Christmas. It’s the same time, every year. Yet still it seems to creep up on us, doesn’t it? One minute it’s August, and the next you’re racing around buying gifts, wrestling with wrapping paper, feeling guilty about not sending cards (again).
I may not be able to help you with the actual buying/making of gifts, or cooking your Christmas lunch, but I think I can help get you and your house prepared for the silly season. With just a bit of pre-planning and a little extra work each day between now and December 23, you should be able to experience a happy, healthy, joyful, chilled-out Christmas this year.
Today is just about making lists so requirements are minimal – pen, paper, 15 minutes.
1. Make a list of gifts you and everyone in your family still need to buy/make. List every single one. Even the annoying work Secret Santa presents. Write down the name of the person AND what you’re going to buy/make them. And if you don’t know yet, now is the time to get thinking. It will make your life so much easier to go to the shops with a full list. (Try this post from Be More With Less on keeping the holiday season simple – it has some great suggestions for giving clutter-free gifts, as does this post from zenhabits)
2. Make a list of all the pre-Christmas events you have coming up. Christmas lunches, work parties, end-of-school catchups, Christmas Eve drinks, family events. All of them. List the date, the event and what you need to provide. Drinks, presents, nibblies, bring a plate etc.
3. If you’re hosting a Christmas meal or another party, now is the time to get that organised. Make a list of everything you need to do for the event: invites, decorations, drinks, nibblies, meal, dessert, gifts, activities for kids, make room for people to stay the night, any work you need done at home, platters you’ll need, cutlery and crockery, etc. Be as detailed as you can now, because when the party is only days away, you’ll be feeling far more frazzled and more likely to miss something important.
4. Make an action plan. Look over your three lists and mark all those things that are really urgent with a number 1. They’ll have to happen this week. Things that can be done over this coming weekend, mark with number 2, and things that can be done next week, mark with a number three.
Now you have a really good idea of where you’re at, and hopefully don’t feel as overwhelmed at the thought of the coming craziness!
Over the next couple of days, just keep working on those things marked with a number 1. That probably means:
- buy/make gifts
- send invites to your Christmas event
- find out what you need to bring to each of the parties you’re attending
- delegate any food/drinks/platters/tables/chairs to friends and family
It may feel annoying now, but know that you’re getting the majority of the hard work done now – meaning you can kick back with a margarita as Christmas gets closer! (Ha.)