Worrying About Christmas? Here are Some Tips To Make This The Best Christmas Season Ever.

Christmas is meant to be a joyous time for everyone but to many people it turns out to be stressful due to pressure from kids and other loved ones, prolonged and close proximity to difficult family members and for others, loneliness when the rest of the ‘crowd’ goes out partying.

Christmas can also be very demanding on your relationship as you spend a lot of time together with family and in-laws, one’s to-do list suddenly quadruples and they end up spending more money than they intended due to house guests, parties or traveling.

Well, these nostalgic traditions are a huge part of what makes Christmas that most magical time of the year. Therefore, it is upon you to make this time the best ever for you and the family.

Having the ‘perfect’ Christmas is about getting into the Christmas spirit, decorating well and honoring what the occasion is really all about. It is not about getting into debt or going over-the-top with your expectations for ‘perfect’ by having rather unrealistic standard to set.

Enjoy the build up
Sometimes the best thing about Christmas is the expectant build up. Don’t let all the little things that make Christmas extra special pass you by in a blur of frantic present wrapping. Choose to believe that everything will go well. Think only positively and Christmas will be so much more joyous for you.

Set a sensible budget.
If you know exactly how much you are going to spend for Christmas, shopping becomes much easier. Christmas is only as commercialised as you let it be. The barrage of holiday advertising can make you forget what the holiday season is really about. The media, advertisements and other people may pressurise you to spend on what you had not planned for but it is always advisable to stick to your budget.

Do not overspend to have a good time. If your holiday expense list is running longer than your monthly budget, scale back and remind yourself that what matters most is loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations or gourmet food.

Hide your money for the next two weeks and use your cash only as and when you wish to do so, without any outside influence.

Keep it simple.
Part of releasing expectations is simplifying your Christmas season. If you over-schedule yourself with activities, shopping and travel, you will be stressed and will miss out on the peace and beauty of the season.

If you are dragging your kids off to what ‘is the tradition’ but they are whining every step of the way, make a switch. True, families thrive on traditions, but it's less about the event itself, which your kids may have outgrown, and more about time together. If your kids are complaining, drop expensive, high-stress rituals in favour of something simple and universally appealing.

Stop worrying about public perception.
When you have visitors and family around don’t bother about how the house is going to look. They will not even notice, if say, the net curtains are not washed. There is no need to create that perfect Christmas as seen in all those ads. The best way to make everyone feel welcome is to be a happy relaxed host.

Sometimes we avoid inviting friends over during the holidays unless everything is perfect — the right meal, the house completely decorated and cleaned, a gift purchased. Let that go and enjoy spontaneous get-togethers to share a meal or simply some time together. Don’t miss connections waiting for perfection.

Focus on what's most important.
Refocus on what's most important to you. If you are overwhelmed with dozens of activities and expenses that you need to spend on, ask yourself, “Which are the most important ones?” Spend on those and put the rest on the back burner.

Make time to make Christmas a family occasion.
Many people work until the moment of Christmas and miss out on the preparations leading up to it. Make an effort to take off one day or more if you can, to share time with the family making Christmas craft, food and decorating in a holiday theme together. Visit the stores together to shop and go and see a Christmas movie as a family. Take it easy for change and feel the spirit of Christmas rather than having it thrust upon you. Nothing makes memories last for longer than the memory of peace, tranquility, harmony and a slow pace all at once.

Create an alternative Christmas lunch.
Rather than slaving over the usual cooked lunch, have a “free for all” whereby everyone can have their favourite food, allow anything as long as it is quick, easy and they can prepare or cook it themselves. You can then eat as and when you want and bask in front of the TV, if that’s what you like. Then have your Christmas lunch a few days later, once everything has settled down.

Healthy conversations.
Let your family know that holidays are times to express gratitude, appreciation and give thanks for what you all have, including each other. If there is worry about heated disagreements or negative conversations, focus on what you and your family have in common. Families might even plan activities they can do together that foster good fun and laughter, like playing a family game or looking through old photo albums.

Know when to say no.
We should only say yes to meaningful events that focus on the holiday and bring the whole family together. You should choose to throw the big blowout parties or spend more at another time of the year, when you and your guests will have fewer commitments competing for your precious time.

Lonely Christmas.
If you are going to be on your own over Christmas, see it as an opportunity for freedom and space to enjoy the festivities even more. Do not let being on your own stop you from having a good time. Perhaps you can connect with other people like you and have a communal Christmas lunch together.

Christmas movie night
Everyone has a favourite Christmas movie, so why not invite a few of your friends round or gather up the family and arrange a Christmas movie night? The rules are this: everyone should bring one Christmas movie they love and a Christmas treat. Then you just need to sit back and enjoy.

Get involved
The best way to make sure this is your best Christmas ever is to get involved in all the Christmas activities in your local community. Get involved with as much as you possibly can to make sure this Christmas is memorable and meaningful.

Take a drive or a walk.
Get in the car and take a drive just to look at the holiday lights and decorations. Or simple walk around your neighborhood. Carry a mug of hot chocolate and a box of homemade cookies with you and make it an occasion.

Remember to have fun.
As you spend all your time to make family or friends happy, take a deep breath and savour the moment. Give yourself permission to forget about all those tasks still left on your to-do list and have fun too.

Remember too that Christmas isn't about things, money or showing off. It's about Christ and his birth. He had his family with him, and that's the perfect in Christmas. It doesn't matter if you have a million presents, if you are with your family, then that's the best thing about Christmas.

Reach out to someone lonely.
If you know someone alone or lonely this holiday season, connect with them. Invite them over for a meal or include them in a family occasion. The holidays can be very sad for many people, and you can bring a ray of light into their lives.
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