20 ways to make Christmas less stressful

20 ways to make Christmas less stressful… true it’s Dec 19th now, but still time to have less stressful holidays!

A Christmas cake, for a pre-Christmas celebration with tea

A Christmas cake, for a pre-Christmas celebration with tea. Nail polish not chipped, but a “negative space” design!

Christmas atmosphere fills the air now! That means friends, family and office parties, but sometimes it also means stress. If it’s not possible to completely avoid it, here are 20 ideas to make Christmas more special, magical and less stressful :) How do you fight stress during Christmas?

But before that, let me wish you all a fantastic Christmas time!  I truly want to thank you for the big part you play in my life, always supporting me through nice words! Blogging allows us to be touched by others and maybe, make some contributions, definitely learning from each other. Christmas is a time for family, friends and the people who matter the most to you, who impact on our lives. I wish everybody a beautiful Christmas and a wonderful new year, with love, joy, hope; may you fulfil your goals and always be kind to other people, to have a better world! May Christmas beauty live in our hearts all year!

Christmas wishes

For some years I’ve been preparing Christmas celebrations, with food and decoration ideas – here, here and here. This year I was very busy, so I prepared a simple tea-party for some friends!

20 Ways to Make Christmas less Stressful

No one wants our angel to be tired...

No one wants our angels to be tired…

1. Set up your priorities – Maybe write lists down, to organize what you need to do first, what can wait, what you can ditch. Christmas’ meaning is love and togetherness – the rest is… “accessories”.

2. Make your own perfect party – TV and media put pressure on us, “imposing” what’s good, what’s not and people often compare their houses, decoration, outfits, etc, to images of “perfection” of a friend or even celebrities. That’s a trap – do  and wear what’s better for you and your family!

A small Christmas tree with popcorn!

A small Christmas tree with popcorn!

3. Decorate for you – The previous tip leads to this one. Use what you have, create, have a big tree, a small one or none – it’s up to you! Decorate your house – or not – the way you prefer. Make the best of what you have.

4. Stay on your budget – Don’t over spend if you can’t. People will understand. And if they don’t, maybe they are not the ones you should be around? Good thought :)

5. Online shopping saves a lot of time! And you can browse anytime and a broader amount of shops! And no crowded stores!

A Christmas tea party

6. Write thanks-notes – Either to people or keep it private; it really makes a difference and keeps the focus on the positive, the blessings you had during life and the year. It really can improve the mood!

7. Create some new traditions – Surely there are nostalgic traditions, keep them too, but why not creating memorable times of your own, to the family? What the people in your life really want from you is your attention, your time, care and love.

To eat: condensed milk sweets with strawberry!

To eat: condensed milk sweets with a strawberry hat!

9. Don’t be ashamed of saying NO – Limit your activities, don’t over-commit; it’s not possible to do everything to everybody all the time. If you do so, you just end up feeling drained.

Yes and No quote

10. Reset Expectations – On everything: who will come to the party, the presents you will get, who will send you cards… If you set your expectations high and they are not fulfilled, frustration leads to stress. So maybe it’s better to keep them a bit more down to earth :)

11. Keep it simple – Why having a big tree, if you know it will take time and money that maybe you don’t have, sometimes just to impress? Or a big supper that will take you days organizing, preparing and then cleaning? :) Do it if you want, of course, but if you keep it simple, it can also be very beautiful, good and rewarding!

Source here

Minimalistic Christmas decor. Source here

Simple, but full of nice feelings!

Simple, but full of nice feelings! Fill an ice bucket with some Christmas ornaments!

12. Start the Christmas mood by watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas songs! They do ignite the Christmas atmosphere, cheering us up!

13. Bake – Whatever: cookies, cakes or… panettone! Try to give them to some people who you love. A pearl necklace may be great, but cookies baked by a friend are really priceless – it shows that the person fondly thought of us.

A delicious Christmas cake - everybody loved it!

A delicious two tier Christmas cake that I baked – everybody loved it!

14. Wrap creatively – It’s also part of the previous tip. It shows care and attention. But do it ONLY if you don’t feel the pressure to be different, thus leading to stress!

