Jenny Garrett, executive coach and author of ‘Rocking Your Role’, the how-to guide to success for female breadwinners, shares 15 top tips to ease that stress and have the Christmas that you want. She says: "Many of us work right up until the last minute - Christmas Eve - and are still expected to buy all the presents, attend the parties, stock up on food and drink, plan the menu, invite the guests, write the cards and put up the tree. This year, I decided to write a step-by-step guide for working men and women so Christmas can be fun rather than a pain in the neck."
15 Tips on how to be less Stressed this Christmas:
1. Plan ahead
Know how many weeks you have and plan jobs in for every week so that it's not a last minute panic.
2. Ask people what they want as gifts
Don't spend hours in angst over what your 17-year-old nephew might want, just ask.
3. Online shopping
Shop from the comfort of your home at a time that suits you.
4. Share the responsibility
Don't do it all yourself, allocate jobs to everyone in the family - children can make cards and your partner could be responsible for purchasing the children's presents.
5. Don't seek perfection - Relax
It's easy to get caught up in trying to make your home and family appear like they should be on the cover of a glossy magazine, but striving for that perfection can take the fun out of your day. Just relax and laugh at the imperfections.
6. Make it fun
You can have hours of fun baking, making decorations, playing games on a cold Sunday afternoon - enjoy it.
7. Use technology
Order your festive season shopping on the commute home or pre-order so that the items are ready for collection when you arrive at the store.
8. Money tight?
Make personalised items - Christmas decorations/items with photos on them, baked items, paintings, photo calendars etc are always appreciated.
9. Have a quiet one
Some years it's best just to keep your festive season small and quiet - give yourself permission to do so. You could always invite family round for drinks and nibbles on Boxing Day as a compromise.
10. Take a break
On Christmas day have a lie down or go for a walk to clear your head - try not to become over tired (and snappy!).
11. Your home is great as it is
I think that the statistics must be high on sofa buying over the festive season - do you really need the extra expense and the stress of it not arriving on time?
12. Not enough space
You can make space by hiring a marquee or garden tent, and then everyone can have their space. Alternatively, children don't mind picnic buffets sitting on the floor and people don't expect you to ‘grow another room' just for Christmas.
13. Ask a favour
If your neighbours are going away over the festive season, ask if you can use their kitchen/oven to provide you with the additional cooking space. This is just one example, and people are happy to do good turns if you just ask. Perhaps babysit your friend's children so they can do a presents wrapping session and they'll do the same for you?
14. Let it be
Don't try to organise everyone else's time. You don't want them to share the festive season with when they'd rather be elsewhere. Give everyone space and allow them to choose where they want to be over the Christmas holiday.
15. Can't afford much
When a gift is wrapped beautifully it doesn't matter what's inside. It really is the thought that counts.