So this is a bit of an unusual Christmas list because it is one that is largely down to you.
But if you want to have a Christmas that is calm, peaceful and full of goodwill then these things are a must.
Let’s be honest, many of us will have experienced a Christmas that is full of stress, a bit chaotic and sprinkled with resentment if what you want to do gets squeezed out.
If that is how the Yuletide has been for you, then it is definitely time for a change.
It is so easy in the festive season when we are bombarded with adverts of things to buy, to eat and to wear, to lose sight of all the great things we already have.
Learn to be grateful for your home, family, food, and possessions you already have, rather than concentrating on all the things we are made to feel we want. This is the first step to a happy Christmas.
People spend a lot of money at this time of year and for some, it causes problems for the following year. Starting from a place of gratitude means we are less likely to concentrate on what we haven’t got – and if you have children this is a good message for them too.
It is so easy to let the demands and wishes of others crowd in so that having time for yourself and the things you want to do, or the people you want to see get squeezed out. So start now to redress that balance.
Make a list of the things you really want to fit in and plan them into your schedule.
It doesn’t matter what it is, it is YOUR time! Whether you curl up with a film, have a night out with friends, go for a long walk, or sing carols.
Whatever it is, make sure you do it. Of course, you might need to NOT do other things to make time, but you deserve to get to spend some time doing things that you want to do.
In many ways, this is one of the best parts of Christmas, and definitely where memories are made. But we all know that not all time is equal.
What you want to aim for is quality time with the folks you love. That might mean cutting a few corners, but people are much more likely to remember the game you played together, the film you watched or the fun you had, than whether or not the stuffing was homemade.
So, go easy on yourself don’t set the bar too high in terms of catering or gift wrapping – simplicity often means you have more time for the important things.
When you shift your focus away from things to people it can change the whole tone of Christmas, as it frees up time so it all feels less hectic and lot more calm, which of course means you can be a lot less stressed and enjoy it more.
Think about small changes you can make that will mean you have more time to relax, open presents with others, or share relaxed meals.
This can have a bearing on how relaxed you are and how much you enjoy Christmas.
If you are a parent of small children, you will know that a relaxed parent often leads to relaxed children
While we’ve all heard that kindness is good for us and that it is more of a blessing to give than to receive, we often think we are too busy at Christmas.
But showing kindness is something that will actually feel good for us and while that might not be the main motive, managing to fit in a few kind deeds, giving to a charity, passing toys that the kids have grown out of to those more in need, providing a meal (food or money for one) to someone who is homeless, visiting someone that you know will be lonely or whatever else it might be, will add to, not detract from your Christmas.
Put simply, this is good for you any time of year. So it doesn’t matter if its silly games or funny films, find times to laugh.
Sharing laughter is a great way to feel close to folk and it is also a great way to relieve tension.
It’s not just releasing the happy hormones, though it does that too, it has lots of other physical and emotional benefits.
So while you might be writing all sort of lists this Christmas, make sure that these are priorities and you will have a happy and calm Christmas.