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TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS

Kelly Lowdon

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH CHRISTMAS

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year!  Putting up the Christmas tree, Christmas music and of course, Christmas cooking...  But Christmas does seem to send a percentage of people around the twist!  There is often so much going on and such an enormous build up for one day, that many people find Christmas to be an overwhelming stress, rather than a time to rejoice and celebrate the things that are important to us.  So here are my tips for a stress-free Christmas.

1.        MAKE A PLAN.  Even if you're generally not a planner, if you are hosting Christmas Day, then you need a plan.  Remember the 6 P’s – Proper Planning Prevents Positively Poor Performance!  Ok, for any of you who know this saying I may have changed one of the words to make it inoffensive, but you get the drift.  Make a shopping list and a schedule.  This allows you to clearly prioritise, fit in all you need to do and even have an escape plan if you need to take a moment of time out.  It’s not easy to keep organised once you have a houseful of people drinking champa's and chatting away, but if you have a list and running sheet for the day, you will keep on track!

 

2.        KEEP IT SIMPLE -  Maximum impact and minimum effort is the key.  Try and do a few things that are interesting and will please everyone, kids alike.  Don’t go making separate food for the kids.  Most little kids are happy with some fresh bread and Christmas ham, so don’t stress about the little ones, they will find plenty to eat.  Ask family to bring something along, sharing the load at Christmas makes it easier for everyone.  Remember, many hands make light work.

 

3.       DO IT AHEAD.  You will have a much smoother day if you can do as much as you can ahead of time.  For example, if you're making stuffing, start stock piling breadcrumbs in the freezer from your left-over bread.  Have your ingredients chopped and ready to go in plastic containers in the fridge ahead of time.  I find when cooking it is often all the little steps that end up taking up so much time.  The toasting of the nuts, the chopping of herbs etc.  So, do as much of this stuff in advance as you can, it’s not only all of these small steps that take up time, it’s the clean up after each step.  You will save yourself a mountain of work by being organised in this department.

 

4.       CREATE NEW TRADITIONS.  So much changes from one year to the next.  So, if what felt right in the past doesn’t feel appropriate the following year, change it.  Perhaps Christmas doesn’t feel the same since the passing of a loved one, so be sure to make a heartfelt toast for those that can’t be with you.  Sometimes creating new small traditions for Christmas, can help us feel more connected on the day itself.

 

5.       DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.  I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give.  Things rarely go exactly as planned, so don’t sweat the small stuff.  Remember to laugh.  I recently had my hair cut by my lovely hairdresser who is originally from England, who told me the best Christmas story.  He arrived to his parents’ house excited for their traditional hot Christmas lunch, and when it was close to serving time his mum thought she better check the turkey and realised she had forgotten to turn the oven on!  Apparently, this has gone down in history as one of the funniest Christmas events of all time.  What’s best about this story is no-one cared, instead they all burst into laughter and hung it on their mum big time, all in good humour.  They didn’t sweat the small stuff and neither should you.

So have a wonderful Christmas and don't forget to check out our beautiful range of platters which are perfect for Christmas Day!