If you have stumbled across this blog post, chances are you are a mum or know a new/soon to be mum. Which also means you understand the whole new level of stress and organising that surrounds Christmas.
We have all put our heads together to come up with our top tips to help you get the most out of these next seven weeks – no matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday season.
- Start making your lists now.
Don’t leave all your list making until the last minute, we all know that dreaded feeling you feel when you realised that under the pressure of writing ALL the lists the night before or morning of you shopping day, you have forgotten that critical item that is no longer available.
Some of the lists we make are:
- Everyone you need to buy gifts for and some ideas.
- Grocery shopping list, either for your feast or the plate you are taking along to someone else’s house. Don’t forget the wine!
- Must do list – this can be everything from cleaning out the spare room cupboard before the in-laws arrive and start poking around to packing bags for a night away or preparing Santa’s snacks.
- Embrace online shopping.
Now we are all for buying local and supporting small business, we are one after all! This doesn’t mean you have to run around like a crazy person, children in tow to get your gift shopping done. So many small, boutique businesses are online now which means you can plan, research and buy early which will save hours…and your sanity!
When we mention, buy early, we really mean early too. Not only will this make those weeks leading into Christmas much easier but you will also ensure our friend Australia Post get your gifts to you on time. Imagine the smug look on your face come December 1 and you have finished all your shopping. Don’t forget the wrapping paper – or better yet, ask for gift wrapping where possible!
While you’re on a roll, why not do your grocery shopping online too, no waiting in line and you won’t be tempted to add all those extra blocks of chocolate.
- Fill up your freezer.
No matter how organised you are, that lead up to Christmas is crazy and you will find yourself reaching for the takeaway menu’s more than usual. You don’t need that extra expense.
Instead cook a few double batches of food so that on those nights you are running late or can’t be bothered cooking, you have a ready made, healthy home cooked meal available and ready quicker than it takes to decide what type of takeaway to order.
You can almost guarantee there will be the odd unexpected visitors too – some simple cookie dough in the freezer will make you the perfect hostess.
- Practice the art of saying no.
Saying no is one of the hardest things to do but if you want to make it to December 25 with your sanity in tact then you might need to brush up on your no skills.
If saying no is just too hard, then offer an alternative. I won’t be able to do X, but it would work if I could do X instead.
We couldn’t decide why Christmas is such a defining moment on the calendar but how many times have you heard someone say, “we must catch up before Christmas,” even though you haven’t seen them all year.
- Have a budget and stick to it.
Christmas can be an expensive time but it doesn’t have to mean you go into the new year with a credit card loaded to it’s max!
This is where those lists will come in handy, work out how much you are willing to spend on each person as well as a budget for your groceries.
The other bonus of starting your shopping early is that it allows you to spread the cost over a couple of pay periods.
- Release your inner perfectionist.
Probably as hard as saying no but just as essential! Trust us when we say no one will notice the tree is not 100% symmetrical or the decorations are not all matching.
Get back to basics and remember the holiday season is all about family and friends and showing your nearest and dearest how much you love them. Who cares if the tablecloth is silver not gold.
- Buy yourself the best Christmas present possible.
What is the one thing that you resent the most but must be done in order to avoid the disapproving glances of mothers and mothers-in-law.
It’s the worst, and just gets messed up again as soon as you’ve done it.
Since you are so organised, book in a one off clean just before Christmas. Those jobs that have gotten away from you – all done while you focus on other things. Like covering the greys that seem to have appeared overnight since having children.
And while we are outsourcing, save your marriage and Airtasker any cubby house or trampoline construction.