Stress isn't something most people want to associate with their Christmas break but, unfortunately, all too often in this day and age the two go hand in hand. Society puts so much pressure on individuals to host the perfect Christmas meal and hand out perfectly personal gifts. In the run up to the year's big festivities, people can be seen running around like headless chicken trying to get things organised on time.
To ensure Christmas is the enjoyable occasion it should be, consider a few ideas for loosening up towards the end of the year, and avoiding a sudden onset of stress.
One of the easiest ways of tackling an end-of-year frenzy is to start planning your celebrations in advance. Considering how often the cause of stress is money, gift shopping should also be done in advance so you don't spend as large an amount in one single month. There's no reason why you shouldn't buy a Christmas gift in the middle of the summer, provided it's not perishable goods.
A menu is also easily planned in advance. Although you'll need to wait until the last minute to buy your ingredients, a pre-prepared shopping list will make your supermarket visit much briefer and easier. As Christmas is all about tradition, you shouldn't worry about adding a new twist to the menu every year. Making the same meal will make planning and cooking much easier, and your family and friends will have an annual meal to look forward to.
If you're not a big fan of cooking, there are options for you to be able to avoid it. Nowadays, most reputable supermarket chains sell a range of seasonal ready meals such as turkey with gravy, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots. If you think that's cheating just a tad too much, buy a ready-basted and stuffed turkey and all you have to do is bung it in the oven. Christmas pudding is also easily purchased.
Alternatively, if you're willing to spend a bit more money, book a table at a restaurant. Most offer specialised Christmas menus with three options to choose from: carnivore, pescatarian and vegetarian. Some form of entertainment is also usually included in the price per head.
If you're keen on skipping town, and spending a low key holiday with just your partner or a small group of friends or family, book yourselves a Christmas hotel break.
Let yourself be pampered by attentive staff members, but remember to thank them ever so kindly for agreeing to work at that time of year. Seasonal hotel deals most often include accommodation, some meals, and a cosy festive atmosphere with optional entertainment.