Festive Season Health & Wellness

7 Stress Busters For an Enjoyable Festive Season

December 5, 2017

It is the season of giving thanks and good will  to all men, however, the Festive Season can certainly not live up to it’s name and in fact it can become one of the most stressful times of the year.

We are full steam ahead for the Festive Season and I can see everyone starting to feel a little agitated. Carpark rage is in full swing as we battle for the elusive parking spot. Shopping hours are being extended and there is a feeling of anxiety and stress pervading our lives.

Sound familiar?

Stress Free Christms

It doesn’t have to be this way and this year is the year to make the changes so you can enjoy the Festive Season with family and friends.  If you are hosting a lunch or dinner  don’t despair,  you can conquer the stress and anxiety associated with this special time of year with these simple stress busters.

Here are 7 Stress Busters that will make the Festive Season Fun

1. Planning is the Key

Download your free Festive Season CHECKLIST & PLANNER Here

  • Make a list of all you have to do and then plan what needs to be done each week leading up to the day.
  • Check what you may have left over from last year such as unused Christmas Cards, decorations, wrapping paper etc so you don’t spend unnecessarily.
  • Decide what you will wear a few weeks ahead so you aren’t adding the stress of the day by not knowing what to wear.

2. Make a budget

This time of year can be dangerous for our finances.  Unfortunately, pressure to provide expensive toys, gifts for friends and family plus food and drink can certainly dent your savings. Budget concerns can stress you out especially when you receive the credit card statement in January!

It doesn’t have to be this way….

  • Make a budget for gifts, food, alcohol, decorations and any other expenses AND STICK TO IT!
  • Try making gifts for family and friends or put a $ limit on the amount you will spend for gifts.
  • Buy throughout the year – when you see something on sale buy it – put this on your to do list for the new year.
  • Plan for next year by allocating an amount to set aside each week

3. Menu

  • Plan a stress free menu so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen all day.
  • Do you really need to stick with tradition?  Why not start a new one?
  • Choose a menu that has some components which can be prepared in advance to save you time on the day
  • Ask family to bring a plate. We have a large family gathering the week before Christmas and now that our children are adults, I ask each couple to bring something to contribute to the meal.  I give them plenty of notice and let them know exactly what I want them to bring.  It certainly cuts down on the time spent in the kitchen when you could be enjoying the time with your family.

4. Gifts

  • Decide who you need to buy for.  Remember it is the thought that counts and this time of year can certainly ruin the budget.
  • If your family are adults, why not have a Secret Santa.  We do this and my daughter organises it through  a Secret Santa Organizer  We nominate an amount to be spent and we receive an email with the person who we are buying for.  We also have an area where we can write some ideas of what we would like.
  • Try to have a couple of extra gifts wrapped without name tags to have on hand if people drop in unannounced with a gift for you.

5. Shopping

Shopping can be a nightmare, especially if you leave it until the last moment.  Stress peaks as shoppers descend on the shopping malls, especially as time starts to run out.  Tempers are frayed and in the end it is all too hard.

  • Don’t leave it until the last moment.
  • Try shopping online for convenience
  • Try shopping out of peak time hours – such as first up in the morning or later in the day when crowds are minimal
  • If you have children arrange with a friend to mind them while you go shopping  and then return the favour.

6. Ask For Help

Don’t be a martyr and try and do it all!  Delegate and ask your family to help, you are entitled to enjoy the day as much as anyone so if someone offers to do something, let them!

7. Let Go & Relax –

As the song goes ‘let it go, let it go’….  We all want the day to be perfect but what would happen if you relaxed and let go of your idea of the perfect day?  RELAX and try to remember the reason you are all together sharing love and happiness – that is the most important thing.

The Festive Season is about quality time with family & friends – let go of your idea of perfection & just create memories.

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

This post was originally published in December 2015 but it is so relevant I wanted to bring it back for this year’s festive season.



Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt December 4, 2015 at 04:51

    Great ideas, Sue! The planner looks very helpful! Hope you are enjoying the holiday festivities!

    • Reply sue December 4, 2015 at 09:17

      Thanks Terri! Yes I’m getting into the swing of Christmas Trees and decorations!

  • Reply Fabiola Rodriguez December 4, 2015 at 11:46

    You are so right! Too often, it’s the wives and mothers who take care of everything during the holiday season, but we also have the right to enjoy it. Thanks for the tips, I will be sure to apply as many of them as I can!

