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Christmas market outside Westminster Cathedral
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Christmas market outside Westminster Cathedral

Some people believe that Christmas is the best time of the year, but what really makes them feel this way? Could it be the time they are taking off work, the excitement of meeting up with friends and family or just the absolute joy of preparing and roasting the lunch? On the other hand, there are people who just loathe the whole thing about the festive season because they find the run up to it, stressful simply because it’s that one time of the year, when they have to face up to those unwanted family members.

Family Christmas Lunch
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Family Christmas Lunch

 

Yorkshire Pudding
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Yorkshire Pudding

The best way to enjoy the festive season is to just be yourself and remind friends and family to all contribute to the meal, after all the festivity is not just about one individual (you), it’s about a celebrate. But can you get ahead of the Christmas stress?

Should we blame the shops for advertising and promoting Christmas earlier on in the year and filling the shelves with more and more items, pushing us into buying products that will only meet our short-term needs? This spoils the meaning of the season and makes it less special. The cost is high and too many people spend well over their budget just for one day, causing financial stress.

Finding out where Christmas will be is another hassle, which then becomes complicated. It’s hard enough buying groceries and presents because there isn’t enough time in the day to do this.

As I mentioned earlier, spending Christmas with people who don’t get along with you is very sad and can put you off for life. My childhood Christmases were my best, thanks to my parents. Christmas time gave me some magical moments, like seeing relatives I hadn’t seen for a long time, looking forward to receiving my presents and watching movies. It’s a waste of time and energy trying to keep everyone happy because everyone’s expectations are different. This is beyond our control.

Inside Westminster Cathedral at Christmas
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Inside Westminster Cathedral at Christmas

 

Going to a Carol service is a nice way to enjoy the season. These take place in schools and churches. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and the Christmas market is my favourite Christmas venue but I try to get there before lunchtime just to see the goodies on the stalls. They are full of festive things and a place where I spend time with friend and family meet ups.

Shoppers at the Christmas Market outside Westminster Cathedral
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Shoppers at the Christmas Market outside Westminster Cathedral

Did you know that it’s easier to join friends and have a Christmas meal in a good restaurant instead of cooking until you drop at home? Pub lunches can be booked in advance. It will be so much easier and there would be absolutely no need to cook. Some cultures celebrate on the 24th of December instead of the 25th. Cooking at home is sometimes exciting with the aroma of the dinner roasting on Christmas Eve but can stressful if you are hosting.

Presents under the Christmas tree
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Presents under the Christmas tree

After buying the gifts, the next challenge is to work out where to hide them so that the children won’t find them. Look for an empty suitcase, and then if they are not too big just hide them in there for a short while until there’s a suitable time for wrapping them. Another hiding place is a corner in the garage or leave them with a friend.

On Christmas day, the feral sound of wrapping paper, ripping open and the stickiness of cellotape makes Christmas exciting. Most of my gifts were wrapped at the last-minute because regardless of how well-organized I am, one of my challenges is to get this the job done before the day.

Don’t spend precious time wrapping gifts instead use makeshift gift bags as this leads to unwanted stress. I haven’t wrapped a single gift this year because I’m simplifying life. Gone are the days when I stayed up late a night wrapping endless gifts and falling asleep whilst doing so.

 

My children always look forward to the excitement of discovering gifts placed under the tree and spend ages guessing what the content is. Hopefully, you will have a great time and celebrate it the way you want to this year. It is a joyful time of the year and there is no need for unwanted Christmas stress.

Do let me know if you’ve had any nightmare Christmases and if you have, how did you make peace. Merry Christmas!  

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