5 tips...

Christmas…: how to keep it simple

Maybe you spend your holiday season travelling from one family to the other or stay in one place or even at home. Here are some tips on how to reduce stress during these days and to keep everything simple(r):

1 Divide the tasks

If you have guests at Christmas you probably tend to feel responsible that everything is perfect and end up doing everything by yourself? And you get exhausted after a few days? Plan the busiest days in advance by dividing the tasks. Involve your guests, keep them busy.  One can help in the kitchen, the next one can fix the drawer, others can play with the kids or go for a walk… And if you are the guest: offer your help to the host.

2 Don’t bother about what others (could) expect from you

This is in addition to point one. If you have the impression that others might expect „more“ from you, take one step back and let them explain what they mean before getting anxious. It’s often a matter of perception. – And even if others do expect more than we want or can do: it’s their problem, not ours, right?

3 Relax

There is nothing more annoying than a host running around all the time, tidying up and not being able to sit down and relax. If you are the host, plan quiet moments and enjoy your visits. And if you are visiting, give the host the opportunity to rest, sit down and have a chat. By helping with the tasks, like mentioned in 1, you can contribute to a more relaxed and festive atmosphere.

4 Get some me-time

Every family has her own routines and habits. If a few families gather together, after a few days – sometimes even after a few hours – there can be some tensions… It is very important to take one step back every now and then and get some me-time. Twenty minutes can be enough, maybe you need an hour. Long walks or other kind of outings for small groups of like-minded persons in the group can be very beneficial.

5 Keep it simple

You don’t have to be better than last year, the year before or someone else in the family. It’s not a competition and perfection is an illusion. You don’t have to prove to anybody that you’re a good cook, mother, wife, daughter, friend etc. If you’re the host, you’re entitled to set the rules. Lower down the expectations and instead of getting stressed beforehand, organize some help, keep the menues simple(r) and don’t feel responsible for everything. And if you are the guest: try to be proactive and try to help the host. In the end, what we all want is to spend a peaceful and relaxing Christmas.

11 replies »

      • I was one of the people who exhaust themselves when preparing dinner to friends, I was busy before and during dinner, so I didn’t enjoy their company. I’m much better now, trying not to think of it as a contest as you said, and keep it simple.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Not sure if my comment went through. I just wanted to thank you for these useful tips and great advice. During Christmas, everybody expects a lot from themselves and everybody else, and the pressure is high to make everything perfect. But this can leave us exhausted and burned out, and especially with expats who have to sometimes travel for long hours to get to the place where they celebrate Christmas, it is even more exhausting. So, for me, the important thing is to relax, have fun, and enjoy the holiday.


    • Did you send another comment? I didn’t receive any (just checked). You’re so right. The pressure is high. Especially if you haven’t seen family for a long time and you want to catch up in a few days what other people do in months… For me it’s the most exhausting time of the year, but these last years I’ve tried to expect less from others and from myself. It’s not always easy, but I have to repeat it to myself like a mantra… 😉


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