Christmas can be one of the most joyful times of the year. However, it can also be one of the most stressful times. There’s so much pressure to buy the right gifts, cook the perfect meal and be the perfect hostess.
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All of this is hard to live up to, so we go into overdrive and a frenzy of Christmas shopping and preparations. The flipside of this is that some of the magic of the season is lost.
Don’t spend the rest of the run-up and the holiday itself in a state of panic. Stop for a moment, take stock and remember the important things about this time of year.
If you’re still dashing around trying to find gifts, let the internet take some of the strain. Many online shops deliver right up to Christmas Eve. Shops like Who’s It For? provide a range of gifts categorised into recipients, to make it even easier. This will free you up to make the most of the festivities before the New Year begins. There are loads of brilliant Christmas activities for families to enjoy.
Take the whole family and visit the Christmas markets. Many large towns host these now, and stallholders from Europe travel miles to sell their wares. You don’t have to buy lots of stuff. It’s enough to soak up the sights, sounds, and wonderful smells. Try a cup of mulled wine, or hot chocolate if you’re driving. Sample some of the European delights.
Make the wrapping a little less dull by watching a Christmas film. Pick up a copy of the Radio Times and take a look at what’s coming up. Or, find some festive films on Netflix.
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Check your local newspaper listings for carol concerts in your area. It’s a heartwarming event for the whole family and if this doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will.
Do you have any neighbours who you suspect may be spending Christmas alone? Make sure you call in and take them a little something. It needn’t be an expensive gift, just something to show you’re thinking of them. If you can, invite them to your home to spend some time with your family. Or, find community events that they can join.
If you have time, offer to volunteer with a local charity. Many of them need extra help at this time of year.
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The Christmas Day meal can sometimes be a bit of a frantic affair. There’s so much to do, and everything has to be timed. But prior to this, a little seasonal baking can be fun and is something you can do with the kids. Plus, it provides you with something to offer visitors.
When the kids have broken up from school, and you’re at a loss as to what to do with them, try an afternoon of crafting. Take out the glitter, glue, and paints and make some Christmas pictures or decorations. You can find lots of kid-friendly projects online.
In all the hurry and last minute preparations, it’s easy to lose sight of the meaning of Christmas. Recapture some of that childhood wonder and magic by setting time aside for some festive fun.