Get yourself ready for Christmas holidays by being organised now
Nov 10, 2021
Yes, yes I am with you: how are we possibly planning Christmas and December holidays? I don’t know what happened to this year - even though that is a complete cliche!
While the December holidays are filled with sunshine, cocktails and chilling out, this time of year can also be super overwhelming and stressful with all the family politics, holidays pressures and everything that needs to get done - whether you are at home, having house guests or heading away for a break.
First things first: I suggest you read my Planning for a stress-free December break now, post from last year.
Next step: I am a firm believer that organisation is the key to a stress-free holiday season so I am all about organising before taking any action. Simple planning and scheduling will really help put your mind at ease and allow you to know that you have fitted everything in and not forgotten anything.
- I use my planner and calendars and make sure that they are up to date from now until we head back to school in January 2022. Yip - every concert, end of year function, birthday, trip dates etc are added to my calendar. The reason I do this is twofold: firstly, it’s brilliant to write things down, and secondly, by examining the calendar it gives me a visual representation of where we are at: which days are free, how many weekends until Christmas, etc.
- I plot all our Christmas traditions! Yip! I use a calendar for this. We are huge on family traditions and fun festive activities so I want to allocate times to enjoy these traditions. I plot “advent calendar ready,” “go visit the Christmas lights,” “bake neighbours gifts” etc. I even schedule in gift wrapping time. My one sibling always calls me from the next door room at our holiday home on Christmas Eve and asks to borrow sticky tape! I cannot fathom this. Although it works for some people I know this sort of last minute chaos would make the holiday season extremely stressful for me… not to mention taking the fun out of wrapping!
- Now it’s all about THE LISTS! And trust me there are so so many lists: gift lists, holiday packing lists, to-do lists, admin lists, menu writing, and shopping lists. I also have an “ultimate to-do list” because this strange thing happens to me at this time of year where I spring clean the entire house so that we start the new year fresh. I know some choose to do this in Jan but whatever your to-do lists look like, write it down!
Now that you know what you have to do and when you are going to do it you are pretty much there. But there are a few more things that will take the anxiety out of this time:
- Budgeting: for the holiday season as well as for gifts. Everything can very quickly get out of control and making a holiday budget and sticking to it will not only alleviate immediate stress but also help with your stress levels when you are back to real life in January!
- Avoid the malls and shop small. As a small business owner myself I am passionate about supporting small, local, often mom-run businesses. I love the idea that making a purchase results in an actual person doing a happy dance to have received an order. Our small, local businesses need us: support them.
- Avoid the malls for everything else: parking, crowds, queues, Covid etc, and rather spend your precious time doing things you love. Online shopping all the way gals.
- Plan your outfits, create your playlists, decide your Christmas cocktail now!
If you are hosting, the festive season stress can take on a whole new level (I know the feeling!) Be it Christmas, dinner parties or even guests staying in your home, here are a few things that make the time happy and fun rather than completely stressful.
- Write menus ahead of time and meal plan for your holidays.
- Although I love trying new recipes, I don’t do it for Christmas. I can’t tell you how much less stressful it is now that I have my trusty, delicious go-to recipes that are easy and such crowd pleasers - I know there aren’t going to be any disasters and that is always a relief on Christmas Eve!
- Use your resources - I am all about a preordered turkey that is all prepared.
- Do any prep in advance!
- I set the table the day before.
Holidays can be wonderful and they are a time for you to enjoy too! So do what you can to look after yourself. Remember, even though it is holiday season, focus on intentional living. Here is a post I wrote last year about intentional living in the month of indulgence which still rings so true.