15. Give also time, not things – #13 and #14 are good examples of that. Listen to a friend in need, or give some time to a charity you help. Organizing Christmas parties for the ones who have no one to look after them is a good way to show some Christmas love, too.

16. Reflect about life – Say I Love You to family and friends. Time flies. This year I have lost a half-brother and one of my mother’s best friends. So say “I love You” often, don’t wait for tomorrow! It means more than a present – reflect about the meaning of Christmas. It’s a good time to do that!

17. Allow yourself to gain 4 lbs. (around 2 kilos) during the holiday parties :) – Just relax… enjoy all the special things that this period offers!

Gaining weight during Christmas

18. Find a fun activity (it can be simple and free) and share it, play it with your family and friends.If you say that you don’t have time, think a bit better – we tend to spend time on things that aren’t adding anything (positive) to our lives, and instead of spending 2 hours on the web checking facebook posts we could be spending time with beloved ones. Just my humble opinion.

Lack of time x priorities

19. No last minute shopping! Go back to #5 :) Avoid the last minute stress, when you won’t find what you want and will have to compromise. Last minute shopping is a reason of huge stress!

20. Enjoy – Christmas is a beautiful time and celebration, and it is supposed to be fun; it doesn’t have to be “perfect” and what does perfect mean, anyway? It depends on the person. Besides, there’ll be Christmas next year, and next and next. You can always change things and do something different every year. And keep traditions, too. So enjoy it! And bring your happiness to the celebration!

I love this mug - you can write whatever you want there, erase and write a note again!

I love this mug – you can write whatever you want there, erase and write a note again!

Hope you have a fabulous week and Christmas with many smiles!

Thanks for the sweet comments!

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63 thoughts on “20 ways to make Christmas less stressful

  1. Love all these tips, especially, second one! So pretty cake on first photo. That quote about gaing weight between holidays have opposite meaning for who lives in countries (as mine) where people celebrate Christmas after New year eve haha.

  2. Io adoro questo periodo cara Denise!!! Natale è la mia festa preferita e amo tutto quello che la precede e segue, quindi per me fare i regali, addobbare la casa e partecipare a feste ed incontri è per lo più un piacere!^^
    Però devo ammettere che per me le cose sono anche semplificate molto dal fatto che tutta la famiglia collabora in tutte le attività, ci dividiamo i compiti secondo il tempo e le capacità (ad es. io decoro l’albero e la casa, mamma cucina, papà si occupa della tavola e del camino, mio fratello monta luci, si occupa della musica e di tutto quello che è tecnologico… ecc), quindi alla fine non è troppo stressante per nessuno! :)
    La tua torta di Natale è bellissima, tesoro, ti suguro di passare delle feste meravilgiose! :)
    Baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it/

  3. Such a great post! Totally agree it’s all about setting your priorities and setting up your own traditions! I like to take things easy during the Holiday Season since it should be a time of sereneness and calmness. All the craziness about shopping is just nuts. Great read, Denise, thanks for sharing! Love ya!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

  4. Liebe Denise, danke für Deine wunderbaren Wünsche! Auch Dir von ganzem Herzen ein wunderbares Weihnachtsfest – natürlich so entspannt wie nur möglich. Aber ich sehe schon, das ist für Dich alles leicht machbar, denn Du weißt, wie man Weihnachten genießt, ohne Streß zu haben! Du hast absolut recht mit Deinen Tipps, das weiß ich aus eigener Erfahrung :) Zum Glück ist bei uns Weihnachten sehr harmlos und ich freue mich auf die ruhigen Tage. Genieße auch Du die Zeit. Danke, dass es Dich gibt <3
    Liebe Grüße, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  5. Your post is just in time, dear Denise! Personally I love Christmas and festive atmophere, but on the other hand, I can’t agree with you more that it’s stressful period of year, especially when there are so many things to deal with (i.e. cooking, cleaning, buying presents, decorating, etc). I really enjoy each of your tip, to be honest I think that the one about saying “I love you” to the person, which we love is the most important one – nowadays we’re so busy that we forget to say that three words and unfortunately – time flies so fast, so we should remember to say “I love you” more often.
    Hope that you’re having lovely evening, Denise and I wish you merry Christmas in advance, dear friend :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

  6. You have inspired me so much with this wonderful post! I totally agree with everything you said. Christmas should be about love…the rest is just accessories. I think that in Christmas time we all feel the need and sometimes also the pressure to be perfect.

