Online shopping

If there is one time of year when shopping online is a necessity, it’s the holidays. Forget all those Black Friday horror stories, it’s the pre-Christmas rush that’s the real killer. All those sales are like a rag to a bull. Shopping centres do little to help unload the stress and often become pressure cookers for all those bargain-hungry shoppers. Throw in parking issues and obnoxiously loud music and you have yourself a one-way ticket to “Stressville”.

Sound like fun? We don’t think so! Neither do millions of others who have taken their shopping needs off the high street and onto the web. In fact, high street sales are expected to drop by around 2%, whereas online sales are expected to rise by over 3%.  So beat the queues and parking chaos and take your business online. Uncertain shoppers can even look at suggestions for mums, partners and colleagues. To top it all off many retail sites even offer gift wrapping and personalised messaging services.  So while your friends and family are tearing their hair out in a TK Maxx, you can sit back and relax at home.

Go mobile

As the saying goes it’s not the size of your mobile that counts it’s what you can do with it! Since everyone else in your social circle will probably be glued to theirs, why not enjoy yours. Almost everything nowadays can be done on your phone; banking, reading the news, booking a holiday and gaming. Thanks to the wide choice of casino games available mobile gaming is the fastest growing sector for casinos.

Available online or via an app you can now play all the latest casino games or place a bet on your home team. Given that the festive period is often full of awkward silences or phone-based socialising, why not make the most of some quality mobile gaming.  Sports fans and their families will also be painfully aware that many sporting events occur over this time. To save all that remote control wrestling why not just go online? Your family will most likely thank you for it.

Balancing family time

While we all look forward to a festive break there’s just one string attached. Well, several strings depending on the size of your friend and family group. From food to gifts, the holidays present us with plenty to argue about.

Many mental health charities annually report a surge in people for help around the festive season. So how can you protect your sanity during family time?

There are many solutions on how to avoid festive dramas. The simplest and effective one is to carve out your own personal time. Depending on your friend and family group you may need more or less time. Simple activities like going out for a walk or drive can help ease tensions. Whatever your guilty pleasure is it is important to carve out your you time just as much as family time. This way from the day your family and friends arrive until the day they leave, everyone stays sane.


If there’s one thing people love more than presents over the holidays, it’s food. No matter where you go, you’re bound to spy some form of painfully sweet confectionaries. Even your office will have been invaded. Great if you’re a small child not so great as a fully grown adult. The worst part is probably having to repeatedly refuse as colleagues, friends and family shakes another box of chocolates in your face. Besides being completely unwarranted it’s also très unhygienic. My advice? Do what you do for the 11 months of the year manage your own sweet intake.

Now on to the savouries. The biggest gastronomic offender is of course chicken’s much drier cousin turkey. Those who would suggest drowning it in gravy, cranberry sauce or even curry sauce just prove the point. Another savoury offender is Brussel sprouts which are perhaps the worst vegetable on the planet.” Oh but it’s tradition…. we have to have a turkey with all the trimmings” I hear my mother say every year. Considering we live in the 21st Century, it is entirely possible to change Tudor traditions. Not to mention the holiday food waste each year.

As you navigate your way through the holidays we wish you luck, patience and perseverance. Our final bit of holiday advice comes from Bridger Winegar.  “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases.”