• Ben Pechey

7 ways to a stress free Christmas


Welcome to a festive post, as the big day FAST approaches; today I want to give you a few tips and pointers that will make the next few weeks go smoothly. This is one of the nicest parts of the year, and even though the build-up can feel very stressful and fraught with anxiety, don’t let it get to you.

If you are sat reading this, and think Christmas isn’t that stressful; well you are either an organised goddess sent from heaven or you aren’t trying nearly hard enough. Christmas is one of the most magical events in the year, mostly because I am a very retail driven individual and I love things, so Christmas is my thing. Yet it can really get to people, whether you are feeling the pressure of getting it all together, budget issues or the possibility of spending 2-7 days with your whole family is terrifying; I’ve got you covered.

Take a deep breath and have read of the things you can do to make the next

Write a list

Hun, start from the beginning. It’s the best thing you can do. Start with the thing that is the priority to get done, whether it be Christmas card writing, last minute gifts to buy, paper, or to get sellotape. The simple act of writing it all down is going to help you remember everything you have to do.

If you feel like you have more Christmas shopping to do, but are out of ideas, don’t worry I’ve got that covered. Head over to see my 2018 Christmas gift guides for all the inspiration you could need.

Keep track of who you have bought for, what you have bought and when you are being them in the festive period. I’m not saying you need to go all spreadsheet crazy, but a simple table in the notes in your phone will really help you.

Don’t do too much

Okay seriously this is super important, no one is going to love you if you turn into the biggest stress monster because you said YES To EVERYTHING. Face it you are not some Kim and Aggie/Anthea Turner/Supernanny/Mary Berry Hybrid, there is no way on this earth that you can do EVERYTHING. Stop, look at your list, prioritise and work out what you can do.

Delegate, divide and conquer

Hopefully dear reader you have a friend or family member that can lend a hand here. Too much wrapping to do, grab a sibling, friend or your mum and do a task together. I adore helping people wrap presents, so tell your helper what is for whom, tell them your wrapping scheme (see below) and tick off a job off that list. Doing things together whether it be friends or family is what Christmas is about so enjoy yourself.

Have a scheme

Okay so I haven’t gone all Martha Stewart on you, but once you have bought wrapping paper work out what colours work with it, and make sure anything else you buy goes with it, there is nothing worse than a panic that your ribbon doesn’t match. Secondly, within the scheme, take advantage of many stores 3 for 2 offers like M&S to buy all the things you need and save a little bit too. Also if possible work out how much you are going to need, before you go to the store so that you can roughly work out how much to buy, running out or having loads left at the end is not fun.

If you read the above and think I am mad, maybe consider a scheme, it makes everything a bit smoother knowing you have all the labels, tissue paper, ribbons and glitter you could need. Also, the pride I have in a cohesive wrapping scheme is one of my personal favourite things at Christmas. If you want more advice with wrapping see my Christmas Wrapping Guide I wrote years ago.

Family

They can be tricky. Here are some tips to make it all a bit easier…

1. DO NOT TALK ABOUT BREXIT, just don’t do it.

2. Avoid confrontation, if you see an argument coming, suggest you go for a walk, or see if anyone wants a cup of tea

3. If you do end up arguing, remember you won’t be able to change their minds, and whilst you are probably right, its best to let it go and move on. They will probably leave soon anyway!!

4. DO NOT TALK ABOUT BREXIT, seriously you know Auntie Shelia was a leave voter, kind of racist and with half a pint of wine in her will not back down.

Relax

BREATHE. Remember all this hassle and stress is supposedly for the most wonderful time of the year. If you don’t relax and make sure you stay calm, this will quickly descend into the most woeful time of the year, and you will find yourself becoming the Nightmare before Christmas. The perfect way to do this at this time of year is to put on a festive film, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th street and Arthur Christmas are personal favourites of mine.

Don’t take it too seriously

Now you are relaxed, remember to actually enjoy Christmas. Remember even if everything doesn’t go quite how you planned it or had envisioned it; IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. As long as everyone had fun, there was food, and unique presents you kind of nailed it. Seriously who cares if you forgot about the office secret Santa, and put a fiver on a Starbucks card for Karen in Finance, you have never liked that number crunching cow anyway. Have fun, smile and enjoy it.

Shot by Rachel Pechey

Also can we just take a moment for the beauty that is this Cardigan. This was gifted to me by Matalan, and I AM IN LOVE. Matalan have a huge selection of Knitwear at INCREDIBLE prices, this cardigan is £28!!​

Shop My Lewk: Cardigan: Matalan (GIFTED)

Roll Neck: Matalan(GIFTED)

Shirt: ASOS, Similar

Jeans: M&S, Similar

Shoes: Dr Martens, similar

Earrings: H&Moschino, Sold out

Sunglasses: Gucci


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Ben Pechey

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