you might not have considered though is baking and freezing other Christmas goodies in advance. Things like mince pies can be made in advance and kept until you’re ready to impress everyone with a freshly baked festive treat. Freeze in the tray before you cook them, pop out of the tray and into a freezer bag once they are hard, and then simply bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees when you need them.

The turkey
There is nothing quite like a fresh, juicy turkey from your local butcher, but they can be pricey, and they are ordered well in advance. It might be worth popping in to see your butcher now to find out how early you can request your turkey and any other extras you might need like sausage meat. They might consider too letting you spread the payments in the run up to Christmas so that it doesn’t feel like such a large amount of cash to part with.

Look after the pennies
If you’re worried about the cost of Christmas do start shopping or saving as early as you can. Things can become more expensive during the festive season, so keep an eye out all year round for bargains, and gradually add to your present stash as the year progresses. If you want to create extra special gifts like personalised calendars, make sure you allow plenty of time to plan and print these. Collecting loose change through the year can be an easy way to save a few extra pounds without really realising it and could help a lot towards the cost of stocking fillers.

Family ties
Nowadays it can feel a little complicated to get everyone together at Christmas. Not everyone always gets along and families are spread more widely, so think in advance about who you actually want to spend the day with, and be honest and clear with everyone as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Do think about what you want as well as just trying to please other people.

Guest Post.