Christmas Is Almost Here!

You know it’s almost Christmas when people get car parking rage, shopping trolley rage and battling the shopping crowds rage. It doesn’t have to be that way though. In this Simply Print  Blog, we talk about the best ways to relax and chill out during the excitement of the silly season.

Best time of the year!

It’s no secret that I love Christmas. The time from mid November to Christmas Day is special to me. It’s the best time of the year. I’ve always loved it since I was a kid, and as the sun rises on another Christmas morning, I still get excited. I’m up at 5 am, ready to embrace the special day. Even though our kids are all grown up, I still enjoy seeing their faces light up when they get something they really like. I even enjoy hearing the squeals of joy coming from other houses as kids open their presents. It takes me back to my childhood.

But it’s not just about the day. It’s about the season. I’m the Australian version of Clark Griswold from the movie Christmas Vacation. Our place glows like you wouldn’t believe at Christmas, with lights  hanging from every place you can imagine. A trillion flashing bulbs of every variation. I’ve chosen to use all solar lights too, so it’s “set and forget”. As soon as the sun goes down, on come the lights on auto pilot. No time is too early to put those lights up either. Some people say 1st December is the appropriate date. No way, that’s not enough time. I need way more than 25 days to soak up the Christmas spirit, so any time from mid November is acceptable. If it’s  good enough for the shops, it’s good enough for

Beating the Christmas blues.

I do acknowledge not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the silly season. Here are a few tips to help you relax and enjoy Christmas.

Cut back on the commitments.

‘No’ is a powerful word that most of us don’t say enough. Prioritise what is important and drop all of the rest. It’s hard, but very necessary, because bitterness and resentment quickly surface if you say yes too often.  You have  a lot more control over your life than you think, and occasionally saying no gives you back some peace.  

Focus on what matters.

One thing that usually helps is doing something outside of your normal routine.  Visit a retirement community with your children, fill boxes with non-perishable food items for the homeless, or donate something small to a Christmas appeal.  Seeing things beyond our own lives usually helps us refocus on what matters.

Go walking at dusk.

Unlike other countries, Christmas in Australia is perfect at dusk for taking a stroll around your neighbourhood. You get to see everyone’s Christmas lights and house decorations, and occasionally you hear Christmas carols. It’s also a nice time to go for a drive and we’re always amazed at how much effort people put into their Christmas lights.

Minimise your time with difficult friends and family.

This is a hard subject, but let’s face it, we all have a few. Unfortunately, we cannot always avoid them, but we don’t have to let them have power over us. Set, communicate, and stick to clear boundaries for yourself and your time.

Stick to a budget.

Need I say more?  Don’t spend outside of your means!  Debt is a heavy burden to carry, and for what? For your kid to have the coolest toy that they won’t even care about next year?  Limit your spending by limiting gifts, making some at home, buying used goods from op shops, or taking advantage of shopping deals. Having a budget will ensure the Christmas pleasure

Watch a Christmas movie.

It’s tradition in our house to watch all of the old Christmas DVD’s to get in the spirit. Home Alone, Love Actually,The Santa Clause, and arguably the greatest Christmas movie ever, Die Hard. It’s a nice way to have a release from anything that’s stressing you.

Regards

Brett and Brad

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