It’s a time of joy and goodwill to all, but Christmas can also become a bit of a blur when it comes to the panic of late shopping and preparations. So how might we all slow down a little and spend more time on the people and things that matter this year? Here are some timely preparation tips and ways to spend a less stressful Christmas this year…
1. Plan early
If there’s one sure route to Christmas calamity, it’s leaving everything late. By the final week or two before the big day things can get horribly busy, so make a rough plan early and stick to it. In particular, get your holiday leave organised with work and arrange time with your nearest and dearest. The longer you leave it, the trickier it gets to take the days you want and synchronise with other busy friends and family.
2. Make time for you.
Easier said than done, we know, but be sure to give yourself that most precious of all gifts this year: time! Putting a day or two aside in the diary is a good first step and, yes, you are allowed to say no to one or two invitations and extra commitments. Some complete relaxation is a must at this time of year, you've no doubt earned it.
3. List it
Whether you want to avoid the late rush, or have ever had the guilty feeling of missing someone out, the answer is to make a Christmas list. Put the most important people at the top, along with those who are fussiest when it comes to picking the right gift! It will also make sense to buy gifts early for those who live farther away and need items posting.
4. Reuse and recycle, rather than buying new
Christmas can be quite a wasteful time in terms of both time and the needless extras we buy. There are many little money and time saving things we could all do to help, however. One is to use last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags, rather than buying from scratch. Another is to buy recycled Christmas paper or find a better recipient for gifts you never used. Perhaps that barely touched hip flask or bestseller could find a much more appreciative home or be given to charity?
5. Get outdoors
As the nights draw in, too many of us spend an inordinate amount of time indoors. Getting out into the fresh air is a proven way to beat the winter blues. Make time for a family walk, cycle or skate, or visit somewhere peaceful whether it’s a local beach or beauty spot. If you’ve had a bit of festive excess, a spot of exercise makes even more sense.
6. Let someone else do the cooking for a change!
If there is somewhere open and you can afford it, why not treat yourself to a meal out on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day? After the commotion of shopping, inlaws and the rest, it can be delightful just to dine at your own pace with no washing up at the end! A good start is to search for “restaurants open on Christmas Day near me”. The options might depend on where you live, it must be said. Here in Newquay, Cornwall, we are opening for a special Christmas Day Lunch, as well as festive dinners and parties right through December. Why not give yourself a break and let us take care of it for a change?
7. Cut down on Christmas cards
There is something delightful about receiving a real, non-virtual Christmas card, admittedly. But do you need to send sixty of them out? These days, you could send an e-card or, better still, a personalised message via email to many of your friends. Save the cards for the most important dozen or so recipients and older, more traditionally minded loved ones then, but don’t worry about cutting back for the rest. It’s not only a time saver, but better for the planet.
8. Don’t do too much, or try and do it all in one go
Rather than trying to handle all your present buying and preparation in a mad rush, it’s much easier to pace yourself and get things done a bit at a time. As for the actual volume of things to take care of, don’t lay on too much. Do you really need to say yes to that third Christmas party or see friends X, Y and Z? It’s a busy time and most folks will be understanding if you save it for the new year.
9. Get your kids and other family members to pitch in
Do you feel like too much is always left for you to do? Mums can get especially overloaded at Christmas. The trick is often to get the family to help, whether it’s tidying the house, putting up decorations or even helping with food preparations. If you can make it fun, you are already half way to winning the battle. A timely reminder that Santa prefers cooperative children might help otherwise.
10. Do something good for others
In the clamour to deck the halls and do the shopping, the simple Christmas message of kindness and goodwill is all too often buried. Even if it is only one good deed, get out and do something positive whether it is going and seeing someone who is lonely or sick, giving your unwanted extras to a food bank or doing something for charity. If you have kids, get them to join you and learn about the true message of Christmas too.
Spend some quality time with us this Christmas
Whether you wish to join us for a special Christmas Day meal, book a festive gathering or perhaps even escape to Cornwall for a well earned break this year, Hotel Bristol is the ideal destination. Every year we offer a special festive menu, as well as hosting some of the best Christmas parties in Newquay for 2017! See our Christmas page for further details and current hotel offers, or get in touch with us directly (01637 875181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) for all enquiries and bookings.