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If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably have already started thinking of Christmas and what you’d like to do this year. A new theme for your décor perhaps? Maybe plans for a new Christmas menu with a vegan twist? Whom to invite to Christmas dinner (or whom not to), perhaps? oops… we’ve all been there, haven’t we!

So, let’s take the stress out of this year’s planning and get organised with these 6 handy tips to follow. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy a stress free Christmas – even the party planners!

Tip #1: Make your list(s) – and check it twice

  1. Gifts & Cards – It’s always good practice to have a master list of all the people you have to buy gifts for or send cards to i.e. family, friends, work colleagues etc. Having a list like this comes in very handy, especially if you don’t want to be remembered as the one who gifted the same thing “twice”! So, let’s stay clear of such an embarrassment, shall we?
  2. Chores – Make 2 separate lists of chores that need doing: one for indoors and the other (you guessed it!) for the outdoors. This way, you can see at a glance if there are chores that overlap or if you can’t do one unless you do the other. This helps with prioritising tasks and staying organised, which in turn helps you save time on making double or treble runs.
  3. Groceries & Meals – Planning your meals in advance has so many advantages. When you know what meals you plan on cooking or baking over the festive period, you can work out your grocery list, what you need to stock up on and the quantities you’d require. This surely helps with foreseeing any last minute emergencies of having run out of supplies at the 11th hour, which brings us to our next tip.

Tip #2: Start early and avoid the rush

The beauty of planning ahead is not having to run last minute errands or trips to the supermarket when supplies run low. You’ll not only have to deal with the stress of realising that what you want is out of stock or sold out, and that means further stress to find an alternative; but you’ll also have to deal with the stress of having to spend more of your time in traffic and longer check out lines. Having that list handy is a great way to avoid unnecessary stress and get more done in less time.

Tip #3: Pick your Christmas activities carefully

Planning for Christmas is a major task and then having to juggle invitations to the numerous parties you have to RSVP to can take its toll sooner than you think. So taking time to choose and plan your activities during the season (whether it’s new recipes you want to try, how many cards to write, or even making your own handmade cards) is imperative to ensure you’re doing all that you can in the limited amount of time that you have.

Tip #4: More the merrier

It’s okay to ask for help – we’re not superwomen (or supermen). So, delegate, delegate, delegate. Well not everything (I wouldn’t want to risk doing that), but surely there’ll be things on your to-do list that members of your family will be happy to help out with. For instance, you don’t have to write out 100 cards on your own – you can get your family involved and have them each write out a set number – it will not only save you time, but also give you’ll a chance to spend time together and bond over a common activity. Add some Christmas carols playing in the background to the mix and everyone’s feeling festive already.

Tip #5: Plan ahead

Now when I say ‘Plan ahead’, I don’t mean just for this year, but for next Christmas too. “Is she for real??? Planning for one Christmas is crazy enough, and here she goes telling us to start planning for the next”, I hear you say and with it I may have got an eye-roll or 10 perhaps? *wink* 

So before you start stressing out reading my tips to help you stay stress-free, let me explain. By planning ahead (for next Christmas) I was referring to making the most of the January sales and buying those gifts that you found were priced way over your budget. It not only saves you money, but will also save you time the following Christmas, as you’ll have less gifts to buy and more time to focus on new activities you’d like to add to your list or new recipes you’d like to try.

Tip #6: Make time for ‘YOU’

And lastly, but most importantly, make time for yourself to help you unwind and recharge before you get ready to tackle the busiest season of the year, head on! You could go all out and splurge on a spa day with a relaxing massage and all the trimmings, or if you’ve exhausted your budget on gifts and decorations and food supplies, then treat yourself to a home-spa instead. You could make it even more exciting but inviting your girlfriends around and have a pamper evening with a glass or 2 of bubbly. Surely they’ll appreciate the gesture.

If you’ve got useful tips to share that we’ve not thought of or covered, please do let us know and we’ll gladly share them with everyone. The more we can help each other out, the more we can all enjoy a stress-free Christmas.

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