Are you ready for Christmas?
Every where you look Christmas is the main theme now, in the shops the jingles are playing, on the telly nearly every ad is for a Christmas sale (with the odd summer holiday squirreled in for those who are looking for a holiday as a Christmas present idea!). The streets are adorned with Christmas lights, and houses look like individual Santa’s Grotto’s.
There is so much that has to be fitted in around our everyday chores and jobs, at a time of year when daylight is at a minimum, and all you want to do is cuddle up in a warm blanket with a hot drink.
If you are working full time, then the pressure to get everything done can feel over whelming, especially if you are running a house hold with children. How do those super organised people do it?
Not having an organised bone in my body, I have struggled with this problem for an awful lot of years, until this year. Finally I have managed to develop routines that are actually working for me!
I can hear you now, you are saying, “I don’t want routines in place, I want to know what I have to do NOW because there is so much to do I just don’t know where to start, and it’s too late to start getting routines!” And that is exactly what I said but this is exactly what it did for me, and now even my fancy dishes are washed and ready to use on the Big Day!
So the first thing you need to do is sit down with a hot drink and take a relaxing deeeep breath and decide on time slots that work best for you. For me 20 minute slots work best, for others 15 or 30 minutes, but DON’T go over the 30, or you will start to feel burnt out!
Grab a note pad, pen and a timer.
Take another deep breath.
Now, in your first allotted time slot, jot down everything you think needs to be done. Separate items in to sections, things that have to be done first, like buying presents, writing cards (and posting them!), wrapping, decorating.
This is going to be your control journal for the holidays, and it is going to contain a list of the cards you have sent, presents you have bought, what you have planned for the Christmas meals.
Don’t do the lists all in one go, just spend one time slot a day, ticking off the things you have managed to do, adding things as they come to you.
At the start, the list will look so long, you will still feel over whelmed, but don’t worry, soon you will start to feel in control of it.
Keep all the card writing stuff, like cards, stamps, pen, address book in an easy to reach spot, and when you sit down to watch the telly grab the cards and write a few out every day. Keep an eye on your supplies and if you start running short, add them to your shopping list.
Make a list of everyone who needs a present and what you buy/make for them. Going out with a set present in mind, and a price limit, shortens shopping time dramatically. Set a limit on how much you can spend and stick to it. Keep all the wrapping stuff in one easily accessible place too. Every day as presents to be wrapped appear in the house, wrap them while you watch telly or take that short break between getting home and cooking dinner, then place them with the presents for the same group of people so they are in one place and ready to be grabbed on the day you need them. Again, keep an eye on your supplies and if you are running short, add them to your shopping list.
By now you will have an idea of what you want to serve, on which days. Write it down! Then work out what ingredients will be needed to prepare those meals, (don’t forget breakfasts and suppers!).
Go in to your kitchen and check your store cupboards and compare it to your ingredients list, anything you are short of, add it to your shopping list. (This will stop you doubling up and wasting money at a very expensive time of year!). When you do your regular shopping, take your Christmas list with you, and stick to it! And by the way, did you remember things like crackers and napkins?
Take out the box, (or in my case boxes!) of decorations, set the timer, and get to work, starting with the things you think of as most important, which for most people is the tree. When the timer goes off, put the box(es) away until tomorrow, stand back and look at what you have achieved!
Come Christmas you will feel relaxed and ready to enjoy the festivities without feeling flustered or frustrated, and to me and my family, that will be the greatest present of all!