Too much to do for Christmas? Here’s how you can cope

Christmas time managementHow are you?  No, really.  Are you OK?  I know that Christmas is meant to be a time for celebration but it can all get a bit stressful, can’t it?

You’re trying to run a business or do your job, keep the house going and the kids fed as you normally would.  Then there are Christmas presents to be found, cards to write before you even get to Christmas.  Thankfully the only visitor we’ve got coming this Christmas is my Mum; she does washing up without being asked.

But if you’re wondering how you’re going to get it all done and make it to Christmas Day with your sanity intact, read on.  This is for you.

Make a Christmas list

I confess that I am a list geek.  I love them.  They’re actually a kind of security blanket because if it’s written down I know I won’t forget.  At the moment there’s so much going around in my head I can walk into the next room and forget why I’ve gone in there by the time I arrive.

Just start writing and keep going until you’ve emptied your brain onto paper.  It might not be in any logical order but that doesn’t matter.  The important thing is that it’s out of your head.

Write a timetable

Next, go through your list and work out how long each item will take to accomplish.  This will be tricky to do with some things.  If you haven’t found Christmas presents for everyone and don’t know what to buy, you’ll just have to guess.  Allow more time than you think you’ll need to be on the safe side.

If there’s a deadline other than Christmas Day, include that too.  Then write a realistic timetable.  Allow yourself time to have a life, watch rubbish TV and meet your friends.  You aren’t wasting time, you’re helping to keep yourself sane.

Then comes the tricky part.  What if it doesn’t all fit?

Talk to your family

If you’re trying to do everything yourself, stop it.  High standards are a wonderful thing but they’re pointless if Christmas Day finds you gibbering in a corner.

Sit down with your family and your list and talk it through.  Tell them that you can’t do everything yourself and ask what they can take on.  I wasn’t expecting help decorating the Christmas tree but my five year old did it anyway.  My two year old has been wandering off with the shiny baubles ever since but they all make it back eventually.

The point is that almost everyone in the family can contribute something, you just have to talk to them.

Decide what you can lose

What if there’s absolutely no way it’s all going to happen?  Then, there’s only one option available.  You have to decide what you can stand to lose.  Can you cut down the number of Christmas cards you send?  Keep it to just family and send a social media message to everyone else?  Do you really need homemade mince pies?  You’re the only one who can answer those questions, but just ask yourself what you really need to make it feel like Christmas.  For me it’s twinkling fairy lights, good food and my family.  Everything else is just trimmings.

What do you think?  How are you handling the run up to Christmas?  Drop me a comment and let me know!