Why 2.33pm Christmas Eve could be the most stressful time of your whole year (Official!)

And what you can do NOW so it isn’t

Christmas Eve.  If the ads are to be believed it’s a time of happy families, togetherness and goodwill to all men.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, you’re going crazy trying to find fridge space for all the extra food, the kids presents still haven’t been wrapped, and you’re already on the second row of the +day with your partner.

The boiler’s making funny noises (who’s job was it to get it serviced?), the cats been sick behind the sofa, and your mother-in-law’s just announced she’s turned vegan.

And a study by Healthspan, the vitamin people, reveal 2.33pm on 24 December as Stress Central.

No wonder some people dream of going into hibernation on 1 December, only emerging once its safely over.

The good news if that much of the stress can be avoided with a little forward planning.  (OK, maybe not the cat being sick behind the sofa.  Cats are a rule to themselves)

It may seem staid and unspontaneous to start planning your festive season back in October – when you haven’t even got through Halloween or Bonfire Night yet – but trust me, you’ll be thanking yourself a dozen times over come mid-December.

You don’t have to be some hide-bound harridan, ruled by her rota.

Just start filling in the big picture

What kind of Christmas do you have in mind? Lots of guests, or just the two of you?

Who’s going to be where and when?

What key Christmas events will you or your family be attending? Work? School? Social? Church?

Work out your budget for presents, food, entertainment – and stick to it.

Work out a plan for the three main days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Stick it on the wall so the wall so everyone is clear what is happening when.

What non-Christmas stuff can you get out of the way?  I spend a whole lot of energy last year NOT completing my tax return – and it cast a long shadow.  This year, I’ll get it done by the end of November.

Don’t aim for perfection – it doesn’t exist.  And don’t forget to delegate.

If everyone is going to enjoy Christmas, then everyone should chip in and lighten the load.

And don’t forget to take some time for yourself, whether it be bubble baths, keeping up with your yoga class, or a night out with your friends, having fun and forgetting to be a responsible adult for a few hours.

And if you want any more ideas and inspiration, why not come to my workshop,

“Merry Christmas’s Start with a Plan”.

why not come to my workshop, “Merry Christmas’s Start with a Plan”.

It’s for anyone who has to organise Christmas, and wants to do so calmly, with good cheer, and without turning into a Grinch’s less cheerful cousin.

There’ll be mince pies, worksheets, and lots of good ideas.

Location:  Friends Meeting House, Croydon (booking essential)

Date: 14 October 2017

Time: 11am-1pm

Cost: £17.50

You can book using the link below

 Book your ticket here