Maybe you don’t celebrate it for religious reasons. Maybe you just can’t stand the carols or you don’t care about decorations, trees or sending cards to people you’ve not spoken to for a decade. Maybe Christmas makes you moody because it’s a stark reminder of past losses, of get-togethers that no longer happen.
If this sounds like you, the most important thing to remember is that you should be patient and gentle with yourself. If you’re feeling low or not in the mood to celebrate, that’s absolutely fine, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 38% of people said their stress level increases during the holidays.
One way to cope with these feelings is to actually go out and do something productive. Rather than spend the day at home with people you don’t get on with, find something that you can do that fits with your mindset and mental state.
House-Sitting For Christmas (and beyond)
For instance, how about becoming a house-sitter for Christmas? By signing up to HomeSitters, or House Sitter UK you will look after a home, a garden, and someone else’s pet, while the owners are away. What a great excuse to run away from the Christmas gatherings. Being a home-sitter offers occasional employment and interesting breaks from routine. You can enjoy the chance to stay in new places and explore new surroundings. As a home-sitter, you have complete freedom to decide how many assignments you undertake each year, and what type of sits you do. While on assignment, you will receive a daily food allowance and travel expenses (both tax-free), and earn a modest remuneration to supplement your income.
Professional house sitters will usually have a checklist of items they will discuss at the house sit interview before committing to the house sit. They can go into further detail at the handover – all of this really helps clarify those expectations and make sure you are both in full understanding of each other’s requirements.
Remember this is a two-way exchange, both the homeowner and the house sitter should feel equally happy about the house sit. Neither one should have a feeling of “entitlement”.
Where do I sign up?
HouseCarers has been running since 2000 and lists house-sits around the world. House-sitters can register for an unpaid membership in order to set up a profile and receive email notifications of house-sit opportunities, but you will need to sign up for a full membership to contact homeowners directly. Full membership will allow you to upload photos, references and other details to your profile, which are important to help encourage a homeowner to consider you as a sitter.
MindMyHome provides all the online tools for home owners and house/pet sitters to find each other from around the globe (or around the corner) since 2005. Registration needed.
TrustedHousesitters is another one of the larger house-sitting websites, with more than 2,000 houses listed at the time of writing. Sitters need to register to create a profile, receive emails about new opportunities and send and receive enquiries. Annual membership.