"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live." ~ George CarlinIs it that time of year again? Is Christmas here already? It only felt like 365 days ago when we had the last one. Either way Christmas is one of my favourite holidays because there's nothing on earth that can beat that festive feeling. It's not so much a holiday to me anymore, it's a feeling and sense of joy I get every December and I just can't do without it. As each Christmas comes and goes I try to enjoy it with greater vigor and I want to share some top tips on how to have a cracking Christmas.
1. It's about Presence Not Presents
"Your children need your presence more than your presents." ~ Jesse JacksonI used to panic and run around in circles when it came to finding the right gift for somebody. However don't fall into the trap of putting too much emphasis on 'gifts' as your bound to stress yourself out. Sure it's great to get the perfect gift for a loved one but don't feel too down if you can't afford what they want or worry if they will like the gift you have bought them. As corny as it sounds, as long as you tried your best to get a good gift that's all that matters. Christmas isn't just about the presents, it's about BEING present. Far better than any gift is making yourself available, being yourself and being there for another person, whether this be a spouse, children or a complete stranger. If you can commit the 'whole you' to those around you, then that's the best gift that even money can't buy.
2. Clear Everything up Early
"Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas." ~ Johnny CarsonOne of the best rules to ensure that your Christmas period runs smoothly is to plan early. Since there is more or less a complete shutdown over Christmas you want to clear all work assignments, chores and other loose ends well before the 24th of December. Begin to start clearing up work at the beginning of December and try to anticipate jobs or events that may come up in the near future.
Not only should you get work related tasks completed well before Christmas, but you should also start mailing Christmas cards, buying gifts and preparing your parties early. Everyone knows that mail gets clogged up and deliveries are maxed out the nearer it comes to Christmas. In addition shops are full of last minute panic buyers too – so get everything done early as you don't want everything to accumulate into one big ball of chaos.
3. Relax and Kick BackIf you're a workaholic then you should consider putting everything down and stopping all forms of work on Christmas day.
It was only Scrooge who worked on Christmas day and according to recent developments not even he works on this day anymore. Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and getting in tune with the communal spirit. Just about every business around the world stops on Christmas day and there's no reason why you shouldn't either. Following on from Point 2, make sure you clear up all work before Christmas day – reply e-mails, return phone calls and answer clients, so you can be sure that there is nothing important that needs attending to when you should be relaxing.
Committing to work rather than being around the people who love you isn't what Christmas is all about, by not being present you are denying them the joy of having you in their company. So wherever possible, put your business, chores and your work life aside for this day and just go with the flow.
4. Stuff your face (within reason)Much like taking your mind off of work, why not put any exercise regimes or nutritional diets out the window for the holidays?
Put aside the salads, organic foods and the protein shakes and join everyone else in the yearly 'stuff your face' event that is Christmas. Not only does your mind deserve a break from your work, but your body also needs a rest. Rest mentally and physically to ensure a total relaxation experience on the day. Plus wouldn't it be weird if everyone else is stuffing their face with Christmas pudding and cream whilst your munching a stick of raw broccoli? Don't be a party pooper and get with the lazy-ass program instead.
Make this day one of those days where you allow yourself to indulge in all your favourite foods without feeling any guilt. Think about Christmas is the one time where you can make all the excuses you want. After all everyone else is.
5. Rent Your 'Classic Christmas' MovieDo you have a Chritsmas movie that never fails to get you into the Christmas spirit? Perhaps it was one you watched when you were a child and it was always shown during Christmas?
I certainly do, the truth is the ones I watch aren't going to win an Academy Award anytime soon, even if you did manage to replace Macaulay Culkin with Robert De Niro in Home Alone. Nonetheless because I've seen these films so many times during the holiday, they always bring back that festive feeling. I'm sure you do have your own and if you do make sure you get a copy and put it on continuous play throughout the day.
Anyway here's my list of shame:
1) Home Alone
2) Santa Clause the Movie
3) National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
6. Give, Give, GiveIf there's one tip you're going to apply then make it this one. Put yourself in a generous mood and give to everyone around you as much as you can. Giving doesn't mean necessarily giving money and gifts, but simply putting a smile on your face and giving your time to those who need it. Open doors for people, laugh with people, smile and greet passers by with joy – if you'll do this you'll have a wonderful Christmas.