Clearly you’ve got a shit ton of stuff to do this week.

If not, I tip my hat to you, please go back to your book, hot chocolate, and clean, streamlined house – sorry to have troubled you.

However,

if you’re a normal mortal like the rest of us – may I take a moment to make some suggestions.

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1.  It’s just a day

The shops are making Whammagedon IMPOSSIBLE (I lost on day 1) and reminding our ears that it is indeed – that wonderful time of year, whether they like it or not.

In my case, extremely not.

TV is all Christmas specials and perfect roast potato recipes –  and Amazon is at fever pitch telling you what to do.

It’s just a day.

Most likely this time – with the usual people you spend usual time with.

When you research the history of Christmas celebrations through the ages

(I’m easily distracted, so obviously I have),

the spending-based onslaught of modern-day Christmas is a pretty recent development.

It’s the big companies who have decided what Christmas is, for lots of us these days.

Traditionally, It was a time to go home from work and rest.

Get cosy.

Give thanks.

Reflect.

Spend time with loved ones.

Go to church if that’s your persuasion.

Whatever you do will be lovely.

All the fancy optional extras are just that – optional. And extra.

While you’re charging about bear in mind, it really is just a day – if you have your health and your people around you – you have already won Christmas.

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2.  It’s NOT all about the kiddos.

Yes, they love it and yes they, too have been wound up to fever pitch watching presents arriving under the tree.

But it’s totally about you too.

When you think of what you’re going to do on Friday – please make sure that it doesn’t involve you staying on your feet all day.

Share out the to-dos.

Do the kinds of things that you want to do.

The music, the games, the food, the timing – make sure it’s stuff  YOU enjoy.

You are no less important than any other member of the household.

I would say there’s a strong argument that YOU are.

If a 5 year old is calling the shots – remember – you were here first!

I don’t remember the moment in history when family fun turned into Children-only fun.

If you’re all together and mum’s giggling away and not stressed out – they’ll have a blast.

Let them ride the slipstream of a happy mum (or aunt, nan or whatever)

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3. If it’s just you – then wallow in the luxury of that.

If the whole Covid malarkey has ended up with you being on your tod, let’s make the most of that.

With no fussy relatives, entertaining or turkey time plans to navigate the day really is yours for the taking.

The temptation can be not to bother and to slob about a bit –

then before you know it, the day’s gone and you can feel a bit sorry for yourself.

Take the reins and plan a day sprinkled with highlights.

Long lie in with your comfiest fresh bedding,

Catching up with your besties online,

walking somewhere you love,

wallowing with a face mask until your toes go wrinkly,

treats to eat,

blasting out your favourite playlist,

taking mince pies to the neighbours,

getting lost in a book

watching a blockbuster movie

or whatever

Give yourself a schedule with things you’re going to love most – and feel slightly smug that you don’t have to answer to anyone

(or put up with the difficult relative or hyped up fighting children that lots of other people navigating)

who would give their last roast potato for an hour of the day you’re having.

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4. Pace Yourself.

Christmas is emotionally charged.

Restrictions are emotionally charged.

Being tired and worn out amplifies that by 1000

Add alcohol…then BOOOOOM – things can kick off this year like never before.

As a total lightweight who once drank 3 glasses of prosecco

then thought it was a good idea to race the recycling out to the wheely bin,

on an icy drive,

in my slippers

one Christmas day..

to keep the place looking perfect at all times

then fall

hit my head on the ground

fully knock myself out

(laying embarrassingly on the drive for a few minutes)

and crack my head open nastily.

I’ve got a really cool scar.

I would invite you to slow down.

Slow down the pace,

slow down the booze,

slow down the eating

(so you don’t get that over-stuffed food paralysis we all know and hate)

and enjoy yourself.

If it’s not ready by 3pm – oh well.

If the house looks like you’ve been burgled and you can’t see the carpet for wrapping paper,

oh well.

Take it slow and enjoy any chaos.

Trust me on the booze thing though.

In real – non-Christmas life,

you probably wouldn’t do day drinking,

so unless you are back from Uni for Christmas,

you won’t be match-fit for that.

Sorry/not sorry to be a nag – but if you wait until the Christmas pudding before you have a glass of something, you are going to have a much better day of it,

The benefit is, once everyone is snoring on the settee or in bed –

you will still be in good shape to watch the great Christmas Specials on telly.

And no Boxing Day hangover.

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5. Christmas: Cosy Edition

If you did our overwhelm challenge you’ll remember the term ‘locus of control’.

And how, when you literally let go of those things you have no affect on,

frees up your emotional energy for the things you do.

To control the controllables.

Accepting that and letting go of the ‘what could have beens’ will make you happier.

In fact with any situation you can’t control, calmly accepting it and letting go – weirdly puts you back in the driving seat.

It is empowering.

Especially for bossy people like me.

It probably isn’t going to be the Christmas you would have chosen this year.

It’s going to be a different one.

Give it a positive reframe

This year we are having a Cosy/Chilled/Simple/Intimate Christmas.

feels a lot better than one where we can’t do certain things and are feeling humphy about that.

I refer the honourable lady or gentleman reader to Point 1 – it really is only a day.

In the book of your life, it will be one chapter you look back on and remember,

the one in that crazy year of 2020.

Let’s make it a fantastic read.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Eve


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