5 Tips for Taking the Stress out of Christmas
Hi - I am Nicole Keleher, CEO and Head Designer at My Christmas —Australia’s premier Christmas decor suppliers and consultants. Our goal is to empower all Australian Christmas lovers to create their most magical Christmas wonderland — be it a simple living room tree, a heart-warming front door wreath display or an entire-house transformation.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But for many it is the tipping point where people find the stress and burden of added jobs on the ‘to do’ list overwhelming. So what can you do to simplify Christmas planning and ensure you create your ‘perfect’ Christmas day — and have enough energy left to enjoy it yourself?!
Let’s start by removing the word ‘perfect’ from our Christmas expectation. I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to create the ‘perfect Christmas day’ for our families. We want to create memories our children take into adulthood of the ‘perfect’ day and traditions that come with Christmas. Creating a wonderful Christmas season is fantastic - but let’s take the pressure off ourselves and say it doesn’t have to be perfect.
With that out of the way... here are my top 5 tips for de-stressing at Christmas and still creating a wonderful Christmas experience for the family.
1. Ask for help!
Whether it’s preparing part of the Christmas day meal, helping with the cleaning up, or simply having a friend pick up the kids from school so you can finish your shopping, if we work together the job list is so much easier to manage.
2. Play to your Strengths
A task is less of a chore if you enjoy doing it. So, if you like decorating, go ahead and spend your time decorating for Christmas, but if this has no appeal to you, then put up the tree with the kids and keep it simple. If you love to cook, then you might want to prepare a classic feast. But if cooking is not your thing, then you can always buy some of the items pre-prepared, simplify the menu, or ask someone who does like to cook to help (see point 1). And finally, if you love to clean go ahead and spring clean the house. However, if you don’t mind the fact there is a little dust behind the couch, I don’t think anyone will notice — so tidy the house but you don’t have to go over board.
3. Living with Family
You may not enjoy the company of all members of your family and Christmas is the day you get to see them all, at once! We are often harshest, and most honest with our families because we know each other so well. If you find it hard to get help from family maybe you play to their strengths a bit. Rather than giving them a task they don’t like (eg cooking), give them something they do, like helping to decorate or looking after your kids while you go Christmas shopping.
And when celebrating Christmas together, it can help if you focus your time on the family members whose company you enjoy and less time with the ones that cause you more stress.
I know there is real pain in some families and these tips do not pretend to alleviate the bigger issues some families have to face. But they may help remove a few of the smaller difficulties.
4. Break the bigger jobs down
Each year my kids and I would make a gingerbread house to enjoy on Christmas Day. This is a big job for kids. So I would always make the dough ahead of time and put it in the fridge or freezer so on the day of house making it was only baking and decorating.
We also always set up our Christmas tree over 2 days. The tree and lights get put up on the first day (which can be a bit of a chore) but on the second day we put our favourite Christmas movie on in the background and decorate the tree together.
By breaking down big chores they become manageable.
5. Take time for YOU!
We are so much busier at this time of year but don’t forget you. Maybe you can indulge in a pedicure or facial, or if the budget doesn’t allow, simply take an hour out of your day and give yourself a facial or soak in the bath. Remember to take a little time to look after yourself. You will be more engaged with your family and friends if you are feeling more relaxed. And if you don’t think you have time, look at the to do list and decide what’s actually not that important and take it off. This is a simple way of getting a little time back for yourself.
I hope these tips can help you enjoy this special time of year with your loved ones.
Nicole Keleher is CEO and Head Designer at My Christmas —Australia’s premier Christmas decor suppliers and consultants. The business started over a decade ago, to fill a clear gap in the Australian market for stylish Christmas decorations — and to fill the homes of Australian families with them. My Christmas supplies elegant, high-quality Christmas decorations and end-to-end style consultations. You can visit Nicole’s iconic store at 427 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria or jump online to shop or organise a consultation. You can also find My Christmas on socials Instagram and Facebook.