Christmas Day is meant to be enjoyed, and you know what, we deserve to enjoy it. Yet it can end up being so stressful for many people. Not everyone thrives on togetherness. Not everyone has the opportunity for togetherness. And for some, the stress comes from the cost, or the pressure to perform.
I want to encourage you to make the most the day; whether you are at home alone, working the graveyard shift, or crammed around a full dinner table. As with everything in life, you can choose to look at the negatives, or you can choose to find the positives and make the best of it. Here are eight ways that we typically waste what could be a lovely day, and what to try instead.
The turkey needs to come out of the oven in 3 minutes but the sprouts still need to boil for 8 minutes, and the dog is under your feet, and your drunk boyfriend’s cocktail project is taking up half the kitchen… No! Make it stop!
There is too much to obsess over, and if you try to make Christmas Day a great big production, then you will drive all the fun away for yourself. This is a day to embrace imperfection.
Have breakfast in your pajamas, let the dog run around like crazy, and delegate the lunch prep. Accept some help, or ask for it if you need to. But make sure you don’t sacrifice your own enjoyment of the day.
2. Family drama
The classic Christmas crisis; too much alcohol and too little personal space. Nit picking, passive aggression, and sideways glances might creep into the festivities. Do not get drawn into it.
Seriously, you have enough drama at the office on a normal day at work. The Holidays are your downtime. If anyone misbehaves then put them on potato peeling duty to cool off.
3. Food coma
Have you ever eaten so much that you just couldn’t keep your eyes open anymore? I spent one Christmas afternoon sleeping on the sofa in full view of everyone, which was not my best look. But we all tend to overeat on Christmas Day. It does not leave us feeling very good. Try holding back a little to feel better in the afternoon. You have a whole day to enjoy, so pace yourself.
Read also – 6 Healthy Christmas Food Swaps to Try
For those of us who really do not like the big day, the temptation might be to keep the curtains drawn and pretend it is not happening. And you could just sleep the day away, or you could do the day on your own terms.
How about taking advantage of the quiet streets and getting out for a bike ride? What about a day of your favorite foods, not the traditional Christmas feast, but pizza, curry, or whatever you like? And you do not have to hide under the duvet to avoid Christmas TV. Download a box set and binge-watch something you love.
5. People pleasing
If you are spending the day with relatives then you might feel the pressure to pander to them, perhaps putting yourself out in the process. While that might work for them, it is not going to make a great day for you.
Try treating yourself with the same respect you show the others, you are worthy of an enjoyable holiday too. So claim the best armchair for yourself, have that last slice of cake, and let your hair down a little.
6. Missing people
If you are alone on Christmas Day, or not with the people you want to be with, is there something you can do about it? Could you Skype your long-lost friends and family abroad? Or, if you are alone in general, how about a community meet-up? There are plenty of volunteer opportunities on the big day. If you are lonely, the choice is in your hands.
7. Resenting your obligations
Perhaps you are a shift worker, stuck with duties on Christmas Day. Or maybe you are a caregiver for a family member. Maybe this year you are skipping Christmas with your family to spend it with your partner’s family instead.
Whatever compromise you are making, a creative mind can always find opportunities to make the best of a situation. Try to have fun. Team up with co-workers, reach out for support and choose to make the best of it. Your attitude will go a long way towards how much you enjoy the day.
Read also – 8 Things to Eat and Drink on Christmas Morning
8. Holiday hangover
Where I come from, the twenty-somethings have a Christmas Eve tradition of getting very drunk and seeing who can stay out the latest. It is really silly, and I have fallen foul of it only once.
Being hungover and sleep deprived made that Christmas Day feel like hard work. It is quite a long day really, and it is enjoyable if you have the energy for it. So get your rest the night before, and do not overdo the booze.
Do make the most of your Christmas Day; we only get one per year. Have you ever wasted a Christmas Day? Please tell me your story in the comments below.