Top Tips - For a Memorable Christmas

A truly memorable Christmas is one that everyone enjoys; if you are stressed, exhausted and irritable it will be memorable for all the wrong reasons. If you want everything to run smoothly then the best place to start is with a plan!

Think about what you want from Christmas and keep it realistic, forget about the TV ads or magazines. If your family generally spend Christmas snuggled up on the sofa then planning a five mile country walk might not go down well, try a short stroll, perhaps to a local park or beauty spot instead. Whether Christmas for you means home baking or picking up a bag of frozen roast potatoes be honest about what will make you happy and plan your Christmas accordingly.

Get the basics right first, before you start on the extras. Spending Christmas Eve making handmade chocolate truffles may be great but not if you have to stay up till 3 o'clock in the morning, wrapping presents or peeling potatoes.

Think about what your least favourite Christmas job is then try and get it done first or at least make it fun. If you hate Christmas shopping then why not sit down one evening with a couple of catalogues and a glass of wine and order everything you need (make sure you leave plenty of time for delivery.) If your pet hate is preparing the vegetable then rope in some help on Christmas Eve and stick on some Christmas music to make it less of a chore.

A good way to get into the Christmas spirit is to get involved in some local festive activities. Keep your eyes open for fun, free events, such as carol services or switching on the Christmas lights. Events such as these are usually free and will get everyone feeling festive, although you may need to wrap up warm. Decorating the house is also an activity that most people want to get involved in and helps everyone get ready for the festive season, whether you cover the tree with all the children's decorations or you prefer to go for a special decorative colour scheme.

There are plenty of small things that you can to do to make your Christmas special, but the most important is making time to spend with family and friends. Why not spread a little bit of Christmas cheer by sending some lovely Christmas cards to all your family, friends and neighbours. Whether you choose a traditional or a modern design, cute or funny, a Christmas card will help to spread a little bit of the festive spirit.