I say make it as easy for yourself as possible. So I do all my Christmas shopping online (which means I sometimes get Black Friday deals too). The festive period with my family runs from my dad’s birthday on Christmas Eve til everyone goes back to work after new year. It’s fun but busy and exhausting with various social engagements with extended family. But what I do is actually write ‘rest day’ in my diary for some of the days in this period – they are non negotiable recovery days where I don’t see family. It took a while for my family to get used to this and I used to get pressure to do things on my recovery days. But I’ve been managing the festive period this way for about 10 years now and they are all fine with it now and respect my need for recovery days in between pockets of socialising. Also, I plan very little for January – that’s my recovery month after Christmas where I give myself permission to rest and recover from the exertion.

~ Alice, 2023