Text: Ophelia Wu
It’s the season to be jolly again. Family gatherings, julefrokost, parties…a lot going on. Sounds stressful? I can relate. While it’s beautiful for everyone to come together and honour all the traditions, getting too much in a short time can be stressful. Over the years, observing how my friends and family managed this festive season has made me realise it’s all about enjoying a good time with people you love. So here are my Christmas-friendly stress-less suggestions:
#1 Let go of perfection
Hosting a julefrokost, dinner or party is a very stressful situation. You want your guests to feel amazing and perfect. But that’s the point - it’s not about how perfect the table setting is, how good the wine and food will be, but the experience of the time shared, making memories, catching up and having a good time. Focus more on the people instead of the venue or details. A simple dinner with a few games or the perfect playlist that satisfies all your 20 guests can be as cosy. It’s not a state banquet; it’s just a lovely get-together with people you enjoy spending time with.
#2 Outsource and delegate
If the host and guests can all share the preparation of the gathering, it can help share the load and gives everyone a sense of anticipation as the event approaches. Everyone will be contributing a little bit to this gathering, and it’s less likely for people to cancel last minute too. So killing two birds with one stone.
"It is lovely to receive invitations to all these dinner parties, but it is okay to say no if you don’t feel like it. Don’t be afraid to be selective and set healthy boundaries. It can be very draining emotionally and physically. Also, it could be expensive to attend all the events you’ve been invited to."
#3 Don’t be afraid to say no
It is lovely to receive invitations to all these dinner parties, but it is okay to say no if you don’t feel like it. Don’t be afraid to be selective and set healthy boundaries. It can be very draining emotionally and physically. Also, it could be expensive to attend all the events you’ve been invited to. That is unless you genuinely want to show up to all and see all those people; that’s totally fine too. But for many, it is more the social pressure of accepting an invitation because it’s from your boss, newly met social circle, neighbours etc. It is absolutely okay to set boundaries, from saying no to alcohol to how many events you will attend and a budget for presents. Do whatever feels right to you, which will take a lot of stress off your shoulders.
#4 Just enjoy!
The festive season is all about enjoying oneself and your company. Yes, it is magical. It is Christmas, probably the one time of the year when you get to spend time with your relatives and family members. That is precisely the reason why we should all just enjoy and relax. Take the opportunity to find out what’s going on with your loved ones’ lives, update each other, and if you are not a big talker, just listen and nod with a smile.