Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Feeling Festive? Worried about the Long List of Things to Do before Christmas? Less Could Well Be More, Says Jo Robinson

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Feeling Festive? Worried about the Long List of Things to Do before Christmas? Less Could Well Be More, Says Jo Robinson

Article excerpt

Byline: Jo Robinson

IT'S sad that, far from looking forward to it, so many people seem to dread Christmas. But forget the panic about present-buying and planning all those meals.

Christmas is a great time to relax. It's a time of year we should look forward to ... be it a chance to take a break from work, spend time with family and friends or just over-indulge on the eating and drinking front.

Christmas doesn't have to come with all the trimmings.

Most people will be manically shopping at the last minute, wrapping presents, gathering food and putting together a fabulous meal which takes hours to prepare and is eaten in the blink of an eye.

Planning ahead helps ... buy things as you see them throughout the year. Seems so easy. But, let's be honest, how many of us are actually as organised as that?.

So how about talking to family and friends and organising a Secret Santa, so each person in your girls' gang or the tennis club or the collection of cousins buys only one present? Gift bags are so easy and convenient and can save hours on wrapping presents, although it can be wonderfully relaxing to lock yourself in a room with a pile of presents, rolls of wrap and a bottle of wine!

And rather than stress yourself out washing, peeling, chopping and preparing the spuds and veg, why not opt for pre-prepared vegetables and potatoes? Of course, you could even just kick back, pour a few glasses of wine and warm up a ready meal! And, of course, there are the decorations.

It's not just the thought of putting them all up - there are usually lots of offers of help to trim the tree and deck the halls. It's the thought that you'll be left to take them all down and tidying up the mess in January.

Tell yourself that less is more - because it is so often true. A few, well-placed baubles and garlands will give a cosy, festive feeling. …

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