Take the stress out of Christmas

Christmas distressed

For many of us, Christmas is about looking after everyone else, but not ourselves

The seemingly endless to-do list can make the festive period fraught and stressful.

Put yourself under less pressure this year
and enjoy the run-up to the big day.

Shop year-round (you may save this tip for next year!) When you see something lovely you think someone will like, buy it and keep it in a designated gifts bag or box. Write a note in your diary to remind you what you have bought and for whom so that you don’t buy twice. There’s a very handy gift list record in the Dairy Diary for this.

Don’t spend a fortune on gift wrap and tags; make your own. Save Christmas cards from the previous year. Cut out, punch with a hold and thread with ribbon.

Buy cards in the January sales (or make your own) and write them earlier in the year. Or send a virtual card and give the money you would have spent on cards to charity.

If you find you spend too much at Christmas and worry about the cost, agree a lower budget with friends and family, or choose Secret Santa instead, then you only have to purchase one gift.

Christmas tree decorations

Give something special: Write out a secret recipe that your loved ones have enjoyed for years, mount the recipe on pretty card and gift wrap (we won’t mind if it’s a Dairy Diary recipe!) Or find a selection of photos that evoke magical memories for the recipient and make a little photo book for them. Alternatively, if you have grown-up children, wrap their favourite Christmas or cake decoration. My mum recently gave me the Christmas cake decs we used when I was small; it brought so much nostalgic joy, and I’ll enjoy using them for years to come with my own children. Sometimes, it’s the least expensive gifts that mean the most.

If you’re having guests over the Christmas period, ask everyone to bring a plate of food and enjoy a buffet so that you don’t have to make enough for everyone. This satisfies fussy eater too, as they can just pick and choose what to eat. Or if you prefer a sit-down meal, make the main course and ask guests to bring the starter or dessert.

Mulled Cider

Warm a big pan of mulled cider or wine, and one of fruity punch for non-drinkers, and all you need is ladle it into a mug rather than stocking up on lots of different drinks.

Take time for yourself – don your favourite scarf and coat and take regular brisk walks to release those endorphins and stave-off stress.


Head of Dairy Diary; I'm passionate about producing high quality products that our customers will cherish. I'm also a mum of three and I enjoy cooking, walking, gardening and art with my family, as well as lino printing (if I find time!)

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