Picture Christmas morning and you’ll probably think of a beautiful tree surrounded by gorgeous presents, happy children, nice tunes and maybe a glass of bubbles?
Now think back to last year, is it as above? If so Well Done You, now can you please let the rest of us into the secret? Did you, like me stay up till all hours on Xmas Eve getting it ready resulting in starting the excitement of Christmas at 4.45am with excited kids bouncing on the bed? By 7am you are exhausted and there’s still the whole day to get through, the food to be prepared and served. The day is lovely but more work that you can handle with constant feeding and demands that can have you either hammered by 11am or MIA asleep in the under stairs cupboard where you hid for 5 minutes to get some peace!
So WHY Do We Put Ourselves Through This? Children, even over grown ones of course! Ironically, they won’t remember if the tree was perfectly decorated, if the roasties were to die for or even in most cases what presents they got last year! What mine appear to remember is playing cards and silly games, things that made us laugh and what we actually did together. So I can only conclude its all about the memories, everything else is like the glossy wrapping paper, dis-guarded and long forgotten before New Years Eve.
So with that in mind, here are my plans for this year:
- DON’T BE A MARTYR, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY! Delegate, divide and conquer, put the superwomen cape away! Work out in advance who is responsible for each task on the day, be very clear on what that means, what the end result should look like and by when. I usually forget this bit, leading to disappointment and my tendency to put my Martyr hat back on, sigh and do it myself anyway which defeats the object of sharing the load!
- GLOSSY SOCIAL MEDIA PICS OF PERFECTION…! Other people’s posts can leave you feeling a wee bit inadequate. Stop it now, have a sense check! Work with what you have, make it look inviting and Christmassy your way. Perfection is a mythical creature and I’m guessing you don’t routinely go looking for Unicorns or Dragons?
- PLANNING MADE FUN (really?) in the lead up to the big day, make a plan but include a few ‘incentives’. I know it’s boring but map out what’s gotta get done, divvy it up into smaller chunks and plan for it to all be done preferably BEFORE Xmas Eve. Note here for your inner Marthry, ‘Recruit Helpers’ Include some rewards for everyone as they complete their tasks, cookies, bath, take out, that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on… too much? Maybe but you get the idea! Making it a group activity shares the workload and who knows, you might even have some fun along the way!?!
- Turn that Chore into a Party! Wrapping presents (I’m lucky, the Husband likes that bit!) but for most it’s back breaking, tiring and tedious experience. The first few are fun for sure, they have ribbon and nice labels but after about 5 it loses its appeal! So arrange a wrapping party. Get together with others, mull the wine and spend a fun afternoon/evening together catching up and getting stuff done!
- DON’T OVERLOAD THE SOCIAL CALENDAR. Please be kinder to yourself and the family. It really is OKAY TO SAY NO to things you feel you should but in all honesty don’t want to do! The kids will moan at yet another boring adult party (separation anxiety from their tech!) the other half will no doubt moan then get hammered leaving you politely sipping something non alcoholic, thinking of everything you still have to do and feeling resentful. Pick just the ones you know you will love, figure out in advance who is driving or just this once, get a cab! Go and ENJOY YOURSELF!!!
- SELF! Please make sure you include time for SELF in the midst of all this! It is too easy to get so bogged down in every one else’s needs that you completely forget it’s supposed to be fun! What is your bliss? Include some of that, plan a night with friends, treat yourself to a coffee (or G&T, hey I’m not judging!) to make that shopping trip a bit less arduous. Also, try (I said try okay, I know, I know!) to get plenty of sleep leading up to the big day, don’t burn out before it even begins!
- Xmas Eve: It’s here and if it’s gone to plan you are READY!!! As a reward plan an outing, invite the besties round, play games, drink the bubbles – Basically instead of rushing around like a tit in a trance, all stressed out and shouty like before, you have given yourself the gift of fun and relaxation… Well Done You!!! I see a smug selfie coming….!
- Remember what I said about the Kids? They are super excited, it’s a magical day for them and let’s face it, they will be grown and gone before you can blink so please forget about clearing up or the ever present time waster that is social media. Give them your full attention and have some fun together. Bet you a fiver that’s what they will remember this time next year!
- Last thing, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP if things don’t go exactly to plan. As long as you are all together and there is wine, everything else will be okay!
Here’s to an enjoyable Christmas! Please share and drop me a comment below, share any pearls of wisdom! Thank you!