How to have a happy Christmas

Balancing cheer and the work of Christmas day

It may seem a little counterintuitive that the most wonderful time of the year for many people can also be the most stressful. Jammed between Thanksgiving and New Year,  Christmas is packed with parties and family get-togethers, meals to prepare, presents to give, and all supercharged with excited children and high expectations. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s easy to be caught up in how weird the world gets right now.

When you’re short on time and cash, Christmastime is a whole lot of stressful. Buying trash no-one needs for people you don’t like with cash you don’t have on time that’s running out is one way of coping with Christmas. Another way is to balance the hard work with some relaxation and a little focus on managing your (and other people’s) expectations.

Holiday time is supposed to be enjoyable. Learning how to balance the things you have to do with the things you want to do is key to enjoying it. So, try these:

    1. Ditch the concept of “the perfect christmas”
      Wanting the Christmas you have is a whole lot more doable than having the Christmas you want. Good enough isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough. And that’s good enough, isn’t it?
    2. Split the chores fairly, get agreement upfront, and make it interesting
      Christmas brings extra tasks and chores. Divide the work fairly between everyone – heck, even draw up a rota that you all agree to. Then make it a giggle: do your chores in fancy Christmas hats or in character; put a timer on and see how much everyone can get done in 15 minutes; sing your conversation instead of speaking it. Take it in turns to make up mad rules. Who says chores have to be boring?
    3. Stick to deadlines, because they don’t go on vacation.
      You can enjoy your holiday season much more if you avoid procrastinating and just get the vital stuff done. It means more time and headspace to spend with your friends and family.
    4. Don’t skip out on fun: remember, your mission is to balance work and play.
      If you overdo either the work or the fun (or both!) you’ll stress out. Too much work and you might feel resentful that you’re missing out on everything that makes this season great. Too much play and later you’ll  be rushing to finish deadlines or dealing with the consequences of not meeting them. Ouch.

We hope that you all have a great holiday season, however and whatever you celebrate.

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