Food & drink

Top tips for a stress-free Christmas

First tip: Don't invite a camel or a sheep into your home

A stress-free Christmas. What is that? Let's be honest, there's no such thing as a stress-free Christmas but you can have a Christmas that's light on stress by taking a moment to read our five top tips.

Obviously the absolute best thing would be to bring in caterers on Christmas Day or to jet off somewhere sunny with just your nearest and dearest on Christmas Eve but if your budget doesn't stretch that far help is at hand.

1 Wrap presents as you buy them

Remember last year when you were knee deep in wrapping paper the weekend before Christmas and promised yourself you'd be more organised next year? Yes, that.

 Wrap early, wrap often

2 Stock up on essentials ahead of time, not on Christmas Eve

Are you hosting overnight guests this Christmas? Stock up on toilet roll and make sure you've plenty of towels. And bacon; everyone loves bacon. Supermarkets and shops have lots of offers on seasonal items and it's a good opportunity to buy what you need ahead of time at reduced prices. Keep an eye on the flyers that come through the letterbox and read Netting A Bargain every Monday on irishnews.com for all the latest deals and discounts. 

3 Hire a cleaner

If you skipped this year's spring clean save yourself the time and trouble and hire a cleaning company. They'll have your house spick and span in a fraction of the time it would have taken you. Consider it a Christmas present to yourself. 

Let someone else wear the Marigolds

4 Make a to-do list 

Look at the long list you've just made. Youi'll never manage all that unless you've a team of elves to help. Take a breath, go through it point by point and for each task ask yourself 'Will the world end if I don't have this/do this?' For example 'Will the world end if I don't buy scented candles?' Put a line through (or delete if your're using a smartphone) everything for which the answer is no. It'll be reassuringly liberating and a weight off your shoulders. 

5 Use a gift giving app such a Wraptor

To make gift giving less stressful download the Wraptor app on Android or iPhone and get family and friends to do the same. The app lets you make a wishlist of presents which can be viewed by others in your circle. If someone buys you a gift it disappears from the list they see but remains visible to you, meaning the surprise isn't ruined. 

 

And if all else fails remember Christmas Day only lasts 24 hours and you don't need to do it all again for another year.

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