Or as close to it as you can get.
Remember, it’s just a day. While Christmas is important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons, it’s just a day. Much like every other day out there. If things don’t work out, its okay. Think of it as a wedding day. Even through all of the planning and stress and lace, something doesn’t go perfectly smooth. And it’s okay because the day was still magical in the end.
You don’t have to overindulge. This got me into trouble last year when I gobbled up everything I shouldn’t. I can’t eat a lot of things because of migraines (or can only have very small amounts) and yet I somehow thought my body would be fine just because it’s Christmas. Ludacris. Stop stressing about what you should and shouldn’t eat. Indulge if you want to, but remember you don’t have to. Especially if you’ll end up feeling shitty the next day.
Prep it up. While I’m not a fan of cooking and reheating the dinner the next day just to save myself some time (yuck), I am a fan of prepping as much as I can. That means all desserts are frozen and ready to come out of the freezer. All groceries are bought that’s needed. All perogies are made and sitting in the freezer, ready to be cooked. Prep as much as you can so you can relax more on the actual day instead of running around like crazy.
Stop spending so much on gifts. This year, my husband and I are spending 20$ on presents and a little more on stocking stuffers for each other. Why? Because we don’t need a lot of things right now and we just came back from two fabulous trips. And, would like to go on more. And, get that rainwater harvesting system in this summer. And, buy more trees. And, finish our main bathroom. And, remodel the kitchen. I could go on. The point is, why spend so much on gifts if that’s not what you really want to do. Save yourself the stress from credit card shock in January and spend less.
Learn to say no. But, say no BEFORE you have said yes. Don’t be a jerk who cancels last minute (unless you’re legitimately sick or the roads are way too icy to drive) on your host. They may have bought extra food to accommodate you and your spouse (and children, if applicable), they may have added extra chairs and plates to the table, which seems an easy task to get rid of unless they had to borrow the extras from people. Then, it’s just annoying.
This whole learning to say no thing has gotten a lot easier during the pandemic, as cancelled plans, last-minute changes, and smaller gatherings are completely acceptable this year. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where the cases are super low (wad up Australia and New Zealand), then remember that you don’t have to go out all the time. Besides, you’re making all of us in our countries that didn’t handle the pandemic so well jealous.
If Christmas Day is causing you stress thinking about all of the people’s houses you have to visit, cut it down. For years, we went to three different houses, opening our presents at home, presents at my husband’s parent’s house and visiting, then my parent’s house for presents and more visiting, then back home for a small rest, then out for dinner at his aunt and uncle’s house for dinner and more visiting. While fun for a year or two, it got exhausting after a while, bouncing from one house to the other without any time to just sit and breathe. We felt like we were rushed into visiting with everyone, trying to max out the amount of time spent at each house as best as we can.
The worst? I’m sure people have way more than 3 houses to see on Christmas. See if you can move things around, visiting people on different days, or getting everyone together at one house (which is something we do, now), incorporating all of the families as best as you can.
Christmas shouldn’t be stressful. It should be fun and exciting to see everyone, again. Stop worrying so much about the perfect Christmas and just enjoy the day you’re having.