Christmas time is here again, or nearly, and although I love Christmas (honest I do!) I start getting festive anxiety around the middle of November just contemplating all the holiday hoops I’m going to have to jump through.
Now for the sake of transparency, I have NOT got the whole Christmas thing down, even after 17 years of practice. It only really became a thing when I had kids, before that I just went out, drank and then turned up at my parents place on Xmas Eve (bliss!). But, for what it’s worth here are a few of my Christmas lessons learned and top tips which you can choose to disregard as you see fit!
Pace yourself. I always used to think two weeks before Xmas was plenty of time to get everything done but inevitably this led to huge fails, like everywhere having run out of decorations/trees or not being able to get that present the kids REALLY wanted for Christmas. It’s already Dec 5th so this post is a bit late, but even though it went against every fibre of my being I started my online shopping around mid-November and I finished it yesterday. I will go out to pick up a few bits and bobs for stockings but the bulk of it is DONE. I’m no Martha Stewart believe me, but by pacing myself I retain my sanity.
Decide what cooking/food stuff you want to do and what you don’t. There’s waaaaay too much pressure to do Christmas ‘right’ and that leads to kitchen stress. Let go of that s**t and think about what you actually like doing and are good at and stick to that. I love making my own mince pies and always do, but I’m not gonna be making reindeer-shaped pancakes, or Christmas energy balls (I did last year but can’t for the life of me think why) or snowflake cookies. I do like making Christmas cake and Christmas pud and usually would, but we are in Canada this year so they will be bought when we get there. If you are having a festive party, as I am this weekend, then keep it simple - the main food event is going to be a mega cheese and antipasti board – all shop bought! - but I will make mince pies (as above), guacamole with crostini, caprese skewers (great Christmas colours) and mulled wine. Ease off, you don’t have to do everything, same goes for Christmas dinner – make what you like making and buy the rest. And if all else fails, smoked salmon and Cava are your friend!
Traditions are great but maybe some can go? I love a family Christmas tradition as much as the next person but over the years, particularly with kids, they start to build up and become a bit of a chore. I still do a family calendar with our best photos from the year and whilst it’s a lovely thing to have I do dread it a bit. I can’t quite give that one up just yet but I have given up sending cards - I just send a Whatsapp with a family photo, job done. Happily, my kids have grown out of the gingerbread-house-making and iced-biscuit-tree-decoration phase but with minimal regard for stressed-out Mums the school has decided to have a Christmas bake sale next week, so we aren’t quite out of the woods yet.
Eat (and drink) with awareness so you don't feel like crap. This is definitely something I’ve got a lot better at over the years! Christmas is only one day - and massive over-indulgence is to be encouraged - but the ‘sod it!’ mindset can’t apply to the whole of December!! Try and adjust for the mince pies and mulled wine by having the odd ‘light day’ and being as mindful as possible. If you want to recap here are my previous posts on how to go about it:
Join me in a health reset in January. My dieting days are long gone but I still find, come January, that I am ready for a reboot and I follow my own 28 day StealthHealth plan when the new year rocks around. If you fancy joining me then here’s the landing page (Your 28 day programme starts here) and I’ll be posting lots more about it once Christmas and New Year are done and dusted!
So everyone, deep breath, we’ve got this! I’d really love to hear any top tips for Christmas bliss that you may have, so please share your words of wisdom in the comments below.
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