Most people love the holidays, but it is easy to get stressed out by all the things that have to be accomplished. It often becomes a problem when too many items are added to the to do list.
There are many things that can be simplified or omitted all together while still allowing for an enjoyable Christmas season.
Simplifying the Christmas Dinner
Some people are good cooks and love to spend hours preparing an elaborate Holiday feast for the whole family. That’s wonderful and the families of such cooks care indeed lucky. However, most people would like to be able to prepare quick meals that will still be enjoyable to the guests at the dinner table. This can certainly be doable, by knowing how to improvise and simplify.
By concentrating on cooking side dishes that are easy to do, the larger dishes can be bought already made. With more supermarkets available that offer natural foods these days, a great baked ham or smoked turkey can be ordered from them for the day of the big dinner.
These catered dishes taste as good as homemade and will shave off large amounts of cooking time for the host cook. For those that hate cooking all together, most of these supermarkets offer fully prepared meals consisting of a main dish, a few side dishes and even dessert. They cater to both small and larger groups of guests, or anything in-between. In most cases the meals can even be ordered over the phone, avoiding having to go to the market except to pick up the meal when ready.
If doing some of the cooking, like the side dishes, is still an option, some homemade easy ones can include instant mashed potatoes, frozen vegetables, such as green beans, cooked with garlic and olive oil. Another easy side dish can be made with a box of instant mac and cheese and simply sprinkling some chopped walnuts on top of the finished product.
Desserts can be an assortment of Christmas cookies, also bought at the market, instant chocolate pudding, a fruit salad and some Turrons. Turron is a Spanish Christmas delicacy that is now widely available in most supermarkets. They come in a variety of flavors to satisfy every taste. An especially good one is the Hazelnut turron, made of hazelnuts and honey.
Cutting Down on the Christmas Card List
While it may seem fitting that a Christmas card be sent to every person present in someone’s life, it really is not necessary. Writing up so many cards and envelopes can be very time consuming and not to mention, costly.
Most casual acquaintances won’t care either way if they get a card or from people they barely know, they certainly won’t feel offended if they don’t. Christmas and Holiday cards can be given to only a select group of people, mainly close friends and family.
This will open up some time that can be spent doing other more important things, or better yet, a nice relaxing break to read a magazine and have a cup of coffee by the Christmas Tree.
It goes without saying, that the same is true for gift buying. Christmas presents do not have to be given to every co-worker, neighbor, casual friend, mailman… the list goes on. It is best to keep the gift list to those closest friends and family members.
Christmas Shopping Online
Many people dread Christmas shopping and the chaotic crowds at the malls. Just the task of trying to find the right gift can bring on a case of anxiety. Of course, there are others that find shopping during the Holidays part of the fun and thrive on spending hours in the stores.
For those on the first group, a surefire way to reduce the stress of shopping for Christmas gifts is to do it online. From the comfort of a favorite couch or chair most, or all gifts can be obtained by a few clicks of the mouse.
There are so many great online stores that offer all kinds of items, from the most popular books to more hard to find items such as unique toys that are not sold in regular toy stores. Many well-known retail stores have online-store versions, which sell the same and sometimes even more items than at their physical locations.
Online stores also offer shipping to most locations in the US and sometimes even overseas. Gifts can be sent directly to friends and family members along with a Christmas wish message. Some online stores even offer gift-wrapping services for a small extra fee.
With these online shopping options, Christmas shopping can be a minimal hassle. Most of the shopping can be done from home and in some cases shopping at the mall can be avoided all together. This will definitely free up some time and give way for more time to relax and enjoy the Holidays.