Seven Steps to Christmas Bliss

Posted: November 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

The main thing about enjoying your Christmas is making sure it’s as stress free as possible. Of course it will never be entirely plain sailing, but it is possible to make things easier on yourself. As Christmas approaches, naturally enough it’s the shopping that begins to make us feel a little frayed at the edges. If you’re organised enough to start doing your shopping when the first adverts start appearing on TV you’ll have most of the hard work done by the beginning of November, for the rest of us, shopping starts in earnest now.

To get the festivities off on the right footing you’ll want to ensure that you can find everything you need with the fewest hitches possible. To that end, here are a few recommendations that might help you get through the lead-up to Christmas without incident, panic, stress or tears. Some of these suggestions might seem to be along the lines of teaching your grandmother the basic principles of egg-sucking, but you can’t argue with the evidence. Every year thousands of people are still trying to find The Perfect Gift on Christmas Eve with only minutes before the shops shut.

Write a list, check it twice

Taking ten minutes to put together a list of people to buy for cuts down on wasted time and anxiety. Once you know who you’re buying for you can then plan a rough budget and avoid forgetting to buy for anyone too. It would be nice to be able to buy something unique and perfectly suited for everyone, including those for whom you buy presents only because you feel obliged. The reality is that tough times call for tough decisions, maybe the people you buy for out of a sense of obligation can make do with a card this year.

Novelty wears off

Now that you have your short list of people to buy for, think about what they’d like if it weren’t Christmas. Despite all the ads, nobody really wants a novelty gift. Instead, think about a gift that they will really appreciate. Some people are just impossible to buy for, that’s why socks and hankies were invented, right? But have you tried asking them? OK they might not get that child-like thrill of a totally unexpected surprise, but you’ll be sure of getting them something that you know they wanted. Alternatively, think about genuinely unusual gifts. From beekeeping courses and dance classes to taxidermy and goldsmithing, if you can’t find something interesting to introduce a loved one to in London, it probably doesn’t exist.

Small is beautiful

If someone’s surprised you with an outstanding act of compassion or you’ve made a new friend over the past year, buy them something small and thoughtful. There’s the temptation to buy something that is going to impress but It’s much better to give something discreet and personal.

Timing is everything

Unfortunately there’s no getting around it, Christmas shopping is going to give you a headache at some point. However, there are certain things you can do which will make it bearable. First thing, avoid shopping on your lunch hour or on your way home. Not only is this going to cut into time that‘s meant for other things, it’s when the streets are going to be most crowded. Stopping into shops on your way into work is a better idea, there aren’t so many people about and the staff aren’t exhausted from serving droves of panicking shoppers yet. Alternatively, do it at night as many shops will be closing late at this time of year. But don’t let the temptation of late opening hours lull you into procrastination, later opening hours afford you several hours of extra buying time, use them wisely.

It’s all in the preparation

It’s no good going shopping if you’re tired, hungry, stressed or up against the clock. You’ll make rash decisions or find yourself frustrated when you can’t find what you went out for in the first place. The key here is all about getting yourself ready. Make sure you’re properly fed as having to take time out of your tight schedule to queue for a sandwich is only going to increase your stress. If you’re rested, relaxed, and not fixating on what you’re going to have for dinner you’ll be in a position to cope far better than if your stress levels are already increased.

Not on the high-street

With click and collect you can do all your browsing online, pay for it now and collect it when it’s convenient for you. This is especially good if you like to check the goods for colour and size in-store. Alternatively there’s doorstep delivery. most online retailers offer same or next-day delivery which you can have sent either to your home or office depending on which is most convenient so no more worrying about missing the postman with a very important parcel.

Remember the Christmas Spirit

You can run yourself to a frazzle at this time of year, getting so stressed trying to please all around you that you can’t enjoy the season yourself. Don’t forget that if it all gets too much, you can turn it all off by just saying “no”. Instead, spend Christmas with the people who mean the most to you. People put themselves under a huge amount of pressure to create the perfect Christmas, most of the work going unnoticed by those around them. Instead of wearing yourself to the bone, relax. So many things that you think are necessary probably aren’t so long as you’re with the people you want to be with, doing the things you want to do when you want to do them.

Christmas is never going to be absolutely stress free. Yet taking advantage of strategies that are there to make things easier on yourself is like reaching a Zen like state of tranquility. As if a curtain is pulled back to reveal the intricate workings of a machine, you’ll see how it’s put together and better yet, how to operate it to suit you, rather than exhausting yourself trying to keep up with it. And once you have this enlightenment, you’ll find you have more time to really enjoy that elusive ‘Perfect Christmas’.

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