Opinion: Christmas is a time of stress and panic, but it doesn't have to be.

Christmas is a time for all sorts of traditions, catch ups and timely celebrations.

All the bits and pieces we know and love about the big day are so often talked about, and will once again be experienced here in Griffith and the wider MIA on Monday.

NO CHILL: Christmas can be stressful.

NO CHILL: Christmas can be stressful.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out how their Christmas day will pan out.

Sure, it’s different for everyone, but rarely does the day unearth any genuine surprises.

We certainly don’t want to take our eye off the ball on the lead up, but it should be remembered a happy holiday season begins well before December 25. 

That’s why it’s important to plant the seeds of a quality Christmas period on the lead up to the big day.

The MIA is in full crazy mode at the moment, frantically preparing for the one or two days or weeks where we finally get an opportunity to down tools and have a beer with family and friends.

Farmers are squeezing every minute out of every day to prepare for a tough oncoming harvest.

Retailers are desperately trying to keep their heads above water during the busiest time of their years.

And everyone else seems to be attempting cram weeks worth of work into the days leading up to the break, just to set themselves up for a less stressful start to the new year.

Christmas is often the eye of the storm, or the respite between some ridiculously hectic weeks.

But quite often, it doesn’t need to be.

Step back for a minute and grab some perspective.

Maybe we can take a load off, treat ourselves, and ease our way into Christmas more than we are.

If you’re lucky enough to get time off on and around December 25, make sure to put the feet up and enjoy it the way you’d like.

Santa says treat yourself.

Santa says treat yourself.

Most importantly though, consider whether running around like a headless chook on the lead up is necessary to really enjoy the Christmas period.

And another thing …

The Area News and all its staff would like to thank our contributors, advertisers and, most importantly, our audience for what’s been a challenging but fulfilling 2017.

We’ll be back ready and raring to go in the new year, but until then, have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.