Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right?
Well, at least that’s what the Christmas carols and spirituous movies would lead you to believe.
Taking a snapshot of real life, Christmas doesn’t live up to the fantasy that it is made out to be. Family coming together can spark old tensions, the stress of cooking the food lies on one person, and the cost can break the bank.
Thankfully – very thankfully – there are a few easy hacks you can deploy this Christmas to make it a little less stressful. We can’t promise it will end up looking like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, but our tried and tested tricks will give you the upper hand.
Shop smart a.k.a online
Unless the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds ignite your Christmas spirit, then it is always recommended to steer away from the shopping centres.
Especially if you are shopping with children, they can make the shopping trip a whole lot more difficult and have you buying pre-Christmas Christmas gifts.
With e-commerce and online shopping becoming an increasingly popular trend, more stores are stepping up their presence. Some outlets are now exclusively selling online, and so you can also get the edge ordering a unique gift.
The only thing to be conscious of is shipping the orders in time. As we near December 25th, the days to order and shipping occur are limited. If you are going to take our advice on shopping online, get on it soon rather than later.
Buy your dessert before you make it.
Christmas in Australia doesn’t feel real unless it’s hot, so it’s a wonder that people are still choosing to spend their days in the kitchen.
To alleviate the stress of cooking the traditional Christmas lunch or dinner, there are plenty of food hampers available to order and friends and family could bring a plate.
But, cooking meals doesn’t end with lunch or dinner.
What about dessert?
Perfecting the final meal of the day can cause just as much stress, so it’s time you got someone else to do it.
At Amarantos Cakes, we have a wide selection of Christmas cakes that will impress yourself and all your guests. For those seeking a more traditional-looking cake, we have a Christmas Table cake with plenty of hollies and a Box of Baubles cake.
Alternatively, our shooting star and snowflake cakes are perfect for those looking for something a little bit different this Christmas. And, our cupcake ranges are ideal for parties on the go or kids in the crowd.
Give yourself a day off during the merriest time of the year and have someone else do the hard work for you.
Jazz up your giving gifts.
We understand these ideas may not everyone’s cup of tea. They stray the farthest from what we know as the essence of Christmas: giving and receiving gifts.
But, hear us out.
How many times have you been left stressing about choosing someone’s gift? Every year, you can’t think of what to buy them.
Or, the cost of gifts is slowly eating away at your bank balance.
It’s time to propose that we step outside the box and rethink how we do presents.
Many people are in favour of the classic re-gift, but not in a nasty way to pass on gifts. Speaking to Mamamia, Gretel Killen said that re-gifting better reflects her moral stance because she doesn’t need anything.
“I think it’s really important to re-gift; on moral, environmental, capitalist and practical grounds. Also, I don’t actually need anything myself so it’s better to pass gifts on to others (as long as you don’t re-gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place.),” she said.
Alternatively, make a no-gift rule for adults in the family. You will find the occasional adult give up gifts for themselves to save the hassle.
If the thought of no presents under the tree is a terribly sad thought, then think about this middle ground: a gift exchange.
Fanny Seto, thepublisher of Living Richly on a Budget, recommends creating a gift exchange for adult family members. Maybe add a wish list to ensure you aren’t buying something that will need the receipt attached.
These are just a few of our ideas to hacking Christmas and making sure you enjoy the day. Maybe 2016 can be your first Christmas in a while where you are genuinely present, rather than making it happen for others.