Love the festive season but not so much the chaos that comes with it? Being the Christmas lovers that we are, we thought we’d share a few tips with you on how to make your yuletide a chilled time. Take deep breaths and follow our guide to a calm and collected Christmas…
Time with your family and friends is so much more precious than mountains of gifts or food at Christmas, so set realistic expectations about what you can easily achieve. Slim your to-do list back to the core essentials. Ask yourself, if I don’t hand sew this festive bunting or drive to the next town for the perfect turkey, will Christmas still be great? Chances are it will be!
With digital communications helping us to be in quick and easy contact with loved ones, it’s a great idea to save time, trees and pennies and send physical cards to just a precious few. A great alternative is to write an annual family newsletter in an e-card that can be sent to all your personal contacts in one go. Hallmark do great free e-cards with lots of word count to keep friends updated on your world, or try Jib Jab’s fun personalised video e-cards. Great aunty Ethel or cousin Bob aren’t on email? Put aside some time to reach out to non-digital VIPs with a phone call.
Present buying. There’s no time like the present right? Find one or two online shops to buy all your gifts in, and by getting in early you can make the most of mid season sales. Simple can still be thoughtful, our bold print socks and cheekily named boxers are always a hit for the gents. Slippers, a dressing gown or a scarf for the ladies, novelty knitted accessories for the children, and toiletry gift sets and scented candles for the rest. Got the hardest friends and family in the world to buy for? There’s something for all ages on joules.com, send them a colourful e-voucher and let them pick themselves.
We’re not fans of paper cuts and sticky tape struggles; that’s why we have an updated range of our beautifully printed gift boxes to put all our Christmas pressies in. The flat pack boxes are ready in seconds and pretty enough to re-use. To make it extra fun, why not invite some good company over and prepare your gifts over a bottle of bubbly?
If your Christmas break is normally packed with long drives to catch up with loved ones dotted all over, why not take a year out and explain you’re keeping it local this year? Plan to catch up with long distance friends and family over a spring time BBQ instead.
Christmas is pretty much guaranteed to bring extra people, food and gifts to the house, so make room now! Have a couple of cool bags ready to go in the garden for a stock pile of wine, spirits, mixers, and a slab or two of cheese. Clear any excess coats and shoes from your hallway or cloakroom so you can easily accommodate guests’ belongings. Ask your children to pick out toys they no longer use and take them to a charity shop to make way for Santa’s deliveries.
If you want to avoid having a to-do list as long as your arm come Christmas Eve then keep Christmas dinner ingredients to a minimum and take short cuts wherever possible. Buy ready chopped veg you can roast together in one big dish – even sprouts taste great roasted. Chef Jane Baxter suggests leaving the turkey out somewhere cool on Christmas Eve so it’s at room temperature when it’s time to stick it in the oven. She adds, “Cooking a turkey seems to worry a lot of people but thinking of it as just a large chicken tends to calm the nerves.” For supper time, stock up on finger food that doesn’t need to take up valuable fridge space. Nuts, crackers, hard cheese, jars of olives and pickles. If anyone has any space left, let them help themselves.
Don’t let dehydration, insomnia or colds hamper your festive season. Make sure you drink at least half a pint of water for every eggnog or prosecco, eat immune busting food and take supplements like echinacea. And most of all… RELAX! Take yourself away for a hot bath, a short country walk or ten minutes of yoga, to reset your brain and unwind.
In the Christmas mood? Learn how to make a stunning festive wreath with Joules and JenniBloom flowers. It really does need to be seen to be believed.