Anyone close to me knows I like to be organised, I like lists, I like packing and repacking, I like to know everything is sorted. Last year I was really organised with Christmas and I knew I would do the same this year, because I hate that last minute panic of not being able to find what I want for everyone. It is now 5th November, I have 4 people left to buy for and all the pressies bought so far are wrapped and ready to go. I’m ready and counting down the 7 weeks till Christmas!
Am I being too organised though?
I mean, there’s something about wrapping pressies after the decs have gone up and the Christmas songs are playing. I haven’t even seen the Coca Cola Christmas Ad this year yet! At the moment though, I don’t think I am too organised, I mean I still have some bits to buy and wrap, I have food to think about and plan and to be honest I am looking forward to Christmas so much this year that I don’t think I could possibly be too organised!!
So when do you start getting ready for Christmas? Are you reading this thinking “I’m sorted too” or are you cringing at the thought of Christmas being just round the corner? Have you put the tree up yet?
It’s that time of year that we are “told” to be full of festive cheer, be merry, chill out and enjoy time with family and friends. It’s the time of year that all children are threatened with Santa if they don’t behave, and parents are going mad trying to get the toy of the year. So here are my top tips for Christmas, some are a little late for this year but are worth remembering for next year.
1. Plan early. Half term in our house is time to write to Santa. By this point Santa has already started on the stocking fillers and little extra’s and has a rough idea of what the kids will put on their lists, but it gives him almost 2 months to make sure there is a good chance of finding those presents the kids have asked for. Also part of planning early is to budget, allowing some Christmas funds from September onwards means once those lists are sent, Santa can get the main pressies straight away. This is a really good idea if the kiddies are asking for the years most wanted toys!
2. Use the internet. This is the first year I have done most of my Christmas shopping online and I have to say I was worried in the past that things wouldn’t arrive, or I would still want to go shopping and end up spending more. Actually, I’ve managed to get everything I had planned to, found some really good extra’s that I wouldn’t have looked at on the high street, had it delivered to my door and no sore feet and shopping rage in sight! I am all for supporting our high streets, but that said, money is tight and when the internet is cheaper and more convenient that’s where I will shop!
3. Keep track of what you have. I have really gone a little mad this year, Santa thinks my girls deserve everything he has got them. It’s just a good job I have plenty of storage space! I have tried to keep an up to date list of everything, in order to try and keep an even quantity for both girls. It’s not worked perfectly as I keep finding things I didn’t put on the list, then having to even it up again! It is important though to keep track of things because when starting in September, it’s easy to forget some of the things bought!
4. Do what works for your family. Gone are the days where Christmas is spent in one place, with one group of people. In our society of broken families, extended families and children having 2 Christmas’, it’s easy to get lost in the organisation trying to keep everyone happy. Make sure you do what is right for your family not everyone else. It’s too stressful to try and accommodate everyone’s wishes so sometimes there is need for compromise, but whatever the plans are make sure everyone knows before hand what is going to happen.
5. Time Out. I don’t know about you but at Christmas more than ever I need time out for me. I need to switch off from it all. Maybe it’s part of my depression, although I will admit I feel like this every year, that if it’s Christmas none stop for December I overload and feel slightly crazy! Make sure at least once or twice a week there is time with no wrapping, no shopping, no eating loads of mince pies etc. Just normal nights or days where you do what you do the rest of the year. For me, the Christmas season is the most important time for me time.
6. Santa’s PNP. If you have never experienced Santa’s Portable North Pole, then you really should take a look. A few minutes and uploading of photo’s later, and you have a personalised video message from Santa for anyone, young or old, naughty or nice! I have used this free service for 3 years now and it never fails to bring a huge smile to both B and H’s faces. As we get closer to Christmas B even mentions this before I have thought about it, wondering if Santa will send a message again!
7. Charitable Giving. I know charity should begin at home and in todays economic climate money is tight for everyone. Charity Christmas cards have been around for years but for the last few years I have taken it further. I no longer send cards to everyone. I send them to people around me who I see, and I send to my close family. I don’t, however, post them out to everyone in my life. I used to. Now, I give that money I would have spent on cards and postage to charity. Lets face it, I put my Christmas cards in the bin on January 5th when I take down the decorations. So does everyone I used to send cards to. I hope my charity donation will have more of an impact than my cards would have!
8. Remember what Christmas is all about. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Whether you believe this or not you can still take from it the biggest of Christmas messages – Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men. We live in a scary world of war, economic crisis, terror, murder and evil diseases. This Christmas, take a moment to think of those, past and present, here and abroad, who make it possible for us to celebrate, give presents, sleep soundly and be with those we love. While you are out and about this Christmas season, be kind to others, don’t barge around the shops, say hello to strangers and smile, we have much to be thankful for!
So that’s my tips, I could go on but I fear you may already have switched off! So what are your best tips for surviving Christmas?
- Current Affairs
- Family Life
- Guest Blog Post
- Me, myself and I
- Mummy Tummy Begone
- My 101 Things
- Product Reviews
- Race for Life
- School and Childcare
- Secret Post Club
- Song Saturday
- The Gallery
- Working Mum