Christmas Tips

3 December 2012

Christmas is one of the most stressful times of year. Here are a few tips to help make it a more enjoyable experience.

  • Make a list of gifts and carry it around with you – tick things off as you buy them so you don’t duplicate. Also, if you know exactly what you’ve bought people you won’t overspend on additional surplus things you see while shopping.
  • Work out a rough budget of expected Christmas costs as early as possible. This includes ‘hidden’ expenses such as food bills and overseas telephone charges.
  • If you have a large circle of extended family or friends to buy gifts for, it can be very costly. You might be able to reduce the stress and cost of Christmas for everyone if you suggest a change in the way your family and friends give presents. For example, you could suggest that your group:
    • Buy presents only for the children.
    • Have a Kris Kringle, where everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person.
    • Set a limit on the cost of presents for each person
  • If you are cooking lunch at home, delegate tasks. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
  • Don’t expect miracles. If you and certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there will be tension at Christmas gatherings.
  • Family members involved in after-lunch activities (such as cricket on the back lawn) are less likely to get into arguments. Plan for something to do as a group after lunch if necessary.
  • Overseas mail at Christmas time takes longer to arrive. Arrange to send cards or presents in the first half of December to avoid disappointments (and long queues at the post office).
  • Get enough sleep. Kindy kips aren’t just for the littlies.

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