|Stock photo from Pexels|
One of the major things that reduce the stress during Christmas for me, is planning a bit ahead. One thing that I do is having the rule of being finished purchasing all Christmas gifts before December 1st. I might sound a bit crazy for doing it, but personally I don't find it too much fun spending time at a shopping center in December due to the stressed out crowds. And why on Earth procastinate on the gifts if I accidentally come across something that I know would suit X perfectly in July? It also helps me a bit economically buying Christmas gifts throughout the year instead of waiting until December. Instead of spending a chunk of money at once, it's a bit here and there. An added bonus is that I get more time to think on the gifts and actually give more thoughtful gifts rather than something purchased in a last minute panic.
With the time freed from Christmas gift purchasing, I get the chance of relaxing and have a bit of fun during the holidays. I love to bake, so each year I bake some kind of Christmas treats. It varies a bit from year to year what I bake, but I often make Norwegian Cookie Men (Kakemenn), which is more or less a Christmas staple in my flat.
Recent years, I've also made a Christmas "bucket list", where I write down various Christmas related activities I want to do. I try having a varied list, whether it's reading a Christmas-themed book, donating unwanted clothes to charity and what-not. I try to have a bit of a balance between doing something for myself and random acts of kindness or similar. As Christmas often is a bit of "me, me, me" time, I think it's important opening the eyes and spread the love.
As I'm a huge lover of lists, I tend to write down "everything", so if you're in search of some printable lists to aid you during the holiday season, feel free to check out these ones.