After trying to sell me white-trash pyjamas for my children, the mall helpfully provided me with a list of 21 Steps to a Stress-Free Christmas. It would be cruel to make you read all of them. The only way to accomplish this list is to renounce all other tasks - work, childcare, meal preparation, showering and sleep - and focus on more useful things, such as matching wrapping paper to the recipient's personality or filling up your iPod with a playlist of festive tunes or sourcing cutlery, crockery, glassware and tableware to suit your 2010 theme. And whatever you do, don't forget to add little extras like handwritten place cards or personalised crackers.
Followed as written they are steps to a very interesting 25th spent having a nervous breakdown under the doona. My stress-free Christmas has only three steps, meaning you can skip prepare any outdoor areas for entertaining and give the house a good clean and you may be able to get away without booking your wax session, pedicure and blow dry in plenty of time for the big day.
2. Give everyone a book and some chocolate - an audio book for non-readers - and
3. Go back to bed with a cup of tea, staying there, except for trips to the kitchen for cherries or a ham sandwich or another cup of tea.
And failing that, waking up on the 25th only to discover I am actually Jewish.
Yes, I know. I Lack Christmas Spirit. I do make a great latke though.