There’s no doubt that Christmas can be a magical time of year but it’s not without its stresses. You might find there is plenty to think about over the Christmas build-up that creates additional demands on your normal busy schedule of activities, family, work and more.
Unless you have a very efficient memory and no distractions, this is the time of year when you might need a little help to remember everything that needs done.
A notepad and pen, reminders programmed into your phone, apps or even spreadsheet checklists will be the tools you need to keep you on track with all that needs to be done. Christmas should be the most fun time of year but it can often be stressful without the right preparation and planning.
If you’re looking to stay on the right track, our 8 tips for a stress-free Christmas can help.
As the chief organiser, there’s no substitute for starting early! At the very least, start researching and noting down ideas for gifts, décor, entertaining and so on, so you are ready to spring into action when the time comes.
With these at the back of your mind, you’ll soon be sourcing items that will help you to start ticking off the action points on your to do list.
The power of lists
So much to think about. So make one big master list! Write everything down and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking items off as they are done.
Create a master checklist for food, presents – everything. Colour-code it to determine which action points are priorities and which can wait.
Write a gift list
At this expensive time of the year, one of the biggest culprits will be your present shopping list. Shopping for gifts can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season, but for some it is also a stressful time.
Creating a gift list can reduce time wandering around busy stores.
It’s OK to re-use
Have you decided on themed home decorations this year? There are plenty of ideas to choose from and a multitude of fabulous tree decorations, table settings and so on around to tempt you.
But if Winter Wonderland or Gold Glamour don’t appeal and you’d rather use your well-loved old family favourites then don’t be pressured into doing anything differently. As for all aspects of Christmas organisation, do what works for you style-wise, time-wise and budget-wise.
Fairy lights are an effective, inexpensive way to add sparkle to a room. Bulbs in all shapes and sizes are available, but a simple supermarket string across a mantelpiece or windowsill will be fabulously festive.
Simple tea light candles can also create a festive, church-like atmosphere in the home.
A stress-free Christmas shouldn’t involve constant cleaning so secure the services of a cleaner, even if it’s only for an hour or two to blitz the jobs you least like, or find hard to do.
Assign housework duties to other family members if they don’t offer first – at the very least, they can tidy up so you have a clear path. Play some carols and work towards a congratulatory treat – preferably one that doesn’t make a mess!
Stock up on essentials such as adhesive tape and stamps. Note Royal Mail’s last posting dates and try to get those Christmas cards sent well in advance.
Send everything second class to save precious cash or even better deliver by hand to the neighbours.
Save Time Online
Don’t be afraid to utilise online retailers if you feel you are short on time or the weather is bad outside. If you know what presents you want to buy you could save money – and a day’s shopping – by buying online.
Almost every high street retailer will deliver to your door, and if you spend enough in one transaction or order early enough, the delivery charge will often be free.