1 Get organised: Use lists to keep track of who you are buying presents for, sending cards to and also of any plans for the festive period.
2 Budget, budget, budget: Set a realistic budget for presents, dinner and activities and don't go too crazy. Allocate a certain amount for each person to avoid overspending.
3 Make it easy: Make use of technology to lighten the load. Avoid queues by shopping on your commute, be unique by designing your cards online in your lunch break or use willing services (Children, Parents, Distant Cousin) to physically outsource all of your to-do list or even pay for some professional services who offer this type of service if you have a bit of spare change.
4 So...Again...Don't be afraid to delegate: Don't put all the pressure on yourself, get people to help you. Whether family or neighbours, look for support to help with wrapping presents, cooking and cleaning or even queuing up for the turkey or chicken or whatever is special for you.
5 Keep the atmosphere peaceful and relaxed: Christmas brings family and friends together, don't forget that everyone is dealing with their own worries and stresses. Use relaxing music or even scented candles. Do whatever helps to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. (for example my Relaxation CD or use a learnt Stress Management Technique)
6 Create memories: Do you remember what presents you got for Christmas 3 years ago? Me neither. Memories are more valuable and stand the test of time. Make sure you make time to try something different this Christmas and create beautiful moments.
7 Go outside: As tempting as it can be, sitting inside all day is not a healthy way to spend the entire holiday. Go for walks, set up an activity and try something new, especially after that big dinner. A bit of fresh air works some wonders to help take away stress.
8 Moderation is key: Christmas is often a time of indulgence. Enjoy yourself, but don't forget to eat and drink in moderation. Ok, maybe eat in moderation, but as long as you are not driving or using machinery, drink a fair amount, unless it conflicts with your medical situation or religious beliefs. [Note: a fair amount is the amount of alcohol that makes you happy, love people and life and removes all your aggression or aggressive tendencies].
9 Get enough sleep: With all the preparation and planning holidays can be more stressful than any other period; on top of that you will probably be worn out. However, make sure you create a wind down routine before bed, have a good night's sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy another day (It takes time, practice, techniques, and perseverance to learn how to do this).
10 Have a cut off point: When all the hard work and preparation is done, relax and start enjoying. Don't expect all to run smoothly, allow space for error and remain positive. When any shouting starts walk away... and remember to use your cut off point, by stopping the stressful activity or stop being involved in the situation causing the stress. Simply count to 10 slowly and breathe.