Christmas is just around the corner and that means some are going into panic overdrive. It can be easy to get caught up in the pressure of the festive season and buy too much, spend too much, plan to do too much and generally stress too much. Stressing can also involve eating and drinking too much (especially alcohol) and then feeling guilty.
Most people have read hints about making lists, sharing the jobs around, doing a secret Santa instead of buying for everyone and so on. These all make sense and can help to reduce the stress that can be involved with celebrating Christmas.
You can also check what you already have before you buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift boxes, decorations and lights. It is easy to forget what you have left over from last Christmas or what you bought at reduced price at the post Christmas sales.
Checking keeps the cost down because you only buy what you really need. It also means you don't end up with 'Christmas clutter'. If you have bits and pieces tucked away in all sorts of odd corners you may overlook things you already have and buy unnecessary items.
If this does happen, make a New Year's Resolution (if you believe in doing so) to declutter, sort and organise so in Christmas 2017 you use up your stockpile.
If you think creatively you may be able to use plain coloured or brown paper to wrap presents and make it festive by adding a few coloured stars, festive ribbon or sticky tape or a picture cut from an old Christmas card. If the paper is only going to be ripped off by the recipient (maybe a young child), perhaps fancy paper isn't necessary.
There may be other ways to use some items you have that are not specifically 'Christmassy' so you save some money, avoid an extra trip to the shops and free up some space.
Doing things to avoid stress should help you get greater enjoyment from the Christmas season.
To get the most enjoyment out of Christmas, do things your way and at your pace, if possible. For me that means not trying to do too much or fuss too much about details. Another person may actually enjoy more pressure than I do and the rush of adrenaline involved. I remember a friend telling me one year she was so organised it rather took the fun out of Christmas for her.
Don't worry if the Christmas you want doesn't look like other people's Christmas. Other people may want a crowd of people around on Christmas Day and you spend it with one or two.
Perhaps you spend Christmas Day on your own and are happy with that as you are the most relaxed when you are alone. Others may not understand but if you are happy, that's fine.
If you are going to be on your own, not from choice and the thought makes you sad, see if you can volunteer to help out with a community event being organised for those in need. Helping to make Christmas Day happy for others will also lift your spirits.