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4 Ways to Relax and Unwind This Christmas

Christmas should be a fun and relaxing time of year, but these days many people find that commercial and social pressure can make it a stressful period. The preparation for Christmas begins earlier and earlier every year: between shopping and decorating the house, sorting the tree out, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping presents, cooking the Christmas dinner and making sure all the kids have a good time, it’s easy to lose sight of the appeal.

How Can You Relax This Christmas?

Christmas shouldn’t stress you out: it should be a time of peace and contentment for everyone. Follow our tips on how to chill out and take it easy this Christmas.

#1 Refresh Your Home

The leadup to Christmas is a great time for clearing out and refreshing your home before the new year. Make space for new presents by having a proper clear-out. Sell your possessions on online auctions (you can put the profits towards your Christmas shopping), give things to charity or recycle things wherever possible. The festive season is also a great time to rethink your living space. You don’t have to do a full decorative overhaul to transform your home. The living room is the central hub of many people’s homes. This is especially true during the festive period! It should be as comfortable and tranquil as possible. Treat yourself to some new scatter cushions, grab some new throws to stay warm on cold winter nights, or recline in a classic wingback chair with your feet up. These traditional chairs are perfect for your Christmas guests. They offer a contained and cosy seat, historically used as a fireside chair. Wingback chairs are highly versatile and are a great addition to a living room, bedroom, study or hallway. For a cosy and comfortable Christmas, snuggle up in a wingback chair with a good book.

#2 DIY Presents

A great way to alleviate stress at Christmas is to minimise the amount of Christmas shopping you have to do. Avoid the shops and the endless bags and save yourself money in the process by making your own gifts. Homemade presents are unique and thoughtful, and you can do them in the comfort of your own home. Some ideas for homemade Christmas presents include:

DIY beauty products - face masks, body scrubs and hair serums can be made with inexpensive products like coconut oil, oats and honey. This makes for a luxurious, personalised beauty product that you won’t be able to get in a shop.

Homemade edible treats - get stuck into some cosy Christmas baking and make delicious chocolates, fudge and cookies for your loved ones.

Photographs - these days so many photos are taken and stored digitally. People rarely own physical pictures as mementos. Print your favourite photos and put them in a nice frame for a touching festive gift.

Homemade knitwear - learn to knit and enjoy making scarves and jumpers for your relatives to keep them warm and give them something unique to wear.

Homemade jewellery - a simple piece of homemade jewellery is a lovely gift and is a great way to save money by dodging expensive high street jewellers

DIY presents offer the perfect touch and help you to avoid the Christmas shopping carnage. Make your presents yourself and enjoy a relaxing lead up to Christmas.

#3 Get Everyone to Chip In

Christmas can be stressful if all the organising is left to one person. Divide up the pre-Christmas jobs, such as decorating the house, writing Christmas cards and making shopping lists. Christmas dinner is bound to be a challenge if one person tries to tackle it alone. Instead, identify potential helpers early on and allocate each component of the meal to different people. Young children can be put to work decorating the tree, laying the table or arranging the finger food. Pigs in blankets and marzipan dates are fun and easy to prepare. Enlist help preparing the veg, peeling potatoes and take it in turns to do the washing up. Everyone can play a role, and above all, working together can make it a fun and relaxing day for everyone.

#4 Don’t Overspend

Overspending, or failure to plan for Christmas expenses, is one of the main causes of stress at Christmas time and can make January a difficult month. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a fantastic Christmas. If you’re prone to overspending at Christmas, it’s a good idea to plan.

Make an exact list of everything you need - for presents, food and travel plans, and allocate a strict budget for each category. You don’t need to buy the biggest most expensive turkey for your loved ones to have a fantastic Christmas. Using an online Christmas money planner can be really helpful when you're trying to figure out and keep track of your holiday budget.

Instead of forking out on expensive presents, spruce up second-hand things, find local eBay bargains and make your own presents - when it comes to your loved ones at Christmas, it really is the thought that counts. Send e-mail Christmas cards instead of physical ones and save a small fortune on the cards and postage. These days nearly everyone can be reached online, and if not then pick up the phone instead. In the middle of the cold winter months, Christmas should be a time of relaxation and peace. Instead of getting stressed, put your feet up and enjoy it. Although the festive period may be demanding, it’s important to schedule some time to relax and unwind, so you can feel revived and ready for the New Year.