    We want to be there for everyone. We want to do everything. We want to try out everything. We want the perfect house, the perfect meal, the perfect family. Sometimes it can all be a bit too overwhelming. It is important to free ourselves from expectations, both those imposed by the media and by ourselves- and remember to just enjoy ourselves and have a good time.

    Your tips are wonderful. Staying on budget is important. By not spending too much on presents, we avoid the stress that comes with it…I mean, what ever happened with – it is the thought that counts. The presents we remember best are always those that come from the heart.

    I did a bit of volunteer work last Friday. Such a lovely experience! I donated two hours of my time and some of my art…and it was so nice. I worked with this school last year and I was so happy when they called me to volunteer this year.

    Saying I love you and spending meaningful time with our loved ones is so important! We all need to do that as often as possible. We need to let those we care about know that we care and that we love them….and in that spirit I want to thank you for your lovely and meaningful comments and for your blogging friendship. It really means a lot to me. Have a happy Christmas!

  7. Ciao Denise :) questo post è davvero fantastico! È vero, spesso il Natale diventa solo un periodo di stress e le persone non riescono a godersi questo fantastico momento dell’anno. Io amo il Natale e per me è un momento speciale da godermi a pieno. Invece noto che le persone lo vivono solo con l’ansia di fare i regali e comprare le cose per il pranzo o la cena di Natale. Bisogna vivere questo periodo con serenità e con quel piccolo di innocenza dei bambini che spesso ci dimentichiamo. Baci

    aishettina.blogspot.it

  8. I so needed to read this Denise! I don’t know why but peperations for Christmas have been more stressful this year than ever. The main event is only a few days away and I still have quite a few things left to buy! I’m taking comfort from your ‘don’t be hard on yourself’ tips. You’re right, it’s impossible to be everywhere and do everything so don’t feel bad about turning invites down and the such. And I love your point about gaining 4lbs and not worrying about it – Christmas is def a time to let things go and just ENJOY! Have a fabulous festive holiday and thank you for all your support this year Denise. It’s been truly appreciated :). Txxxx

  9. This is a fantastic list, Denise! I completely agree with #5! Online shopping is the absolute best thing ever at this time of year. I really need to get better about #9 myself…I have a hard time saying “no” and overcommit to Christmas events every single year…which is where the majority of my holiday stress comes from.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :)

    ~Lindsey
    http://have-clothes-will-travel.com/

  10. Great tips Denise, very well thought out, and positive.
    I love the idea of thank you cards, I seldom receive them anymore, and it is a real pleasure to get one. ( I get thank you on emails). I love your advice to do what one feels comfortable with, no less, no more.
    I wish you a special holiday filled with peace, love and harmony. Make lots of happy memories for the future!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

  11. These are some great tips hun, christmas is going to be very different for me this time though, first time in 35 years I wont have my dad here…hes too sick to come down from where he stays. Very grateful to my boyfriend and his family though for their support and spending christmas with them. will still miss our family traditions though. xxx

  12. perfect post and tips…holidays can be stressful and if one keeps these tips in mind, they can save a lot of time and hence less stress :) the pre christmas party cake looks so yummy…share a pic of your nailart please :)

  13. Beautiful post and tips, Denise. I do all my Xmas shopping year round, so no stress at all. Hope you are feeling better already, don’t stress yourself out, girl. I wish you a blessed holiday season. May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!
    kisses
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

  14. Merry Christmas Denise. i hope you and your loved ones have a really wonderful Christmas.
    I always enjoy your post and all the inspiration you share, so I am the one saying thank you.
    Planning ans starting early are great ways to avoid the stress. I definitely allow myself to gain a lil more than 4 pound :p, the whole holiday season, not just Christmas :p.
    These are great tips you shares. Have an amazing time tomorrow dear :)
    xo
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

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