I know a lot of people are feeling stressed and short of time in the run up to Christmas. It’s a shame that we feel like this because Christmas should be a calm quiet time of year when offices close and we spend time with friends and family. My advice is to lower your expectations. Don’t try to create the perfect Christmas, simply enjoy a good enough Christmas.
Above all, remember that if you have guests coming they are coming to see YOU. More than a perfect meal, expensive presents and a beautifully decorated house what they want is to be able to talk to you. They want to spend time with you. So let them join you in the kitchen and help you with the vegetables. Don’t see this as you failing as a host. You are giving your guests what they really want, time with you.
Keep things simple and leave yourself time to enjoy the ritual of the preparations. Don’t worry if things go wrong. You are more resilient than you imagine. Even if you burn the dinner, run out of wrapping paper or kill the tree you can still enjoy yourself. Take the family on a walk to the nearest open takeaway, have fun ripping up newspaper.
If you have children, remember that they can have a fun day playing with you and a cardboard box. They are probably happy to eat cheese and pasta for dinner. What they don’t want is stressed out, angry parents. Save your patience for your children, don’t waste it on a last minute dash through crowded shops or hours in the kitchen.