Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but what that holiday classic forgot to mention is that it can also be the most stressful. Juggling all the parties, visits with friends and family, tree trimming, marathon baking and frantic gift shopping can leave you feeling a lot more grinchy than jolly. With so much going on, it can be hard to stop to breathe, never mind take the time to actually enjoy yourself. But before you break down and stress binge on the gingerbread, read these tips for surviving all the Christmas chaos while keeping your inner Scrooge under wraps:
Get an early start
Trust us, you really don’t want to be part of that sweating, cranky, toe-stomping last-minute shopper crowd. Leaving everything to the absolute last second can get ugly really fast. That’s why when it comes to prepping for the season, you’ll spare yourself a not-so-merry migraine by getting a head start on your Christmas shopping. This doesn’t mean wrapping presents and putting up the tree the day after Halloween, but you should definitely at least start coming up with gift ideas way before the first snowfall.
Stick to a schedule
With all the things to do and people to see during the holidays, it can be easy to feel completely overwhelmed. Make things run smoothly by planning out your to do’s ahead of time, and set aside a reasonable amount of time for each task. That way you won’t blank on picking up that carton of eggnog for your party, miss out on a hot chocolate date with your man or forget to send out Christmas cards (whether they’re the paper or electronic kind).
It’s hard to say no sometimes, but if you stretch yourself too thin you might risk falling asleep at Christmas dinner, facedown into a pillow of mashed potatoes. Not pretty. So save yourself from both embarrassment and exhaustion, and only commit to the plans you know you can properly pull off. As much as you want to attend every holiday party, getting enough sleep and recharging your batteries is crucial to having a happy and healthy Christmas.
Keep the indulgence to a minimum
If there ever was a holiday to OD on sugar cookies, candy canes, shortbread and roasted turkey with all the fixings, this would definitely be it. But that doesn’t mean you have permission to eat yourself into a food coma. While it’s okay to enjoy the occasional Christmas treat, remember that you probably won’t appreciate stressing over the added pounds that will stick around long after the tree is taken down. So save yourself from binger’s regret, and try to enjoy 1 adorable reindeer cupcake instead of 5.