I know, I know! Christmas is well and truly behind us, and most people have already taken down their decorations and put them safely away in the loft until next year. So why am I sat here writing up yet another Christmas-related post? I must be crazy, right? But wait a second, and hear me out …
As much as I love and enjoy Christmas (I always do), I have to be honest and say that most years I end up getting so stressed out over everything I end up making myself ill. And this year I even found myself getting tearful at the most inopportune times because I was worried sick that nothing was going to be ready for the big day. It was horrible.
So, each time something cropped up where I thought “I must remember not to let this happen next year”, I made a note of it in my phone, and decided to write up a post talking about the things I wanted to try and do in advance next Christmas to make things a little easier on myself for once. And hopefully, it will help you guys out too. Are you ready to see what things are on there? If so, let’s get going!
01. Buy My Cards In The January Sales and Have Them Ready To Write In November
When I was younger, I always used to bulk-buy Christmas cards in the January sales and then aim to have them written and ready to hand out at the beginning of December. But, sadly, that all stopped one year when I accidentally misplaced all of the cards when we moved house, and I had to buy them all again nearer December.
These days, I always end up buying my cards at the last minute and end up frantically trying to write and deliver them all before Christmas Eve. It’s a nightmare! And one that I’d like not to have to live through again. So, when I take the kids to spend some of their Christmas money on Saturday, I’m going to pop into The Card Factory and stock up on cards for next year. I might even see if I can grab some discounted wrapping paper and gift tags while I’m there.
02. Start Shopping Early
This is something I did this year, and it definitely made things a lot easier. I was lucky enough to win an Instagram photo competition where the prize was a £250 John Lewis voucher. So I stocked up on as many gifts for the kids as I could with that, and then just added a few little stocking fillers to the pile as we got closer to Christmas.
I’d like to be able to do this again next Christmas if I can. And I’ve started popping a few quid into a savings account whenever I can afford to, so hopefully I’ll accumulate enough over the next 9 or 10 months to get them both the more expensive gifts on their lists. And I’ll also be trying to pick up as many gifts as I can in the sales this year to keep my total spend down. That way, we’ll hopefully be able to afford to do some fun activities in the run-up to Christmas for once!
03. Wrap EVERYTHING before Christmas Eve
This Christmas, for the first time ever, I almost cracked having everything wrapped before Christmas Eve. But somewhere along the line, it all fell apart, and I still ended up with a fair few gifts that hadn’t been wrapped by the 24th. Which meant I had to rush them all first thing in the morning and then try to sneakily deliver them to friends and family without Oscar, my youngest, seeing me. Another nightmare!
I spent most of my day faffing around sorting them out instead of enjoying spending time with the kids as I’d planned to. And come tea time I was absolutely exhausted. Which is nothing new on Christmas Eve, I’m afraid. So, next year, there will be no excuses. I’m going to have every single gift wrapped and ready to go before Christmas Eve, no matter who it’s for. And instead of pratting about doing the stuff that should have been done days (or even weeks) before, I’m going to enjoy Christmas Eve with my babies for once. That’s a promise!
04. Decorate Early
Ah, this is a biggie for me, as I feel like I’ve let the kids down with how little we’ve decorated for Christmas over the last couple of years. But, basically, everything gets chucked up in the loft at the end of December and then no matter how much I nag at Nathan to fetch stuff down at the beginning of the following December, it never gets brought down until halfway through the month. And by this point, I’m far too stressed out to bother with half the trimmings. We’ve only decorated the tree for the last couple of years, and the rest of the decorations have been left in the box. It’s heartbreaking.
So, this December I decided to stick the boxes of decorations in the airing cupboard instead. And, hopefully, I’ll remember they’re not up in the loft and I can get trimmed up nice and early next year. I’m thinking tinsel across the fireplace, stars hanging from the curtain poles and even a candle bridge or two to light up the windows. It’s will be amazing! We most definitely can’t spend a third Christmas without decorations. We must look like complete and utter Scrooge’s!
05. Make A List Of Where Everything Is
Next year I want to treat myself to a lovely Christmas Planner from Doris & Fred, and I’m going to make sure that I pop a list inside it to remind me of exactly where anything Christmas related has been stored. Why? Because every single year you can guarantee that something will go missing and it’s all my fault. Last year it was a Vamps Calendar I’d bought Stacey for Christmas (which she ended up getting on January 4th) and this year it was the gift tags I’d bought for the presents months in advance. Everything ended up getting wrapped without them, and I still haven’t come across them yet, despite having hunted for them several times. Never mind, though. It’s too late to do anything about them now. But you can see why I need to write myself a list, can’t you?!
And there you have it, my ideas for trying to ensure next Christmas is as easy and stress-free as possible. I hope you enjoyed having a read.