Everybody feels a bit ambivalent about the festive season, right? Sure you get to have a holiday, but with all the spending, the cooking, the kids being at home, and the general family craziness, you sometimes end up more tired than you were BEFORE your big break. 

Because we love you, we've compiled The Ultimate Festive Season Survival Guide. You can thank us by sending cash and leftover puddings in the mail.

Seasonal freak out 1: The inevitable weight gain

You are going to drink more and eat more over the festive season. I say BIG DEAL. You're going to gain a few kilos, so what? What's the point in slaving away through the year if you can't enjoy the resting bit? I'm going to eat, drink, sleep and read. But for those of you who have worked hard and will be damned to see everything go South here are a few tips:

Walk it off
10 look good naked exercises
10 tips to maintain weight this December

Control your Christmas eating 
Rules of snacking
Healthy choices for kids
Skinny jeans recipes
Bad food happens to good dieters

10 ways to pretend that you haven't put on weight
Summer cover-ups

Seasonal freak out 2: Overspending

Christmas, Hannukah and the December holidays are enough to bankrupt even the most financially savvy among us. To avoid spending January indoors, with 2min noodles and tapwater, you might want to have a look at these budgeting and saving tips:

Save money this December
Budget for year-end
7 Money saving travel tips
How to spend your bonus wisely
Silly season overspending

Seasonal freak out 3: Housework and cooking

December is the time for friends, family and fun. All too often this translates to serious slave time for the woman-of-the-house. I'm a firm believer in the saying: "When all else fails, lower your standards." Just like that a meat and 2 veg dinner can turn into a cheese sarmie and bath times can be replaced by dips in the pool. Here are some easy dinners, Christmas recipes and housework cheats:

For the true domestic goddess
Festive season recipes
Xmas decor themes

Domestic goddess cheats
Easy weekday meals
Cheat's guide to a neat house
Braai recipes
Top 40 summer restaurants

Seasonal freak out 4: I am going stark, raving mad!
I read somewhere once that suicide figures, depression and anxiety often go up during the Christmas season. From personal experience I know that blood pressure and irritation with your mother also goes up, as sense of humours and filial love goes down. Don't start a family feud this year. Your family might be a bunch of nutters, but it's the only family you have. And remember, you don't have to spend your entire holiday with them.

The serious stuff:
Top 7 suicide myths
Suicide and you teen
Don'ts for depressed friends
Is your anger a medical condition?

The bright side of crazy:

Fear, fun and families
Holistic holidays
Holidays with Mom

Seasonal freak out 5: Skin, beauty, and fashion disasters
I don't know about you, but in my festive fantasies I always see myself with shiny hair, great skin and wearing gorgeous summer dresses. I am groomed to the max (because I'll have all this time you see) so my feet and hands will be perfect, my makeup will be subtle and glowing, my skin will be blushing from the carefully applied selftan, and I'd be moisturised from top-to-toe.

The reality is that I walk around for most of the holiday with half-dirty hair gone a bit grassy from sea salt, unattractive sunburnt skin, hard heels from walking barefoot and chipped nailpolish because I can't be bothered to buy nailpolish remover to get rid of the hideous coral I painted on my nails. But this year will be different. I wish I could start doing these things NOW:

Skin tips for summer
Top-to-toe summer beauty
Prep your skin
How to sizzle this summer

Summer lovin' hair
Top 5 Summer hairstyles
Repair for damaged hair

Swimwear for your shape
5 Summer wardrobe essentials
7 Summer style essentials
Summer cover-ups

Seasonal freak out 6: Safety and healthcare worries
Malaria, sunburn, bilharzia, food poisoning, alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, road accidents... Don't let these and other stupid mistakes ruin your holiday.

Drunk driving
10 driving tips for December
Safe and happy holidays
Holidays with pets
Ban minors from tanning
3 Vacation spoilers
5 Essentials to take on holiday
10 safety tips for travelling abroad

Seasonal freak out 7: How to keep the kids busy?
Repeat after me: It's okay to let your children watch DVDs and play on the Xbox/ Playstation/ Wii every now and then. Seriously, there is no such thing as square eyes and it takes YEARS of neglect to turn kids into badly adjusted little freaks. I'm kidding. I'm just kidding. Here are some awesome ideas to keep them busy and you'll also win your own Parent of the Year Award.

What to do with kids on holiday?
Mom, I'm bored!
10 cheap holiday activities
Travelling with kids can be a nightmare
Low cost holiday outings
Are we there yet?
Top 10 cities to visit with kids
We're all going on a summer holiday

Kids Christmas craft ideas:

Xmas craft idea: Make a Christmas star!
Xmas craft idea: Make a Christmas bauble!
Xmas craft idea: Make an Xmas tree decoration!
Xmas craft idea: Make an ice-cone tree!
Xmas craft idea: Make a gift bag!
Xmas craft idea: Make a handprint tree!
Xmas craft idea: Make a star garland!
Xmas craft idea: Make an angel!
Xmas craft idea: Make a napkin ring!
Xmas craft idea: Make a beaded star!
Xmas craft idea: Easy Christmas decorations

Seasonal freak out 8: We never have sex!
Holiday sex is the best. Whether it's long, lazy afternoon delight or an adrenaline-filled quickie in the outside shower, take this time show your partner how much you want them. Sneak off, take the knob off the door or wake him up in the middle of the night. It's not like either of you have to go to work the next day. Sex is also an awesome stress reliever, so time your Christmas turkey so that you'll have time to get all trussed and stuffed too.

Get inspired:
Drive him crackers for Christmas
The Humping holidays!
Sexy making Summer loving
7 ways to ring his Christmas bell
Dot's Christmas delights

Get properly shagged this Christmas:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Do you have more tips and tricks for surviving Christmas? Come on, it's the season of giving. Share them with the sisterhood.