Everyone talks about the joys of Christmas and the many good memories that come with the season, but no one ever gets candid about the stress this jolly time of the year brings. Let’s take a moment to be completely honest with each other, and ourselves, about traditions and Christmas preparations that often leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and worried.
While the joy of Christmas is real, there are many things we can do (or change) to make it a stress-free time. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many people have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, and faced mentally and financially challenging times, it’s important to take a step back and figure out how you can make yours and your family’s Christmas at home a special, yet non-worrisome one.
So, if you’re one of many homebound Australians looking for ways to make Christmas stress-free in 2020, here’s what it’s going to take!
1. Do Away with Unnecessary Expenses
Just because it’s the festive season, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money to uphold costly Christmas traditions. In fact, even Christmas shopping should be reigned in or switched to budget shopping only. The best way to do this is to make a list of things you really need to buy and look for cost-effective alternatives so you aren’t going over your budget.
As far as gifts are concerned, think outside the box. Don’t splurge on expensive gadgets, toys, and clothing when you could help small businesses and artists grow by buying their products instead. It won’t stress your finances and you will be doing your bit to keep small businesses alive.
Particularly during quarantine, a lot of people used that time to reconnect with their creative side while many went on to market and sell their handmade products on social media. Some even offer personalised items that make for great Christmas gifts for family and friends!
2. Start Your Christmas Preparations Early
No matter how tight your schedule is, set aside some time for Christmas preparations and get the ball rolling as early as possible. It’s not uncommon for people to get overly stressed out when there’s so much to do and Christmas is right around the corner; so, let 2020 be different by staying on top of Christmas preps instead of waiting till the last minute.
Here’s how to do that:
- Make a Christmas checklist and start ticking off tasks that you can do ahead of time or at least two weeks before the holiday.
- Make a daily schedule wherein some amount of time is allotted to preparing for Christmas.
With these two steps in place, you will certainly be better prepared for the Holidays!
3. Keep the House Tidy
One of the things that really stresses people out around the Holidays (and otherwise) is a messy house. It’s so much harder to work efficiently when your house isn’t neat and clean, nor do you feel motivated to do anything about it. Luckily, those who choose to start preparing for Christmas earlier than others are able to get their home in tiptop condition in the days leading up to the Holidays.
If you’re wondering how to do this, remember, a little effort every day goes a long way! This means tackling a task or two on a daily basis in order to get your house ready for Christmas. The goal here is to not overwhelm or stress yourself by cleaning and tidying the entire house in one go, but making sure that it is neatly maintained by the time Christmas comes around.
4. Be Prepared for Visitors
If you get anxious at the mere thought of having visitors/guests during Christmas, try to understand the root of your anxiety. More often than not, it stems from a lack of preparation which puts homeowners in a state of panic because, for example, the bathroom may not be clean enough or you’ve just run out of snacks and beverages.
In some cases, you know exactly who the ‘regulars’ are around Christmas and hence, should prepare for their surprise or last-minute visits accordingly. While it’s wise to stock up for this, there’s no need to overspend or go overboard with shopping at the supermarket; just make sure you’ve got the basics required for entertaining visitors.
5. Talk to Your Kids About Changes You’re Making This Christmas
It’s only human nature for kids to have certain expectations at Christmas. This isn’t to say that all kids assume they are getting expensive gifts or that their parents are going to top what they did last year; however, it’s important to keep them in the loop about the changes you’re making and why.
The last thing you want is to worry about how your kids are feeling or dealing with a “COVID-19 Christmas”; therefore, communication is key. Help them understand what’s going to be different this year, let them have a say in it, and compromise till you find common ground. If you choose to leave your kids in the dark, you will have the added stress of them nagging or complaining about the way the family is celebrating Christmas in 2020.
6. Send Out eCards Only
Although most people made the switch years ago, there are some of us who still enjoy sending and receiving tangible Christmas cards! Unfortunately, the act of sending Christmas cards (especially overseas) doesn’t come as cheap as it did years ago! On top of that, it’s time-consuming to handpick, write out, and post traditional Christmas cards.
With that said, we can all agree that 2020 has been a unique and challenging year; it’s made people more compassionate and understanding of everyone’s individual struggles and hence, the choice to send out Christmas eCards will not come as a surprise to anyone, yet they will be equally appreciated.
7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
In the midst of all that going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget to have fun! If that’s something you’ve become accustomed to during the Holidays, let 2020 be the year things change. While we understand that there is a lot to do at Christmas, the tips above are sure to help you have a stress-free Holiday season at home.
More importantly, when you take stress and anxiety out of the equation, there’s a lot more room in there to have fun! Isn’t that what Christmas should be about? Eliminating all the things that stress you out and just spending quality time with family and friends instead? If you agree, use the tips in this article to make your Christmas in 2020 a stress-free one at a home with family!