10 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas
The holiday season is stressful, but you’ve still got time to rein in the crazy and enjoy a stress-free Christmas.
Instead of rushing around and trying to create as many magical memories as possible, treat this day like the finish line.
You’ve made it. You survived the hustle and bustle, and now it is time to sit back and enjoy Christmas.
Here are 10 tips for a stress-free Christmas.
#1 Keep It Casual
The first tip for a stress-free Christmas is to keep it casual. Don’t give in to the pressure to do it all or fit everything Christmasy in before Christmas day.
Rather than going to a Christmas light park, take a walk or drive around your own neighborhood.
Instead of attending a Christmas Eve party, stay in and watch a Christmas movie.
Enjoy filling stockings while you enjoy a glass of wine and listen to Christmas music.
#2 Choose Simple Foods
Some people cook an elaborate Christmas dinner. But if cooking doesn’t bring you joy and causes you stress, let it go.
Instead, make a plan to eat simply on Christmas. Put together a grazing board or Charcuterie tray for you and your family to eat at leisure.
Order a pizza or Chinese.
Don’t cook anything that will make too much of a mess or take too long to cook. The goal is to relax, so go with simple dishes.
#3 Prepare Ahead for Christmas Breakfast
This may be as simple as buying donuts ahead of time, so they are there and available first thing Christmas morning.
Or you can make an overnight crockpot casserole.
Here’s a recipe for a sausage breakfast casserole from Jimmy Dean that is easy to put together before you go to bed on Christmas Eve.
- 1 package Sausage Crumbles: Fully Cooked Original
- 1 package (26-32 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 12 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer ½ of the potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Top with half of the sausage, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and green onion. Repeat layering.
- Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.
- Pour evenly over the potato-sausage mixture.
- Cook on LOW setting for 8 hours
#4 Go Easy with the Cookies
Unless you absolutely love baking Christmas cookies, cut yourself some slack.
It is perfectly acceptable to choose some easy break-and-bake cookies for Santa. You can even buy already-made cookies for Santa! He really doesn’t care what type of cookies he gets to eat.
#5 Skip the Dishes
Another simple tip for enjoying a stress-free Christmas is to avoid washing the dishes.
Do what you can to avoid making big messes in the kitchen this year. Choose disposable plates. Don’t worry, there are several eco-friendly types available!
#6 Plan for Relaxation
Make a point to carve out time for relaxation. Many people treat Christmas Eve as a last final push and spend their day rushing around getting last-minute items or wrapping presents.
Try to get these tasks taken care of before Christmas Eve so you can actually relax and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Don’t cram your day with activities or tasks. Add in time to relax.
#7 Stick to the Tried and True
Christmas is stressful enough on its own without trying out a new recipe or introducing a new family tradition.
Instead, stick to what you know works.
Rather than trying to force your family to try something new and then fighting about it, go with what you already know your family enjoys.
If your kids just want to cuddle on the couch and watch Home Alone, that’s perfectly fine.
It doesn’t have to be new to be special.
#8 Ask for Help
Much of the stress that occurs before Christmas is because we have a tough time asking for or accepting help. For instance, if you are hosting a meal on Christmas Eve, don’t be afraid to make it potluck style.
If Santa is too busy to assemble the swing set for the kids, hire someone from TaskRabbit to do it.
If a store offers expert assembly, go for it.
#9 Turn Down the Distractions
All the noise adds to our stress.
If your house feels loud and chaotic during the holidays, find ways to turn down the distractions.
Don’t have the news playing in every room. Don’t let everyone sit in the same room and look at their phones instead of one another.
Instead, have times when phones are down, and everyone is focused on one thing (a board game, a Christmas movie, or a conversation).
#10 Accept Imperfection
Last but not least, accept imperfection.
Stop feeling stressed by striving for Hallmark-style perfection.
Instead, be satisfied with good enough.
The gifts may not have ribbons and fancy name tags, but they are wrapped. And that’s good enough.
Santa may get a plate of Chips Ahoy cookies. And that’s good enough.
The family may not have matching Christmas pajamas, but they are smiling. And that’s good enough.
You may not have a fancy Christmas dinner, but your bellies are full. And that’s good enough.