3 Stressless Holiday Tips I'll never do Christmas without | Life & Opinion

As I've already said in posts previous to this one, Christmas can be quite an unnecessarily stressful holiday. From finding the time and inclination to wrap loads of gifts, to worrying whether you're getting the right ones, to getting all the right food components ready and then rushing around hosting all the family and having to complete 8 dishwasher loads before you can even contemplate about going to bed (and don't get me started on those slowly leering January Blues). Its easy to say that for some, especially the hosts, it can all get a little too much.

So although it might be a little early (considering its all but 11 months away), I wanted to share 3 tips I'm taking with me to Christmas 2018 that my family and I did this year that took the pressure out of the holidays. 

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I know this title is a little obvious, but I think its one of the top elements people overlook when they get ready for Christmas with hundreds of tiny elements hingeing on one day. This year my family stripped everything back and made things as simple as they could be, celebrating this years Christmas together in my new flat as an intimate group of 5 in London as non-Londoners for the first time.

Christmas in London is just... different (very descriptive I know) and I can't put my finger on why. Maybe naturally born Londoners see it as just home and I'm so used to seeing it as the place I explore and work but not so much 'home home' and travel elsewhere for the holidays, and have been nurtured to do so for the last 27 years as its the 'normal thing to do'. But bucking the curve this year and hosting in London took the factor of normal Christmas rituals out of the equation, cooking smaller meals all together, navigating around 5 diaries instead of 25, not going crazy with decorations and pulling the plug on the television for tradition board games.

I know not everyone can stripe away all of their usual rituals (especially if your have a huge family), but even if you narrow down just a few things every year that maybe you go too above and beyond with would make a world of difference to your stress levels and the quality time you spend with your loved ones.

Secret Santa's Not Just For the Office

This £5 office classic may bring up connotations of that name out of a hat panic when you get drawn someone in a team you hardly know, as you scrabble around the internet trying to find something to buy them thats Amazon Primable on December 20th, whilst simultaneously trying to buy your Christmas party outfit. But this colleague Christmas favourite has been a staple in my house for 3 years in a row.

Obviously in this situation, I'd like to think we know each other just a little better than maybe a random colleague, AND the budget is just a tad more than £5 (10 times to be exact), but whilst the average Londoner spends £456.57 on friends and family according to The Metro (With the very generous Liverpudlians spending the highest in the country at £536.03!), our new and continuing tradition is definitely cheaper than the average Joe, and also makes the whole present buying affair WAY less hassle and full of fun with secret conversations and Chinese whispers.

It also has meant that theres no competition or guilt on who spent the most as theres a baseline amount set. Obviously there are cases where people over spend, but you never feel like its a problem, with the whole day centred around getting the Secret Santa right and spending time with each other, over opening numerous presents and feeling guilty about under spending or forgetting someone.

This year from my Secret Santa, my wonderful dad got me this beautiful rose gold Sweaty Betty rucksack to help lessen the blow for my long hard slogs in the gym (Christmas haul soon to come!).

Step Away For a While and Let Someone Else Do the Dishes

During my parents stay we all decided to all step away from the usual mass cooking affair Christmas sees all too often, dolled ourselves up and ventured into London's Harrod's to browse together, enjoy each others company and treat ourselves. I decided to wear my current favourite sparkly number from my latest Haul by Sister Jane, trusty and overloved black and gold starred scarf, starred earrings, starred Chelsea boots (can you spot the theme?) and pink studded bag.

Post Harrods furthering our indulgence and stepping away, we decided to let someone else do the cooking and went to The Cinnamon Club for the 2 course Cinnamon Set Lunch for £27.50pp (I'm sure I'll do a review soon!). It was nice again to just spend time together and not have the added stress of meal prep and timings of dishes luring over our day, which made me all together more grateful and appreciate the time we had together.

Everyones views Christmas differently, but I'm sure we can all agree that there are some elements that can make parts of it a bit hectic. So it was nice this year to step away from the overall stress and appreciate just being together.


What I wore
Pink Check Dress - Sister Jane
Star Boots - Depp London
Star Print Scarf - Zara
Studded Bag - Gift

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(Disclaimer - Any post stared with an asterisk (*) contains either an item that has been gifted to me in consideration for a blog review or is a collaborative/branded post. All opinions made on this blog are my own and not that of any brand or company I have connections with. For my full disclaimer please click here.)

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