"It’s the most wonderful time of the year”… or it should be, but Christmas can become stressful, especially if you have children. Before your Christmas gets out of control, take a look at our "12 Tips For Christmas”, and you’ll be gliding through the festive season on a tide of peace and goodwill!
Christmas decorations alone can give your house a cluttered feeling, never mind all the cards, presents and other festive flotsam that will be drifting into your home. Get ahead of the clutter with a one-in-one-out rule. For each new thing that comes into the house, try to recycle or donate an old one. If you can’t manage this rule at Christmas, it also makes a great New Year’s Resolution.
To save sorting through the presents on Christmas Eve, wrap each child’s gifts in a different paper or style. That way you’ll be able to tell at a glance whose presents are whose and you don’t need to gift tag them all.
Christmas time can be the most hectic time for your social calendar, but don’t say yes to every event or invitation, you’ll just end up exhausted and stressed. Prioritise the important ones and politely decline the rest. Then make sure you set aside time to relax and enjoy the festive season.
At this time of year cooking can be a chore, and not just on Christmas day. Time is going to be short in the run up to the big day so get ahead now. Make some easy meals in advance and freeze them, or stock up on frozen food such as fish fingers, so you can get tea on the table in a hurry when things start to get hectic.
There are endless Christmas offers and sales available to tempt you to part with your cash. Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the January sales, be disciplined. Only buy things that you need and would have bought anyway, that way you’ll save money rather than blowing the budget.
We’re all guilty of focusing on the materialistic side of Christmas sometimes. But remember, it’s not all about having a huge pile of presents under the tree, memories can be so much more valuable than possessions, so think about giving people tickets, vouchers and experiences as gifts.
Start setting aside crafting materials such as cardboard tubes, boxes, scrap paper and string. An afternoon of Christmas decoration making will keep the kids occupied after the schools break up. For outdoor decorations, Pine cone birdfeeders will keep our feathered friends happy. Just push some fatball mixture into the spaces between the seed scales of a pine cone and attach string.
Going environmentally friendly this Christmas could save you time and money too – avoid card writing by sending e-cards, use reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper or even get creative and use recycled materials as wrapping such as these bottle bags made from old jumper sleeves. Add a decorative touch to recycled card/paper with festive washi tape – it’s cheap, decorative and biodegradable. https://andkeep.com/products/christmas-biodegradable-washi-tape
Twinkle, twinkle - have a fun evening Christmas light spotting. Just make a mental note of the houses and streets with the best lights, then set an aside an evening to tour them all after dark. You could even give the kids a ‘bingo card’ to check off things like Santa, reindeer, Christmas tree, snowmen, snowflakes etc.
How predictable is it that one or all of the family will get ill at Christmas? Be prepared by topping up the medical supplies. Make sure you have Calpol, indigestion tablets, throat sweets and plasters on hand. And don’t forget to order repeat prescriptions in good time so you don’t run out over Christmas.
An ingenious way to get the kids involved in decluttering is to let Santa take away unwanted toys and clothes. Encourage children to make an alternative Christmas list of things they are going to leave out for Father Christmas to take away. This is also a great way to persuade younger children to part with items they’ve grown out of such as dummies.
Every Christmas year does not need to be bigger and better, and your house does not have to be a show home. Putting pressure on yourself to be perfect will just crank up the stress level, be happy with good enough and focus on enjoying the festive season.
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