Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Why let unnecessary stress ruin such a magical time? We love Christmas. We can't help it; but for those of you who are nervously anticipating the stress, chaos and overspend - we can help or hopefully inspire you to get ready for the Christmas season NOW.
Don't be scared of being pedantic. You will thank yourself by taking some time out to organise and plan ahead. Advanced holiday planning truly puts you in charge, from booking your food shop delivery to posting your Christmas cards at the end of November. Enjoy every minute of December, not just Christmas Day!
First things first - budget planning. Remember to involve everything you will need. This includes; food, decorations, presents, outings, obligatory tacky jumpers…even postage stamps for Christmas cards and parking at the shopping centre. Work out what you will need to spend and where and write it all down. You can then get a better idea of how to manage your money, without any unnecessary splurges closer to the big day. Shops like TK Maxx are perfect for bargain hunters and you can pick up unique, beautiful gifts for more than half the price.
2. Calendar / Social Events and saying NO!
December and the lead up to Christmas is manic. Make sure you start filling in your calendar and diary with everything from parties, to school events, family gatherings, term times and anything else that might slip your mind. Write absolutely everything down, even if you don't believe it to be a 'key event', your mind is put at ease when all is down on paper. Also, assess your plans and who you are spending time with. Be ruthless. Do these people return favours/prioritise you? Be selfish with the ones you love this Christmas and say no to plans with people who are not worthy of your time when it can be spent with ones who are.
3. Christmas Shopping
Online shopping is a saviour, especially when you know what you're after. For those who enjoy shopping, heading to the shops at Christmas time can be a special event. It's a time to get excited for the festive season and a chance to see what offers are out there. However, start this in November - there's nothing worse than overcrowded shops throughout the Christmas period. (Unless you have serious patience!). Schedule in a Saturday or Sunday in November and attack every shop you need to. Anything you're unable to purchase in store, find online.
We are talking about presents, cards, ribbons and not just the wrapping paper. Whilst there are many pretty wrapping options to choose from, keep the environment in mind and get creative with brown wrapping paper. You can purchase a large roll from Amazon that will last you throughout the year. Resist the urge to splurge on a new box of Christmas cards, check your Christmas boxes for old cards that were never used. As for gifts, we always end up with boxes of 'emergency' gifts throughout the year and remember, don't regift to the original sender!
5. Recipe Research
For the sake of mindfulness, if you enjoy cooking and would like to try a recipe you've saved then now is the time to make a list of the ingredients you need. Thanks to celebrity chefs, cooking programmes are in abundance, and seem to constantly be on TV. We love the Christmas specials, which are repeated year after year, and always have such great ideas for the big day. Record any Christmas specials that you like the look of, scour websites and food blogs for interesting recipes.
6. Enjoy it!
The more you do in November to prepare for Christmas, the more you will enjoy the festive period. Organisation is key to a living a less stressful life. This time of year is for joy, not stress. Write your to do list today and jump online to order a few pressies.