One of the biggest stresses in the run up to Christmas is undoubtedly sorting out Christmas cards and Christmas presents…
It’s the task that takes the most time, brings up issues (budget / what to get / who to send to etc…), and basically takes over for a while until it’s sorted.
As such, I wanted to look today at some top tips to make this much easier. A little bit of planning up front can do wonders, trust me!
I really hope they help, and if you want a place to track all these plans so you stay ahead of the game, why not check out my Christmas Planner (54 pages of gorgeous printables to keep every part of Christmas on track this year – including card lists, present lists, budget, wish lists, thank you card template for kids, and thank you list – everything you could ask for related to cards and presents in fact!).
Let’s get started shall we!
CHRISTMAS CARD AND PRESENT TIPS
PLAN AHEAD TO BE LESS STRESSED AND MORE IN CONTROL!
#1 – HAVE A BUDGET
Budget for both presents and cards. Write a list of everyone you want to send to this year and stick to it – don’t get tempted by little extras, and also remember postage charges.
The little things add up really quickly and before you know it you’ll be wondering where your cash went…
#2 – HOMEMADE GIVES THE PERSONAL TOUCH
If you have never considered homemade presents before, why not give them a go?
Do something based around a skill you have, and the recipient will be over the moon with the extra thought and care you went to. It also can cost a lot less than a present if you are on a budget.
Think about things like – cookies in a jar, a voucher for something you can help with (babysitting for new parents etc…), a plant you have grown etc….
#3 – TRY TO KEEP COSTS DOWN WHEN THERE ARE LOTS TO BUY FOR
Along the same lines as the first tip – if you have a large family then you may want to set a budget per person, to keep everyone at the same level of giving (noone feels bad etc…).
In our family we spend £15 on each person which works really well – and let’s us be a little creative about what we actually get!
If you prefer, you could only gift to children in the family, or pick a secret santa so that everyone only buys one larger gift for one person.
All these ideas can keep costs down and still be fun!
#4 – WRITE WISH LISTS
Wish lists are simply a list of things that each person in your family would love to have as a gift. They may or may not receive them, but this can really help when you are asked what your children want, or if you are stuck for something to get your partner.
You can write these easily by hand, keep a copy on your phone so you can read it when you are out and about – or (my personal favourite) you can use Pinterest and create a board for each person.
#5 – BUY LIGHT THINGS!
If you are posting presents, then try and ensure you keep postage costs to a minimum by buying less heavy things. Much better to spend more on a present than the posting costs!
Things that would work really well are vouchers, certain clothes, scarves, travel sized games, prints (ready to frame), DVDs and slippers.
Less good would be books, board games, home accessories and toiletries.
#6 – BUY THINGS AS YOU SEE THEM
Don’t wait until your designated Christmas shopping day, or until closer to Christmas to get things.
If you see things at any time of the year that would make the perfect gift for someone – get it there and then.
You may not remember what you saw at a later date, or there may be a delivery delay when you do get round to ordering it, or it may not be in stock at all any longer – so why run the risk?
You will also thank yourself when you get nearer the big day and you have less shopping to do!
#7 – WRAP AS YOU BUY
It’s a lot less overwhelming to wrap one or two presents at a time, and then store them away until you need them rather than wait until you have to wrap them all in one go!
You will also be able to hide things a little easier as there will be less chance of people finding out what they have got, should they go looking (unless you wrap something obvious of course!)
#8 – PUT TOYS TOGETHER
Don’t wait until Christmas day to start to put together the kids toys. If it will take a long time then the kids will get bored probably and I’m sure you would rather spend the time playing with them rather than doing chores!
It also gives you a chance to check all the pieces are there and all batteries etc… that are needed are to hand – much less stressful than finding out on the day that they can’t actually play with it at all…
#9 – BUY EXTRA PRESENTS
I know, I know – surely buying what’s already on your list is enough – but what happens when someone unexpected turns up, or you have inadvertently forgotten someone?
Having a small stash of presents can come in really useful!
Things like chocolates, gift vouchers, candles, wine etc… are pretty generic but will still be appreciated when wrapped up beautifully – and you can relax safe in the knowledge that every eventuality has been covered.
#10 – GET PRESENTS READY TO SAVE ON POSTAGE
Think about who you are seeing in the lead up to Christmas and get their presents ready by that time – it will save you on postage costs, and helps to get things out of the way and ticked off the list!
#11 – WRITE CARDS & WRAP PRESENTS IN ORDER
Start with any for people you are seeing earlier than Christmas, then tackle those that need posting, and then lastly anyone you are seeing over Christmas/New Year itself.
#12 – MAKE A NOTE OF WHAT YOU BOUGHT
It makes sense to keep a note of what you bought for people over the past years, because then you won’t double up or repeat a theme for them too many times (unless they always want a book, for example).
#13 – USE LAST YEARS CHRISTMAS CARDS AS TAGS
Cutting out the picture on the front of last years cards will enable you to recycle them to use as lovely gift tags this year – easy and inexpensive!
I’m sure you will have found at least one to try from the 13 we’ve already looked at, but in the first half we concentrated a little more heavily on presents – so now it’s the turn of tips for the cards…