Spoiler alert… we’re talking about Christmas!
As I did the weekly shop and saw mince pies in the “seasonal aisle” I had a mixed sense of panic and excitement. I love Christmas and after all the restrictions imposed last year, I’m really looking forward to celebrating with family and friends this year - although it is starting to feel like an awful lot to organise!
Getting organised is particularly important for me this year as my eldest has just started at secondary school so the routine of the last 7 years has changed significantly - I'll have 2 lots of carol services, in fact 2 lots of everything, so it'll be even more of a juggle than usual. So, anything I can do now to ease my way into Christmas calmly instead of skidding sideways into Christmas Day will be music to my ears!
As with most things, planning is key – so with just over 2 months to go (at the time of writing) here’s my guide to getting ready for the festive season.
Think about your Christmas card list. Do you have a list of everyone you send cards to that you use and update every year? I keep a master list and tweak it throughout the year, e.g. if someone has a baby, I add the baby’s name to the list (admittedly that doesn't happen very often these days as that phase for most of my friends is pretty much over!), if someone passes away, I take their name off the list, if someone moves house, the address is changed. You get the drift. It makes it so much easier to send out cards, whether that be the old fashioned ‘card’ cards, or online cards. Either way, you just need to work your way through the list and it's all done.
Sending Christmas cards. If you still send them rather than email them, do you have a printable template of all your addresses? Every year you can just print the list off which saves you an unbelievable amount of time handwriting addresses on envelopes. Don't forget to put a note in your diary too for when the last day for posting letters and parcels is (here is the link to the latest postage dates from Royal Mail: https://www.royalmail.com/christmas/last-posting-dates#lastpostingdates). Nothing worse than posting a card (or a present) knowing perfectly well it won't arrive in time. N.B. If you'd like some help creating your address label template, let me know. Whether you have an existing template that needs updating, or nothing at all - all you'd need to do is email me photos of your addresses and I'll create the template for you for you to print at home, or I can create the template and print and post the labels to you.
If you're an e-card person, are your email addresses up to date?
Think about who you're going to buy presents for and make a list of any ideas. That way, you have plenty of time between now and the 25th December to find the perfect gift and therefore avoid the last-minute scramble and the inevitable over spend of buying things in the final few hours before the shops close on the 24th December!
Do you have any Christmas parties in the diary already? If so, have you got something to wear, are you going to have your hair done (hairdressers are usually pretty booked up between now and Christmas), have you booked a babysitter for the children? Plan ahead so you can really enjoy the parties.
Who is hosting Christmas day? If your family haven’t yet decided, get on the family WhatsAapp so everyone knows what’s what. You can then work out who is providing the food (don't forget to pre-order the turkey!) and the rest of the trimmings that make the day special. It is so worth a bit of thought now so you can plan ahead.
You may be reading this thinking ‘but we're only mid-October’, so while it feels like it's still too early to be thinking about this, the time will whiz by before we know it and if you’re reading this feeling panicked, please pick up the phone and let’s chat about how I can help you to feel organised and stress free!