Christmas is a time when our expectations can be unrealistic and with this comes stress. It’s up there along with moving house and divorce as one of the most stressful times. Ah yes, I remember it well. Those days when I was a practising perfectionist, I did not enjoy Christmas, although I did a pretty good job pretending that I loved every minute of it. Running a business, shopping, decorating the tree, baking, writing the cards and cleaning the house took its toll and I often spent Boxing Day nursing a sore throat, probably brought on by exhaustion. Here are a few tips from a recovering Christmas Perfectionist:
- You don’t have to prove anything. It’s acceptable to buy the stuffing, cake, mince pies and the pudding. If you must bake – do it in plenty of time and freeze things like mince pies.
- Nobody (apart from yourself) will notice if you haven’t cleaned the house. If you run out of time, leave it until after the holiday. Santa will only leave a mess coming down the chimney anyway.
- Set the table on Christmas Eve so that you don’t have a rush the following day.
- With the huge cost of postage, is it a crime to send e-cards this year? If you prefer to send cards, write them in good time and then put them aside to post later on.
- Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to roast that fattened turkey, why not cook a chicken and a turkey breast instead and enjoy a little lie in? Make a list and write down the sequence for cooking everything and keep it for the following year.
- So many people go into debt at Christmas. Don’t do it, it will only add to your stress. Start buying bargains in the July sales instead of putting everything on your credit card in December. If times are hard, why not forgo getting everyone a present and suggest a ‘Secret Santa’ sack? This is great if you belong to a large family.
- Delegate! If like me, you think that nobody does it better than yourself, get real. Ask other family members to lend a hand with the meal and, of course, the clearing up.
- Christmas is a time when a lot of families have rows. If things are getting out of hand, find an excuse to escape and practise some deep breathing exercises. Avoid too much alcohol.
- Remember to try and enjoy Christmas – it’s your holiday too.
- When all else fails - go out for lunch or help serve at a charity feeding event.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
Sue Cross www.suecross.com