Yes, yes, I said it, the ‘C’ word. Sorry! But if you’re anything like me, Christmas will already be floating about in your mind and you are starting to think about how to get organised for Christmas.
I tend to start thinking about Christmas after both of the kids birthdays, so as that was a few weeks ago, it’s on my mind.
I know there is plenty to organise, and I am also aware that this Christmas might be unlike any other we’ve had before.
With so many people struggling with work and unemployment too, this is probably going to need to be a thrifty Christmas for many of us.
With all of this in mind, it feels like time to start to get organised for Christmas. Starting early should ensure that everything runs smoothly, with no last minute frazzled panic.
Get Organised For Christmas
The first thing I would suggest is a list. Of course, I am going to suggest a list!
Can anything be planned properly without a list? If you’re a list user, you are nodding emphatically right now. If you’re not, give this a try!
In fact, you might want to create a few lists, as it’s probably easier to separate things out to see more clearly what you will need to do.
With this in mind, you’re probably going to want to split things up into 3 key areas: Gifting and Giving, Events and Activities and The Practicalities.
Gifting and Giving
I’d suggest starting here to give you plenty of time to get sorted.
Firstly, make a list of everyone that you need to get gifts for, and then jot down your budget for doing so, or time allotted if you are hand making gifts.
Then you can start writing down whatever you plan to get people under their names, which effectively creates your shopping/making list. Then you can break it down into shops, trips, go online or get making.
If you have children, you might want to get those Santa letters locked in so that you know what is on those wish lists!
If you do send Christmas cards, make a list of the recipients and check your stash of cards to make sure you have enough. Haven’t got a stash? Just add a couple of packs to your shopping list.
Everywhere seems to sell Christmas cards these days, so you can pick them up with your supermarket shopping, grab them whilst Christmas shopping or order some directly from your favourite charity.
You might also be looking to donate gifts or products to charities and food banks, so make sure that you note those down and build them into your plans.
If you are going to be posting cards and gifts, do check last posting dates and make sure you have got these organised by then.
Events and Activities
This one might look different this year. This one might be tricky to plan for this year. So this is the area where you are probably going to need to be the most flexible and get creative.
Think about the events that are usually in your calendar throughout the festive season. Which ones can still go ahead, despite any potential restrictions? Then focus on those first.
Plan them into your diary and think about how you can make them even more special this year. It might need some thinking out of the box in order to make things happen.
Then take a look at some of the things that you would usually do or had hoped to do, but suspect you won’t be able to this year. What could you do instead? Is there a way to do something similar or can you come up with something completely different to replace it?
This might be the year that you make a point of ‘booking in’ a few simple ideas, so that you can see that you have things happening during Advent. Perhaps a trip round the neighbourhood to see the lights, a Christmas film night or putting the tree and decorations up.
After you have worked all of these out, you can start listing down what you need to do to make them happen and get cracking on them.
Here lies everything else!
You now have gifts and cards arranged and various fun activities booked into your diary to look forward to.
Start with the food. This will get you in a festive mood!
Make a food list, and include booking and delivery dates to ensure that you are not too late to get your turkey or your food delivery. You might need to get Advent calendars too, so add those to your shopping list for this month.
Decorations can be next up. Book a day in the diary to get your decorations up, and make or buy anything you need before then. You might be getting a real tree, so booking and planning around this will be key. This one is always an event in our home, as I’m sure it is in many, the kids absolutely love it.
Before you run into a problem and discover that you have run out at the last moment, now is the time to check your stock of wrapping paper, tape and batteries. It can be so annoying to run out of these mid-wrap, or on Christmas Day when your children desperately want to play with their new battery-powered toy!
And finally, slow down.
‘Tis the season and all that. It is so easy to get overwhelmed at Christmas. There can be a lot to do, it can be expensive and it can be stressful. Break it all down and only do and spend whatever you are comfortable with.
By taking time out now to draft up a few plans and ideas, it should take some of the ‘frazzled and frantic’ away.
Aim to get the bits that stress you out ticked off your list early on and then you can ease into the season and enjoy it.
Bring on those Christmas films and mince pies!