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Okay so the festive season is well and truly upon us, Christmas lights have started to go up, Santa Claus has begun his rounds at shopping centres and that damn Mariah Carey album is on repeat most places you go. Its an amazing time of year but for the majority of us its stress-city! So we've come up with the 'Top Rules of Christmas' to help you survive this holiday season and make it out with all of your hair in tact. 


#1 Don't embarrass yourself at the work do: This is where most peoples partying begins, of course its a time to let your hair down - but don't go overboard! People often take it too far and then live to regret it come Monday. A work do is always a hard one to navigate, when you combine people who have the real power to fire you, workmates who you might find attractive and free alcohol - things can get messy. Just pace yourself, you'll thank us when you still have your job the next day. 


#2 Sleep: Most of us (especially in retail) will be working ridiculous hours this month and when you mix that up with parties, excess amounts of coffee and probably not eating correctly, then you can easily burn yourself out. Sleeping helps you recover from the craziness of life, make sure you get enough of yours - even if its just a few hours. 


#3 Don't be on your own: It can be really depressing, trust us. If you are worried about being by yourself this Christmas then try and do something about it now. Think about inviting a few others over who are in the same boat as you, people do it all the time! An 'Orphans Christmas Party'! Also try not to turn down any invitations to other parties and events, no one can cheer you up if you are at home alone. 


#4 Avoid drunken relatives: Everyone has that Uncle who about halfway through the morning has drunk too much wine and gets a little hard to deal with. Like most drunken uncles, they're no fun to be around and if he tries to drag you into an in depth convo about climate change or his work redundancy then abort mission. Say you have to help with trifle and don't look back.


#5 Be nice to Sales Assistants: (Ok so we are a little biased on this one) But its a big one! Working retail the week before Christmas is like catching the Midland Train line at 10pm on a Friday night, nobody adores it. Retail workers are under SO MUCH stress this time of the year and they could do without you crap attitude because they don't have that specific candle you want for Aunt Karen. If you go shopping this Christmas please take this on board, they're people too. 


#5 Don't expect too much: If you don't have 'the perfect Christmas' thats okay. The most important thing is for you and your family to be together and have fun, that doesn't mean you have to land yourself in debt for the next 12 months by buying the most expensive gifts. As cliche as it sounds, spending time with those you don't see very often is a gift in itself and if not everything  goes to plan its really not the end of the world. 


#6 Hang out with Happy people: Write down the names of 5 people that make you smile. Make plans to hang out with those people, now. You will be amazed at how this will de-stress your life (even if just for an afternoon) and give you the energy to handle those people who you are obligated to spend time with this holiday season. 

Lastly, #7 Breathe: Its hectic for everyone, take a time out now and then. Have a nap, read a book. Just take a time-out to recharge your batteries so that you don't overdo it. This holiday is crazy, but its wonderful too, you don't want to miss it because you were too worried about work, presents or that lunch you have coming up with the in-laws. Take some time for yourself. It'll do a world of good. 


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