Is the thought of Christmas planning making you anxious? Are you knee-deep in things to do that you have no idea how or when will get done? Do you feel like giving up already? Well then, it’s time to get a little creative with our Christmas plans! Time is a significant factor when it comes to preparing for Christmas.
Yes, there is so much to do, organise, and prepare, which can sometimes feel like the laundry basket (overloaded and likely to never be emptied for more than a minute!).
But we can incorporate some clever little tricks into our Christmas plans to make managing our time a little more doable.
The first thing to remember is that Christmas is like one big party which can last for a week or more depending on how you wish to celebrate and how many relatives you plan on visiting or inviting over for turkey. When you remember that parties need planning, you can start to think of your Christmas plans as a project and like any project, they can get out of hand if we don’t have a plan.
Project managing Christmas may not sound all too festive, but you will be thankful when the tinsel is hanging and you have the time to stop and sip a glass of prosecco as the ham is roasting.
Creative Shopping Plans
We know from last week’s blog that Taming the Christmas Overspend is best done with preparation and lists! Knowing who to buy for, what to buy them, and how much you are willing to spend on them is the first step in cutting back on lost time running around the shops! We have all gotten incredibly good at finding deals and best prices online, so rather than taking to the high street, getting stuck in traffic, and getting blisters on your feet from walking miles through shopping centre after shopping centre, plan your shopping online. And remember, gift wrapping is often an option, so tick that button to save even more time!
For your kids, keep a wishlist going throughout the year so that you can pull ideas from this coming up to Christmas or share it with the inevitable family members who will ask with slight apprehension, “What will I get them for Christmas? I haven’t a clue!”
When it comes to the grocery list, which is usually exceptionally long in December and needs multiple trips, give online shopping or click and collect a go if you’ve never tried it before. It’s a great option to save time and stress. We all know what the checkout queues are like in the week running up to Christmas! Just remember to get in early to grab your slot.
Creative Cooking Plans
Batch cooking is the most welcome suggestion for any parent hosting Christmas parties this year. Spending your day in the kitchen as your guests mingle is not the way to party! Preparing your meals in advance (or as much as possible) is the best way to enjoy being with family and friends this Christmas without getting hot and bothered at the stove.
Try focusing your appetisers and meals around dishes that freeze well so that you can have them prepped in the freezer in advance. Just remember to defrost and reheat appropriately. No one wants an unwelcome bout of food poisoning over Christmas!
The most creative of all cooking plans will be to get everyone involved. For some of us, the thought of relinquishing control over the kitchen increases our anxiety. But remember just how much food and dishes and preparation is needed for Christmas. The kids can chop the vegetables, your other half can help you plan the menu, and you can work on different dishes to cut the workload in half. Of course, you can’t be expected to do it all, especially considering you won’t be the only one eating this feast.
Creative Decorating Plans
Decorating the house and fluffing up those Christmas tree branches is a surprisingly time-consuming task. It can take a few days or more to heave all of those decorations down from the attic and sprinkle them around your home for a glitzy and sparkling grotto effect. There are a few ways to make this process a little less time consuming, but it involves forward-thinking and planning.
Pre-Lit Tree – If you are in the market for a new faux tree this year, think about buying a tree that comes with the lights already attached. There is nothing worse than opening the box of lights to find they are all twisted, which takes an hour to unravel. A pre-lit tree can save time and the awkward stress of winding the lights through every branch.
Organised Boxes – After Christmas, as the decorations start to come down, many of us are pretty much over Christmas at that stage and haphazardly fill the boxes up with no organisation. You will regret this the next year as you rummage through the boxes to find the tree topper. So keep your decorations organised in boxes and store them all together in the same attic spot so that next year, you’re not wasting time.
Cut Back – Do you need to put everything out this year? Think about cutting back on the decorations or getting rid of broken, dated, or unused decorations. Of course, if they’re in good condition, you can always donate some of those unwanted festive ornaments.
Ask for Help – Again, try not to do it all yourself. Taking on too much is a perfect way to lead to stress and overwhelm. If the kids are old enough, get them to help with decorating the house, or if they are too young, ask the grandparents to babysit while you tinsel up the house. More help and fewer distractions is a timesaver.