Follow Jane Mann’s five tips to a perfect Christmas. (S)
1 Get Help: There’s nothing more frustrating than having people hanging around the kitchen while you’re trying to get on. Give out the jobs before the big day to avoid your festive spirit evaporating like brandy on a pudding. Get someone to set the table; someone else can keep the drinks topped up. Who’s going to keep the games going? Nominate someone to keep the place tidy and get rid of the wrapping paper. If you want sprout peelers and carrot mashers let them know. Keep the worker bees busy, and you can sail through the cooking without distraction.
2 Super Simple: Can you really go to that party on Friday night, take the children to visit Santa on Saturday morning, do the Christmas shop and have people over on Saturday night? There’s something about the festive season that makes us feel we need to be Superman, taking on anything and everything and managing it all perfectly. Give yourself plenty of time, write up your calendar now and leave yawning gaps between events. Schedule in relaxing days, going for walks with the kids and coming home to hot chocolate and whipped cream in front of the fire. Have a family day, watching Christmas films, eating popcorn and pizza. Let the festive season come to you.
3 Be Creative: Do you have a budget? This is the time to make your plan and stick to it. If money is tight suggest to friends and family that a secret Santa is the way forward. Don’t forget they may be in the same position as you and you’ll be doing them a favour by giving them an alternative. Buy family presents instead of individual ones or if you feel inclined, make some home-made fudge or sweets. Have chicken instead of turkey or buy turkey slices, if your family aren’t keen on eating the leftovers. Spending less doesn’t mean missing out. Let 2017 come in with a smile not a groan!
4 On Your Own: For some people being alone isn’t a problem but at Christmas time it can be difficult, especially when others reel back in horror when they hear you’ll be on your own. Being alone and being lonely are two different things and they’re in your control. If you do fancy spending time with others there are a whole lot of options. Check out the volunteer opportunities in your area or invite others to join you, do you have neighbours in a similar position? Join Meet Up, an organisation where the members organise everything from walks to meals and even holidays (www.meetup.com). There are plenty of local Meet Up groups in the area and there’ll be something happening during the Christmas season and if there isn’t, you can organise one, members rule on Meet Up!
5 Santa To The Rescue: Father Christmas seems to be able to deliver despite the lack of chimneys, but getting the letter to Santa is trickier. Don’t forget that your child can send a letter to Father Christmas as long as they do it by December 9. The Royal Mail has kindly agreed to deliver Father Christmas’ personalised reply back to them free of charge. Don’t forget to put a stamp on the letter and include your childs name and address and send it to Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ. You can also track Father Christmas’ progress from December 1 and see him start to deliver his presents around the world. You can find his website at www.noradsanta.org.
Have a wonderful Christmas, relax and start the New Year with a smile.
Jane Mann - www.better-future-coaching.co.uk