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50 Hacks To Survive the Holiday Season

By Sarah Downs - 12 Dec 2017

50 Hacks To Survive the Holiday Season

When it hits December, the presents, the party invitations and the end of year stress starts to implode. The holiday season can start to feel like an endurance test rather than the most wonderful time of the year. Here are 50 hacks on how to keep your cool. Yule need it.

  1. Use the ‘I’ve got another Christmas party’ as an excuse to get out of any unwanted social or work obligations. This holiday: you do you.
  2. Leave shopping tabs open on your computer or phone when in the company of family and friends—accidentally, of course. You’re really only helping them.
  3. Buy your sister a gift in a style or size that sneakily fits you better, then swoop in to take it off her hands when she doesn't want it
  4. Don't overcommit. When would it ever be a good idea to RSVP to 14 Christmas dinner parties, six brunches and 16 after work drinks? Learn to say no. 
  5. When your extended family asks your happily single self the dreaded ‘who are you dating’ question, immediately storm out of the room.
  6. Office Christmas parties can suck. Avoid awkward conversations by remaining elusive in the background.
  7. If that doesn’t work, hightail the hell out of there with an impromptu conga line.
  8. Call in sick and get the day off work so you can do your gift buying midweek and avoid swarms of stressed shoppers.
  9. Beach or office? Beach.
  10. Unless of course, this will get you fired. In that case, dress the F up for the office. It will make you feel so much better.
  11. Treat yourself to some fresh blooms to spruce up your desk and keep your spirits up.
  12. Make sure to stick with only one type of booze over the silly season. Wine, beer or spirits. You’ll thank us in the morning.
  13. On that note, don't go crazy at work parties. Think a three-drink maximum and keep business, business.
  14. That is unless your work team is tight—then party on. You've been slaving all year, after all.
  15. Do not forget, however, to pre-nibble. It’s important to line the stomach before a night out.
  16. But ditch the golden rule if you believe the reward of going to another Christmas party is to eat free food. It is a scientific fact: it tastes better when someone else has paid for it.
  17. But contrary to popular belief the metabolism does not magically speed up over Christmas.
  18. Make the most of Christmas social occasion where you don’t know everybody. Expand your social horizons and take the chance to make new friendships.
  19. Remember to remember everybody’s names too. Identify something interesting about them that relates to their name or say their name back to them as soon as you meet.
  20. Master the art of slipping away unnoticed so you can leave boring functions early. 
  21. Switch up your party shoes to avoid painful blisters.
  22. Make a list to keep yourself organised and you know…check it twice.
  23. Know that ‘this too shall pass.’ December won’t last forever and things will get less hectic.
  24. So schedule A LOT of me time.
  25. Keep calm and Buble on.
  26. Don't get carried away with the holiday spirit and give yourself a budget for presents. Bring the amount you would be willing to fork out in cash for each person and this way you can literally see (gasp) your expenses.
  27. Buy when you see it. If you come across a perfect present for someone do not fall into the ’Ill think about it and come back later’ trap. You never do. Decisiveness is key to stress-free shopping.
  28. If you can’t come up with an idea, no one will ever be upset with a really nice box of chocolates or a bottle of wine.
  29. Or be different and make your own presents—just don't make them crap. No-one appreciates homemade when it screams last-minute effort. Bake some really fancy cookies and put them in a nice jar with a ribbon.
  30. Watch Love Actually. There’s nothing like dancing prime ministers, nativity lobsters and cinnamon stick gift wrapping to get you in the festive mood.
  31. Burn some festive ambience with a Christmas candle.  It’s the only time of year you can buy one and your room will smell like mulled wine and toasted cinnamon.
  32. Peer into the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas windows. Every year they transform into winter wonderland scenes. It helps you believe the world is all right-ish.
  33. Make sure to get enough sleep.
  34. Gather your gang for a stroll down Franklin Rd. Its residents dress their homes up with trees and lights in December. Listen to the carol singers and you can’t help but be sprinkled with holiday magic.
  35. But if you don't feel like getting into the holiday spirit, then don't! Embrace your Grinch-ness.
  36. If you’re hosting friends for a Christmas dinner, make it a potluck and dibs being on drinks.
  37. Don't forget about your pets at Christmas. Dress them up costumes from Kmart. It’s an investment worth the giggle.
  38. Wake up every morning and remind yourself, “it’s summer!”
  39. Go out in the sunshine and get those vitamin D levels up but remember to slip, slop, slap under our harsh summer rays. Don’t turn up to work on a Monday rocking fifty shades of lobster.
  40. Up your ice cream intake to at least twice a week—not including weekends.
  41. Make the most of the evening light and become one of those people who go for after-dinner walks.
  42. Explore the art of the thank you note. A hand-written card is special and the holiday season is the perfect time to send one. Thank your party host or somebody who gave you a thoughtful gift.
  43. Take the opportunity to be creative by wrapping your gifts in paper that doesn’t come from the holiday aisle—craft paper, arty pages from magazines, brown paper with twine and ribbon. It will impress friends.
  44. Or, if you can't be bothered, head to the Atrium in Takutai square in Britomart for complimentary gift wrapping between the 9-24 December. Optional gold coin donation for charity.
  45. While you’re there, make a stop at Miann for their magical Reindeer Gelato. It’s chocolate brownie flavour in a crunchy chocolate shell and is essential to your wellbeing.
  46. Spread some Christmas cheer and do something nice for a stranger. Even a small compliment can make someone’s day.
  47. It sounds scary but it’s a great time of year to clean out your wardrobe. It clears the mind and prepares you for a fresh new year. Donate the rest to charity.
  48. Maxis or shifts are a girl’s best friend on Christmas day—more room for that pudding
  49. Gracefully use Instagram over the holiday period. Everyone else has got their own Christmas tree/table/gathering so we don't need to see a whole series of yours. Aim to take one great photograph. Remember it’s quality over quantity.
  50. Above all, be present. The holiday season is filled with special moments with our favourite people. Don’t let stress take the focus away from that.

Love the silly season? Here's 50 things we love about Christmas time in Auckland. 

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