The following sentence can bring many a person into a frazzled frenzy “Its only XX days to Christmas” and the closer it gets to Christmas, the more it’s said!!! By this time you may have developed a nervous twitch.
For those of us who do most of the Christmas prep it can be a minefield of endless jobs, not including the day to day activities brought on by family or a busy career.
Take charge of that Christmas festive bomb...
As a small business owner, I find my time for organising Christmas gets particularly hard, especially as my busiest time of year is Christmas, because I design and create Christmas Cards and end up working endless hours throughout November and December. In fact for my business I’m already working towards Christmas in August/September!
But over the last few years I’ve found ways to help/simplify the run up, so I enjoy the Christmas season as much as possible, so when it’s come to Christmas Day – I’m not hiding in a darkened room, with only gift-wrap for company.
Let's navigate that Christmas Minefield...
So my fellow crimbo preppers here are a few tips to help navigate that festive minefield:
Take a deep, deep breath.
- Stay calm it’s only Christmas, it’s really not the end of world if you can’t do everything!
- Start your planning a few weeks ahead of December (Yes, people may say you’re crazy, but it does make a BIG difference). I normally start my planning around the 10th November.
- Grab a calendar and write down all those important pre-Christmas dates, from family get together’s, school plays, visits to Santa and other activities you might have. Once this is done you will clearly be able to see what free time you have to plan/organise the other Christmas bits and bobs.
- Every year set a BUDGET, it’s really easy to get carried away. I have a spreadsheet (yeah, I’m a spreadsheet kinda gal) and I list all those I wish to buy presents for and set a budget and I stick to it. Once something is bought it’s listed on the spreadsheet so I can keep a tally of the total spend. I even include other big Christmas purchases such as the xmas tree, and Christmas roast.
- Spread the cost of Christmas, it’s an obvious one I know. But you can do this two ways either by buying throughout the year (remember to keep that budget) or set aside a fixed amount each month. Make use of special offers, reductions or offers to help make your budget go further.
- Write a Christmas card list, and gather your postal addresses. I find having addresses stored on my computer, means they can be printed onto address labels – saving time instead of having to write out all those addresses.
- Remember to send off your cards before Royal Mails final Christmas postdate. If you find writing out your Christmas cards all in one go to be tedious, then send them out in small batches. Perhaps once the kids are in bed, poor yourself a small glass of wine and then just write a few out a night. Alternatively order your cards online and have them sent directly to the recipients, this can save loads of time.
- Wrapping presents….hmm. One year both my husband and I tried to wrap everyone’s presents in one evening (yes that’s correct – one evening, over 35 items) and since then we’ve never done it again! Its was a horrible experience. So what we do now is the week before Christmas, once all the decorations have been put up, we poor some wine (or a cuppa tea), put on a Christmas film and wrap a few presents at a time (he wraps, I do the filly bits). This for us is much more enjoyable and has become one of our little Christmas traditions we both enjoy.
- Plan your festive menu – planning makes it easier to write your festive food and drink shopping list and remember if you’re not big on cooking, then don’t set yourself an impossible task, keep the menu simple. We should all enjoy Christmas Day. Save yourself time and prep your veg and store in the fridge on Christmas Eve.
- Enjoy yourself, its your Christmas too. Make time for yourself in the run-up, have a relaxing bath or catch up with friends for a spot of lunch. After all Christmas is about spending time with family and friends.
From mammoth jobs to mouse-sized jobs
The main points to remember is to plan ahead as early as possible and do things in bite sized pieces. If its a mammoth job or a job you find tedious then break it down into manageable mouse-sized pieces over a few days. It will be less stressful and you might find you enjoy the experience much more.
Don’t try to do everything just because it’s tradition, pick some you actually like doing or even better create your own traditions. It’s your family Christmas so make it unique.
Do you have any Christmas tips?
I do hope you enjoyed the blog, and if you have any Christmas tips to share, please do leave a comment.