Last year I wrote a post with my Top 10 tips to get more organised at Christmas, and this year I wanted to go a few steps further and give you a round up of all the Christmas tips I could think of – my top 50!© Loraliu | Dreamstime.com
I hope you enjoy, and hope that they help you to have a more stress free time in the run up to the big day.
Top tips for Christmas Decorations
- Decide on your budget and don’t go overboard
- Which rooms will be seen over Christmas – they are the ones to concentrate on decorating first
- Pick a colour scheme and a theme and stick to this is possible – it will bring the house together
- Get the kids involved in decorating the tree – it gets them involved and is a great tradition
- If you are short of funds for decorations, why not make your own
- If you have lots of baubles that have lost their hooks (it happens a lot!), then they can make a great table centrepiece when put in a large glass bowl
- Don’t buy a tree that’s too large for your home – measure the space before you go shopping! – that’s width as well as height…
- Check tree lights are working before you put them on the tree – they are much easier to fix at this stage
- Don’t forget about outside the house – adding lights makes all the difference at this time of year
- Take photos of how you decorate this year, then you can easily replicate next year
Top tips for Christmas Presents
- Make a list and a budget for what you need to buy – that way you won’t be tempted to go overboard
- Get your family to write their wish lists – this will give you lots of ideas for what to buy, and is fantastic when family call to ask what they can get!
- Consider for large families having a set budget for everyone to stick to – makes gift giving much less stressful – or you could only gift to the children, or have a secret Santa where everyone only buys a present for one person with a larger budget – all work really well!
- Try to buy gifts as far in advance as possible – then you can sit safe in the knowledge that the shops won’t have sold out, or you won’t get them in time
- If buying a toy that needs assembling for a small child then consider putting it together before the big day – that way they get to enjoy the gift rather than stress that its not working or that somethings missing
- Buy extra presents – chocolates or gift vouchers in a pretty bag work well – that way you always have a little something for unexpected guests
- Wrap things as you buy them to make it easier – get a wrapping area setup in your home so its quick and easy to have everything to hand (I use a drawer in my guest bedrooms chest of drawers for all wrapping supplies which works really well)
- Think about who you are seeing in the lead up to Christmas and get their presents ready by then – it will save you on postage, and helps to get things out of the way!
- If posting presents, try and buy less heavy things – clothes work really well, books less so!
- Don’t forget to buy different wrapping paper for gifts from a special Christmas person (wink wink) – you don’t want them looking the same as the ones you give.
Top tips for Christmas Cards
- Write a few each day during November, that way you can post them all on December 1st and forget about them (and you won’t miss last postal dates!)
- Christmas cards from last year make great gift tags for this year
- If you think cards are a waste of time and money – then consider sending out a Christmas email to your friends and family explaining that you are going to donate some money to charity instead
- When you start to receive cards, check that you have sent one to that person – if not, send one there and then and add that name to your Christmas Card list for next year
- Have your address list on your computer and print out onto labels – makes that part of sending cards so much easier each year – it takes a little bit of effort to set up – but then its just seconds to update and print off each year after that
- Send your cards together with any presents that you post – save the cost of a stamp
- For special cards to family members (such as grandparents), get your children to write their names, draw a picture etc…
Top tips for Christmas Socialising
- Book tickets for a Pantomine as early as you can to avoid disappointment
- Book nights out with friends and family well in advance, as everyone will get booked up and you’ll otherwise find it impossible to get a date in the diary
- Don’t try and please everyone – its near enough impossible. Families can easily fall out over what to do at this time of year, so just remember that its only another day – if you can’t visit everyone, then at least make plans to see people in the new year so you have dates in the diary.
- Ensure you get a night out with just yourself and your partner over Christmas if at all possible
- Get to know when dates are for things like Christmas Markets, Santa coming to town, Lights switching on, etc…. so you don’t miss out
- Its a lovely idea to get to see friends over Christmas by having early evening drinks (mulled wine and nibbles) one evening in the lead up to the big day (works well if you invite children if you have a Christmas film on in one room and do snacks for them as well – as babysitters can be hard to find at this time of year!)
- Get your home ready for the holidays by ensuring you have worked out who’s sleeping where, what is needed in terms of beds, bedding, seats, crockery, cutlery etc…. – don’t be caught short!
- Work out where you will be over Christmas and New year, and plan in advance as much as possible – then you can add in other things around these dates.
Top tips for Christmas Cooking
- Plan all your meals ahead of time, that way you can start to buy non-perishable foods within your usual weekly shop, and you will know exactly whats required to get nearer the day in terms of fresh food etc…
- Plan to cook foods that you are comfortable with – now is not the time to learn new culinary showstoppers! – That way you will be able to enjoy the holidays too.
- If you are having lots of people over Christmas – then plan a buffet style meal rather than a sit down one – this works fantastically as its social – and you can also make good use of leftovers!
- Do as much prep for Christmas Day as possible before the day itself – peel and chop everything on Christmas eve as then you get to relax more on the big day (I get some of my veg pre-prepared to save time)
- Consider using disposable foil baking trays for big meals, as they can simply go in the bin after use and save a load of washing up time!
- If you don’t feel comfortable cooking a large turkey, then buy an easier to manage turkey crown, or even have a different meat altogether – don’t conform if you don’t feel happy with doing it.
- Get the family involved – give everyone tasks to do and then you don’t feel that you are left doing the work while everyone else has fun
- Write a timeline for the big day – even set a timer for each part of the schedule and then you can rest easier that it will be done on time
- Don’t go crazy, but having a few things that are each persons favourites on the menu over the holidays make everyone feel special (this could be as easy as having a different favourite pudding each night, or favourite snacks/treats dotted around the house)
Top tips for Christmas in general
- Get children to sort their existing toys before Christmas – and give some to charity – that way they are making room for new toys, and they get an understanding that there are children out there who aren’t as fortunate as them.
- Create your own traditions for the holidays – whether they be what you did when you were little, or ones that you have created yourself, enjoy the time and create fantastic memories for your children.
- Give children some down-time – watch some festive films, do some crafts etc… – anything that relaxes them a little – as Christmas can be too overwhelming for some and they can end up getting too over excited to actually enjoy it when it comes round.
- Think about others over the holidays – especially those alone or ill. When I was little we used to help at the local hospitals Christmas Day church service, and that was a wonderful way to give a little back. Other things you could do is give a food hamper to a local charity, drop by and spend a little time with an elderly neighbour, do a few good deeds just for the sake of it – there’s loads to do at this time of year!
- Try and get out a bit on Christmas Day or Boxing day – a walk will de-stress and will also help to let off any steam caused by over energetic children or family disputes…….!
- Enjoy it! – you deserve a great time too!