When you were growing up, there was nothing like racing down the stairs on Christmas morning, eager to see whether Santa had been to visit the night before and if he deemed your recent behaviour “good” enough to receive presents.
(And who can forget the excitement of seeing the bucket of water go down and the carrot disappear that you left out for the reindeers? Squeal!)
Sure, Christmas isn’t quite the same as it used to be now that you’re an adult. Having said that, it can still be great!
Whether you’re having a big family affair or just chilling out with your partner this year, read on to find out how to have the best Christmas ever.
Switch Off Your Phone
Sure, we realise that we live in two worlds nowadays: the offline world and the online world.
However, with the increasing reports relating to how detrimental social media can be for our mental health, Christmas seems like an appropriate time to have a bit of a digital detox. Right?
If you find that you just can’t cope without your phone next to you for the whole of Christmas Day, why not turn it off for a few hours over dinner instead?
Either way, it’s good to have a break from the distractions of technology every now and again so that you can be truly present in the moment. And Christmas is the perfect time to have enjoyable, real-life experiences instead of being glued to your phone.
Focus on Presence Not Presents
How to have the best Christmas ever 101: remember what’s important.
Don’t kick off at your Great Aunt Mildred because she got you Adidas trainers instead of the Nike ones you’ve been going on about forever to anyone who’ll listen.
Newsflash: this doesn’t matter. It’s the thought that counts.
Plus, in years to come, you won’t even remember that a family member messed up your gift. No, all you’ll be concerned about is that the ones you care about are still around the Christmas tree with you.
And if they’re not? You’ll regret the days that you ever focused on presents and not presence.
Remember Everything is Temporary
Even if you’ve been pretty fortunate with family members, you do get on each other’s nerves at times. It’s only natural when you spend long periods of time with people who you don’t usually see all the time.
If you’ve got a particularly mean Uncle or you constantly bicker with your sibling, don’t sweat it. We realise it’s not ideal, but you should try and make the best out of a tricky situation.
Be patient and bear in mind the bigger picture (it’s Christmas and you rarely see these people). Also, if you do have to have some kind of confrontation, do it in private so that it’s not uncomfortable to watch for everyone else.
After all, there’s nothing worse than awkward Christmas Day vibes.
Take Time off Work
If you want to know another top tip in terms of how to have the best Christmas ever, taking some time off work is a good start.
Let’s face it, how are you meant to relax if you only have Christmas Day out of the office and that’s about it?
We know that you can’t always control how much annual leave you have, especially if Jenny from Marketing booked the whole two weeks off over the festive period in early January this year meaning that you couldn’t because your company needs the cover. (Screw you, Jenny!)
However, for self-employed folk, try to give yourself some form of a decent break. Yes, it’s difficult to break away from your business when it’s your baby and if you don’t work then you won’t earn, but you need some time to unwind and recharge like everybody else.
Have Lots of Self-Care Time
Speaking of having time to relax, don’t neglect yourself during the Christmas period. It can be tempting to look after the younger members of your family or help out your Mum with hosting duties but then forget to treat yourself with kindness.
Whether it’s spending an hour upstairs in your bedroom watching Netflix after dinner or nipping out for a walk for some fresh air, do whatever it takes for you to feel positive and happy over the festive season.
And don’t apologise for prioritising yourself sometimes – people are always more understanding than you think they’re going to be.
Catch Up with Loved Ones You Rarely See
If you’re an introvert, you might sometimes feel overwhelmed with long periods of socialising. That said, try to utilise your time off work effectively.
Yes, have self-care time and be present with your family. However, don’t forget to re-connect with those people from the past who you hardly ever see anymore and still love dearly.
(In other words, if you can’t catch up with the friend who lives in Australia and is only back for a few days at Christmas, then when can you?)
It’s all about finding a balance and we’re all still learning but it’s the effort that counts. Even if you can only pop to your Australian friend’s parent’s house for half an hour for a cup of tea, you won’t regret it.
Ignore the Calories
Lastly, make sure you treat yourself during the festive period with culinary delights. After all, Christmas is essentially the only time of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to eat and drink as much as you want without anybody judging you for it.
Why? Well, we’re all doing the same darn thing.
We’re not saying that you should stuff yourself with multiple selection boxes of chocolate in one day. Rather, if you want that extra mince pie, you blooming well have it, mate.
Avoid calorie counting, for sure, but make sure you keep having your greens and stop eating when you’re full.
And always remember: food babies around Christmas are completely acceptable. Embrace it while you can.
How to Have the Best Christmas Ever: My Top Tip
Over the last however many years, there are many things we’ve uncovered in terms of how to have the best Christmas ever.
Having said that, the most important lesson is to be grateful for everything and everyone in your life. Christmas is a time to be with those acquaintances that you never get to see, hug your loved ones a little tighter and appreciate the wonderful world that we live in.
Spread that festive cheer and make the most of every moment because you never know what the universe has in store for you. This Christmas could be the last Christmas as you know it.
What are your thoughts when it comes to how to have the best Christmas ever?
Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded Trendy Tourist. Since 2017, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.