Tips for keeping calm at Christmas
It’s December 24 and you’ve forgotten a present? Try the supermarket, says a Neighbourly member. You’ll be surprised at what’s there.
Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it’s the most stressful. Neighbourly asked members to share their top Christmas survival tips; here are some of our favourites.
‘‘Don’t panic if the shops are shut and it’s Christmas Eve and you’re sure you’ve forgotten someone,’’ says Jess from Beckenham. ‘‘The supermarket is a surprisingly good place for emergency gifts – and it doesn’t have to be a plain box of chocolates either. My favourites are fancy Mexican hot chocolate in the tea and coffee aisle, and a posh jar of peanut butter.’’
‘‘Always have a couple of extra gift-wrapped presents on hand, just in case a visitor calls by,’’ says Terrie from Kensington. ‘‘Boxed chocolates, biscuits or lollies are perfect as extra gifts – if they’re not given away they can be used later.’’
Keen to avoid wrapping loads of gifts on Christmas Eve? ‘‘Ask for free present-wrapping at shops,’’ says Cheryl from Kaiwaka. ‘‘A lot of shops do this but just don’t advertise it.’’
Looking for ways to save money? ‘‘Agree with your family to buy each other secondhand presents,’’ suggests Abbie from Gate Pa. ‘‘Either find a genuine present that you hope they will like, or I often go for something silly that we can have fun with and then re-donate to an op shop when we’re done with it.’’
‘‘After living in the UK and having the full English Christmas dinners, we now keep it simple,’’ says Edith from Maraenui. ‘‘We pack fresh salads, cold meats cooked over a couple of days
‘‘Always have a couple of extra giftwrapped presents on hand, just in case a visitor calls by.’’
beforehand, a cheeseboard and crackers, and Christmas cake and pudding, then head to the beach or park and set up for the day.’’
‘‘If people are coming over for Christmas lunch or dinner, ask everyone to bring a plate of food to share,’’ says Annette from Parklands-Marshlands. ‘‘It’s stress-free and cheaper on the pocket if everyone pitches in, and there is always enough food to go around.’’
Wendy from Havelock North likes to make Christmas Day fun. ‘‘One year we made a treasure hunt with a series of clues leading to a present,’’ she say. ‘‘We also have a tradition of taking a group photo with masks, hats or whatever’s available.’’
‘‘For some, Christmas can be a very lonely time of the year,’’ Ann from Motueka says.
‘‘Call on your neighbour, take a wee gift, share your Christmas cake or large ham, and invite them over for a drink.’’
If you’d like to make Christmas 2018 easier, start your planning now.
Mary from Nelson ‘‘shops all year for gifts and has a special ‘gift shelf’ which is especially useful when I suddenly, unexpectedly, need an extra present for someone,’’ while Anna from Nelson South ‘‘buys Christmas club vouchers each week starting in January, and by Christmas I have a good amount available to spend at the supermarket.’’
Keen to read more Christmas survival tips? Read the full list at www.neighbourly.co.nz/ christmassurvivalguide.
Don’t let Christmas wear you out.