Shop online and mute your WhatsApp groups and take a break from social media.
While most of us are looking forward to enjoying the holidays and spreading the festive cheer, someone close to you - a friend, relative or colleague may not want to share your joy.

If you are that person, then brace yourself: over the next few days it’s going to be nearly impossible to avoid Christmas trees, the sounds of Boney M, overcrowded shopping malls, overpriced food and clothes and random people wishing you compliments of the season followed by unwanted hugs and a kiss until mid January.

But, there are ways you can make it through the holidays with your sanity intact; all it takes is a little planning.

Hopefully these tips will help you avoid crowds, annoying chain messages and bumping into lost tourists.

Social media shutdown: It’s Christmas Eve and all you want is a relaxed evening at home. Suddenly midnight hits and the Christmas messages come flooding in, making your Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter a hive of activity. Avoid the social media ambush by disconnecting or logging out of your social apps. This is an ideal time to mute your Whatsapp groups and take a break from social media.

Plan your nights in: It is the holiday and while you may want to avoid the Christmas rush, you still fancy a night out with friends.

It’s expected that clubs, restaurants and bars are going to be full and don’t be surprised if your favourite cocktails suddenly cost a little extra.

Plan a fun night in with a few friends without breaking your budget.

Have each of your guest bring a snack and/or a drink and you are all set!

Best of all, you control the crowd, the music and when the party ends.

Get out of the city: This time of the year, local and international tourists are all rushing to the coastal areas. If you want to enjoy your holiday with some peace and quiet, why not pack your bags and go inland. Visit and discover the beauty of the small towns in your area. Most small towns or rural villages are quiet this time of year. They are great tourist destinations and home to many hidden gems. This could be your perfect getaway.

Work Work Work: There are many advantages to working during the festive period. The first and most important advantage is no peak-hour traffic! Also, most companies operate on skeleton staff this time of year so the office is a lot quieter, which also means you get a lot more work done. A bonus is that you can leave the office when you’re done - that’s if the boss doesn’t mind.

Plan your holiday out of season: Every holiday I have ever planned has always been out of season -and this time it’s not different.

You are almost guaranteed an available date and cheaper rates, and who doesn’t like to score a good discount? Plus, the chances of you having to share a venue with other holidaymakers are slim, so you may even have the place to yourself.

Shop online: The mall can be a crazy, scary place this time of year and no one should be subjected to last-minute shoppers wrestling each other for that last tin of condensed milk, when all you need is a loaf of bread.

Most big retailers allow you to shop online, which means no long lines or circling a shopping mall parking area looking for a spot.

Delay your grocery shopping: If online shopping is not your thing, then you may want to wait a while longer before doing your monthly shopping. January is a very long month and after the Christmas puddings, the stuffed turkey and exotic drinks it’s back to rice and chicken for most of us.

Delay your grocery shopping until after January 1. I can guarantee you will have every grocery aisle to yourself.

Although, if you have to stock up on some groceries, get only what you need and get the rest later.