Make a list and check it twice.
I always find that writing things down helps clear my mind. I have a card list, present list and food list which all get ticked of and give me peace of mind. I also write all parties and things I need to attend in my diary so I won't forget anything. When writing your to-do list you could rate the items on it in order of importance. If the less important things don't get done, don't stress out.
Giving up control isn't always the easiest thing to do, but it can make a big difference. I like to control the menu over Christmas but I don't drive so going to pick up the food can be difficult for me. I've asked Martyn to pick up a few bits for me. I've had to learn to relax when he comes home with Aunt Bessie's roast potatoes instead of regular potatoes which I roast myself. It's not worth worrying about.
Make time for friends.
A couple of hours chatting with the girls and a glass of wine can make a huge difference to my mood. December is busy in work because the students using the library have deadlines so I can feel a little a little run down and not in the mood to socialise. As soon as I see my friends any worries just seem to dissolve away.
Eat, drink & be merry.
And don't worry about the consequences until 2015. It's Christmas, don't fret about calories and fat content. I stocked up on lots of lovely food from M&S and baked a cake before inviting some friends over to share it all with. Hosting can also bring stress, fretting over a menu, cleaning the house etc so why not head out for a meal and nobody is left doing the dishes? Take the stress out of finding a table when all the restaurants are booked over the festive period and use Quandoo. It shows you all the restraints in your area and what times you can book a table. You can also use it in lots of European countries so it's really handy for when you go on holiday. They also have a Loyalty Program and you collect Points each time you make a reservation on Quandoo.
Remember you count
Last but certainly not least: remember that you count too. Don't forget about yourself amongst all the hustle and bustle of making everyone else's life special. When you are out shopping or at home take some time to thank yourself for a job well done. I've been reading a book in bed and getting my lovely Pied a Terre scented votives and diffusers out to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Reed diffusers continuously scent my home, I always stop and appreciate the scent when I walk past the diffuser in my hall.
When all else fails, remember to take a deep breath. It definitely isn't the end of the world if it all doesn't end up exactly how you imagined. As long as you get to see your loved ones and enjoy the biggest roast dinner of the year that's all that really matters.