    • Reply sue December 4, 2015 at 15:18

      Exactly Fabiola! Everyone should be relaxing and enjoying themselves together. Thank you for stopping by to comment and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Margaretha December 5, 2015 at 05:39

    Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the Secret Santa Organiser! Definitely going to give it a go this year. Happy Holidays!

    • Reply sue December 5, 2015 at 08:37

      Hi Margaretha, yes it works quite well and cuts down on the amount of gifts to buy. Everyone decides on a limit so you can all budget easily. I’d love to hear how it goes. I have almost finished my Secret Santa thank goodness. Thanks for stopping by and have good day.

  • Reply Jebbica December 5, 2015 at 06:01

    These are some great tips, Sue! So, dumb American question–you guys are just going into Summer, right? But Christmas is still the same time as it is here? I can’t imagine what that’s like! Thanks for sharing this on #FoodandFitnessFriday; I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Reply sue December 5, 2015 at 11:00

      Hi Jessica! You are not dumb!!!!!!! Yes it is hot at Christmas which doesn’t really fit into the theme of a White Christmas and cold weather. Ours is more beach, sun and surf. I’ve actually written a post about our Aussie Christmas so watch out for that.

  • Reply Jebbica December 7, 2015 at 00:54

    Thanks, I will! I personally could get used to a Hawaiian shirt grilling outside Christmas. I wouldn’t mind warm weather year-round! The only good thing about winter in my opinion is the lack of bugs. Other than that, it just depresses me. Especially going into work when it’s dark outside and getting off work and it’s already dark again…no thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 7, 2015 at 10:17

      I actually have visited London and the US at Christmas and I love the cold weather but that is different from living there. You would love the sunshine in Australia.

  • Reply Teresa December 8, 2015 at 06:26

    Great ideas! Thank you for linking up to the Holidays Celebration Link Party! Your post has been pinned to the party’s Pinterest board (https://www.pinterest.com/pinteresab/holidays-celebration-2015/). Feel free to link up other posts too, and stay tuned for the features on Friday!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2015 at 12:54

      Oh thanks for the opportunity to link up Teresa and also for pinning my post. I’ll be watching out for the features on Friday! Have a great week!

  • Reply Kathleen December 8, 2015 at 21:10

    Thanks Sue, all these tips will work together to make a great holiday time. Planning meals ahead of time helps me so much to be calm on the day. Thank you so much for bringing this post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop. Every post adds value for us all. We love to see you enjoying the blogging experience. Whatever your blogging goals we hope you have found a piece of knowledge here that will help you going forward.
    Kathleen, Pit Stop Crew

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 9, 2015 at 09:13

      Hi Kathleen! Yes I like to plan ahead and try to do most of the work the day before so on the day I can enjoy time with my family and friends. I’ll definitely be logging in to the PitStop that is for sure.

  • Reply Janelle McCoy December 9, 2015 at 03:32

    Great points to keep stress down.

    I found your article on holidays celebration link part.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 9, 2015 at 09:14

      Hi Janelle, thanks for stopping by and here’s to a Stress Free festive season!

  • Reply Emma December 10, 2015 at 05:29

    The biggest stressor for me is finding the time to see all the friends and loved ones. It’s hard saying no, but I have to remind myself numerous times between Thanksgiving and Christmas that it is okay if we have to decline an invitation if it means a less stressful holiday season for my family.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 10, 2015 at 11:00

      Yes it can be hard but people understand. Perhaps you can have some get-togethers in mid to late January to celebrate a new year? Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a Stress Free Festive Season

  • Reply heidi November 23, 2016 at 11:19

    Great ideas! I don’t really stress over it since the kids are grown but I remember well. Online shopping is my thing now no way am I going out Christmas Shopping haha

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 09:44

      Hello Heidi! Online shopping is certainly the way to go to avoid the car parking and crowded shopping malls nightmare!

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville November 26, 2016 at 17:19

    I tend to keep picking things up and then I forget what I got, I am trying to make it even (well as much as I can between the 3 kids) and I think you have inspired me to be more organised and keep a list of what I have and where I hid it lol

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 28, 2016 at 17:40

      Glad I could help!!! 🙂

  • Reply candy December 2, 2016 at 09:57

    Wonderful ideas to read over and plan before you even get started with the christmas season. Thank you for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers link party.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 3, 2016 at 06:31

      It can be stressful if we let it be, Candy but I do love this time of year. Thanks for the opportunity to link up at Blogging Grandmothers.

