|My gorgeous ones last year......|
You all know I adore Christmas. Last Christmas was amazing and I am looking forward to another cracker. However, as we all know, it doesn't just happen without planning or preparation. So, without further ado, here are my top ten tips for a hassle free Christmas so you can enjoy rather than stress!
1) Write a list of who you need to buy for and cross them off as you do so
This may sound obvious, but we don't always know what we are going to buy for whom. I attend lots of Christmas Fairs and will pick up something that I see and think "oh that's super for X" stuff it in my present cupboard and then forget I have got them something already. If you write a list (I use my iphone notes app) and update it as and when you buy a present, you'll then keep on top of what you have already got.
2) Start your shopping early
HAW and I always take a day out in the lead up to Christmas to spend some time together. This is typically to pick up some last minute bits, but we usually end up drinking cocktails somewhere! So my tip is to start looking and picking bits up from November onwards. That way, you'll have most of your presents and won't start panicing if you can't find the *must have* present. Enjoy the process and by planning ahead you'll find shopping a pleasure rather than a chore or panic.
3) Write and send your Christmas Cards on December 1st (really!)
Rather than worry and stress about international deadlines, sit down and spend the evening with a glass or 2 of wine and get the cards out of the way. I do this every year and although I still have some that need posting/handing out, I am not stressing about getting them done! I had my cards made this year by Halo Lifestyle Photography who used images from a London photo shoot we had. Personalised and luxurious and saved me time as well!
4) Don't miss posting deadlines
We have family in Scotland and overseas and I can't stress enough how mean you'll feel if you forget international deadlines for posting! I did this once and felt like the worst Aunty in the World, I often use Parcelforce who are dependable and represent great value (especially their next day delivery service) and you can rest easy not stressing about whether or not your presents have or haven't arrived.
5) Take time out for YOU.
Yes you have read that right, I really do believe that in order to be the best mum/wife/sister/daughter you can be that taking time out to look after yourself means that everyone is happy. I get regular manicures and treatments and take vitamins and have hot bubbly baths to soothe my soul. I can guarantee you'll feel better for it.
|me getting eyelash extensions|
6) Wrap a few presents each night
I actually like to take the time to wrap presents. There is nothing worse than getting to Christmas Eve and wrapping in a frenzy, forgetting labels and what present is for whom. Whenever I am home alone in the evenings, I wrap a few presents a night, taking my time and actually finding the process quite theraputic and relaxing. It means that come Christmas Eve you can enjoy the evening rather than getting stressed out.
7 Remember there is no such thing as "a perfect Christmas"
The perfect Christmas is the Christmas whereby you are relaxed and happy. Don't bow to the pressure of what magazines would have you believe as being the "perfect Christmas". These are styled shoots and not reality. I repeat, NOT reality. It is YOUR Christmas as well so don't stress about trying to provide the impossible for your guests.
8) Order your Christmas Food for delivery or collection
Experience has taught me that rushing around the supermarket on Christmas Eve is one of the most stressful things to do. I did this one year when cooking for 12 and it was no fun whatsoever. I now book my shopping to arrive on the 22nd and that then gives me 2 days for last minute panic buys. It'll really make a difference so book your Christmas Deliveries NOW.
9) Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.
Once you have taken delivery of your food shop, start preparing in the lead up to the big day. I do all my veggies on Christmas Eve as trimming sprouts of stalks can take a couple of hours. You REALLY don't want to be doing that on Christmas day as you'll be missing out on all the fun.
Sounds obvious but so many of us are guilty of wanting to do it all. Great Aunt Maud or your MIL love to feel as if they are helping out, so by getting everyone (and that includes the children) involved makes for a stress free and happy time for everyone.
Finally - ENJOY!
Peace and Love
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.