Is it that time of year again? That’s right, Christmas is coming. I bet your calendar is already jam-packed with events, functions and family commitments. Not to mention all those presents to buy! It’s a busy time of year and it takes planning and organizing to keep it all under control. So let’s break it down and take it one step at a time. Here are some ways to get on top of the Christmas rush, simplify your Christmas and feel prepared:
1. Stock up EARLY
November is a great time to find your decorations, non-perishable foods and presents. The shops are well stocked, crowds are smaller and the stress isn’t out-of-control. Take to the shops with a level-head and get ready for December. Starting early is not only an easier and more enjoyable shopping experience but also spreads the costs over two months so it doesn’t all hit at once. Your bank account will thank-you.
2. Think practical-presents
No one wants to give a gift that goes to waste. Simple every-day items like books, pyjamas, and socks are great stocking fillers. You know they’ll be appreciated AND it will save you buying them later when your kids run out. Simple presents are easy to find and easy to personalise too. If your son needs new socks, why not get them in his favourite fun colour? Practical and personal.
3. Gift an experience
Don’t know what to buy someone? Give them a gift of an experience they’ll remember forever. The best thing about giving an experience is you don’t have to hit the busy shops! It can all be done online thanks to the wonders of the internet and helpful online reviews. Experiences are a thoughtful gift, without the time and energy of present shopping. Not all experiences are expensive either. Some great ideas are zoo passes, museum, theatre or movie tickets, craft, surf or dance lessons. My kids have received Adventure Park and Trees Adventure passes to experience the high ropes course. They loved both experiences and they’ll treasure the memories forever.
4. Fill that freezer
Family meals don’t stop just because you’re on-the-go in December! You might not have the time to cook a fresh meal every night, but if you make the most of meal-prep you can keep you and your family well-nourished. Preparing bulk meals ahead of time will save you energy, and save some money for all the Christmas shopping too. Try a slow-cooked chickpea curry or spinach lasagne for easy, low-cost meal prep.
5. Delegate or outsource on Christmas Day
Are you planning on cooking for a large group on Christmas Day? Don’t do it all on your own! Get your guests to bring some food or drinks along and share the experience together. Delegate elements like salads, desserts and nibbles to different people so nothing is forgotten. Another favourite of mine is to outsource. Why not find a ready cut vegies supplier in your town? Take the stress out of hosting and let them do all the hard work for you.
6. Don’t forget self-care
In all the craziness of the silly season, it’s easy to let self-care slide. Whatever it is you do to wind down, keep doing it. Even if you don’t have time to do all your favourite activities, it’s important to take some time for yourself. Slowing down and taking care of yourself will make Christmas preparation that little bit less stressful. It can be something as short as a 5-minute meditation. Do it for yourself!
Which tip will simplify your Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.