  • Reply Grammy Dee December 4, 2016 at 11:44

    Great ideas Sue! Christmas should not be a time of stress but always ends up being so. I love buying for the grandbabies but buying for adults, even my grown children is such a hassle, not fun at all. Thank you for partying with us at Blogging Grandmothers Link Party! We’ve shared your post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2016 at 06:35

      Yes the ‘organizer’ usually doesn’t enjoy the day because they are running around after everyone else. It can be enjoyable though and glad you liked my ideas.

  • Reply Clearissa Coward December 5, 2016 at 06:55

    Great ideas a\nd I am a list maker so I could definitely relate and see the value of your suggestions. Thank you for partying with #blogginggrandmothers. Your article has been stumbled.

  • Reply Melinda Mitchell December 6, 2016 at 10:58

    Plan? Budget? Never heard of ’em! lol Or so you’d think.
    I did away with cards, and I don’t cook, so there’s that.
    I do love to shop!! And I do all year. I’m all done now, except for making 2 ornaments for my sister.
    Feels good to not have to be at the mall, dueling to the death!
    Blogging Grandmothers

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 7, 2016 at 11:06

      I try to get my shopping out the way early in December Melinda. Although we mainly just buy for the grandchildren and do Secret Santa for the adults. You are certainly well and truly ahead and organised. Put your feet up!

  • Reply Carrie December 5, 2017 at 11:33

    Finances are my biggest stressor this year. Not much money so have to rethink gift ideas. I am doing the dinner again but I have it planned all ready. it really is about planning and not waiting to the last minute isn’t it?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 7, 2017 at 09:42

      Yes we can get carried away over-spending at Christmas, Carrie yet really the smallest of gifts can be just as lovely. One year we gave our grandchildren $1 bubble blowers as part of their gifts and they were the most popular! At least you have the dinner planned as that can be really stressful! Have a very happy holiday, Carrie and thanks for visiting. xx

  • Reply Natalie A December 8, 2017 at 12:12

    I LOVE all of these stress free tips! I can really use this list to try to have a less stressful holiday season! Thank you for this post! I always love reminders like this, because sometimes I become busy, and forget how to avoid stress! Have a great rest of the week! I love your blog name, by the way! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2017 at 12:18

      Hi Natalie! I’m so pleased you found these tips helpful. It can be such a stressful time that we don’t enjoy it at all and then what is the point of the Festive Season if we don’t enjoy it? thanks for visiting and I hope you visit again xx

  • Reply Elise Ho December 10, 2017 at 08:46

    Terrific list. We are planning to do another run through of our list this weekend and pick up anything we have not yet. Then this week is all about packaging and shipping.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 10, 2017 at 11:48

      Oh packing and shipping takes time doesn’t it! At least you seem very organised which is the key. Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au December 11, 2017 at 09:50

    I think the “let go and relax” part is the big one for me Sue. I need to drop any expectations and just enjoy what the day brings. For every little thing that didn’t quite work out, there are a dozen things that were great – so why worry about the niggles? Wishing you a stress free lead up to Christmas too my friend xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 11, 2017 at 10:21

      Yes it is such a weight lifted when you just go with the flow Leanne. Not easy for a Virgo like me but I’m learning!

  • Reply Wendy | The Art of "Why Not?" December 12, 2017 at 07:50

    Why, oh why, does the merriest time of the year have to be so stressful?? Love your ideas for making it more enjoyable, Sue! This year, we decided to play a Christmas gift exchange game for all the adults and draw names for all the younger kids. I cannot even begin to tell you how much easier this has been on my stress level and my budget! I didn’t realize how hard it had become to shop/buy/wrap/ship for 21 extra people!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 12, 2017 at 09:17

      We put the stress on ourselves don’t we Wendy? We just do a Secret Santa for the adults now and that makes life so much easier and as you say less expensive. It is all about the memories not how many gifts we give or receive. Wow, I can’t imagine trying to buy for 21. I thought 15 was bad enough!

  • Reply Mother of 3 December 12, 2017 at 09:38

    Such great advice! I find this time of year so stressful and it seems like no matter how early I start or how much I plan it’s never quite enough to stop me from getting so stressed that I just end up disliking the holidays altogether.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 12, 2017 at 09:41

      Hi Joanne, it is a shame when we get so busy and stressed that we actually don’t even want the holidays to happen. I think we have all put so much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect Christmas that we forget that it really is about catching up with loved ones and friends – who don’t judge us. Have a lovely holiday period and do something nice for yourself today x

  • Reply Michele December 16, 2017 at 14:19

    This is such good advice. I am distressing this year and it feels great!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2017 at 11:04

      Yes I’m enjoying everything much more this year since I’ve taken my own advice!

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