Christmas Ideas, Tips and Planning for Christmas may sound really boring and small-minded but good time management around Christmas and getting your own work life balance right is all part of you and everyone else having a good time during the Christmas holidays.
So here are some Christmas ideas which I hope will make life run a little more smoothly.
Whether you love Christmas or hate Christmas if you are a mum there is absolutely no escaping Christmas.
Now personally I love Christmas, although the extra work we mums have to juggle can be a real downer, especially we find when our planning has gone out of the window.
When this happens I end up frantically wrapping up Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, when I would prefer to be downstairs with family and friends, enjoying a glass of wine, or going up to the centre of our town and singing a few Christmas carols while I watch Santa and his sleigh parading.
Sometimes the reason I have failed in being “ready” for Christmas is because things happen that I haven’t planned for. Like being ill the week before Christmas. Or because I have just scheduled too much into too little time and it is just impossible to fit everything in.
After one particularly fraught Christmas I decided to tackle Christmas in a much more military way – so here are some of the Christmas ideas and tips which I have picked up and have helped me have a much more enjoyable Christmas Holiday.
Christmas Planning Tip 1.
This may seem obvious but Christmas does not start on Christmas Eve. In our house it starts at least a week before Christmas when family descend on us for a pre-Christmas get together. So my Christmas will start this year on Friday 18th December. And this is the date I need to work back from in my Christmas planning.
My aim will be to have all Christmas presents bought and wrapped by then. Now – I might not quite achieve that but if I am 90% there then that is OK with me.
Christmas Planning Tip 2.
Schedule everything in your diary.
This includes nativity plays, evenings out, and Christmas shopping. This way you are less likely to over book or double book yourself.
A couple of years ago I sat down with my laptop and put all the annual things I need to do for Christmas in my Outlook Calendar –as “recurring appointments”. So each year without any action on my part they flash up to remind me as to where I should be with my Christmas planning.
As I am often accused of being scatter-brained, this has really acted as an excellent reminder that the weeks are marching onward even though my mind maybe elsewhere.
Christmas Planning To Do List
- Buying the Christmas Turkey. (I normally order mine from the butcher in November – so that has already flagged up).
- Posting overseas Christmas cards
- Buying Christmas cards
- Buying stamps.
- Writing Christmas cards
- Book and do the online Christmas Food Shop
- I also prompt myself with questions. Have I started the Christmas shopping? My Action: put in dates when I plan to do the Christmas shopping
- Buying Christmas presents
- Deadline for presents to be wrapped. I mark the times and dates I am doing this as “busy.” (Personally this is a job I hate – and always takes longer than I think. However putting this down as a “meeting” in my diary has made it a lot more enjoyable. Now I make a day of it rather than squeezing it into small time slots.
- Get the Christmas Decorations down from the loft
- Put the decorations up. Our family tradition is the Christmas Decorations have to be up by the 15th December – my daughter’s birthday.
I won’t bore you with any more of my personal Christmas tittle tattle, but I did want to highlight some of the little bits and pieces, which are an important part of the preparation for Christmas. And it’s these little things which all added together take up a lot of extra time. Time we don’t often allow for.
It really was no wonder that I used to run out of time to get everything done.
Christmas Planning Tip 3
Don’t buy stuff that you are not going to eat, need or use.
It never ceases to amaze me that the extra food that we all end up buying at Christmas – even when we have not got any visitors. It is a waste of money, it’s not environmentally friendly – and half the time it is struggle to find a place to put it in the kitchen.
Make sure you do a menu plan, this way you will spend less time cooking, shopping and preparing food as well as not spending so much on food in the first place.
Have plenty of cling film, tin foil and freezer bags so any leftovers can be quickly frozen.
Christmas Planning Tip 4
Christmas does not have to be about spending loads of money it is about having fun.
Budgeting for Christmas can be very difficult, and it is very easy to get carried away financially. Cutting back on Christmas presents is one really good way to save money. If you feel it may cause offence to suggest you give Christmas presents a miss this year, why not suggest Secret Santa between friends or family members.
How Secret Santa works.
Get a group of your friends or family members and set a budget for how much you would like to spend. Lets say £10.00. Now write everyone’s name down on a separate piece of paper, place the names in a hat and then each person picks one name. They are then responsible for buying a present for that person.
Do your kids get given money each year to spend? Well if your kids are not in need of anything, why not put is straight into a savings account. All those five and ten pounds really do add up. My husband has done this for his kids, over Christmas, Easter and birthdays, and unbelievably they now have several thousand pounds in their savings accounts, which have been left untouched since they were born. And as the children got older,they have enjoyed seeing how this money has grown over the years.
Christmas Planning Tip 5
Whether you a young family just starting out, or your kids are in their teens it’s never too late to create a few new family traditions at Christmas. A walk Christmas morning, or afternoon. A no TV Rule. Board Games or a Christmas Treasure Hunt for the family. Have fun and create the Christmas you want.
Christmas Planning Tip 6
Keep your sense of humour, Christmas does not have to be perfect, it is just another day. If you are ill, or people can not make it for dinner on the 25th reschedule your Christmas for another day and use the 25th to chill and enjoy doing nothing.
Christmas Planning Tip 7
Remember to Plan, plan, plan – and delegate, delegate, and delegate and have fun on the run up to Christmas