It’s Christmas Eve. You’re exhausted from a day of last-minute shopping, wrapping, and decorating. All you want to do is crawl up in bed. Instead, you’re prepping the Christmas feast, cleaning the house to avoid judgemental looks from your in-laws, and preparing the spare room for Aunt Joan.
If all this sounds way too familiar, it's time to make a change. It doesn’t have to be this way! Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year instead of the most stressful. All it takes is a little planning and you’ll be spending Christmas Eve relaxing with your family instead of cursing Santa’s name.
Start Your Shopping List NOW
Leaving your Christmas shopping to the last minute is one of the most avoidable mistakes you can make. No matter how far away Christmas seems, you need to start thinking about your gift list now. The reason many people put off Christmas shopping is that they simply don’t know what to get their friends and family. This will usually leave you to buy a rushed gift on Christmas Eve that neither you nor your loved one are thrilled with.
Start your shopping list by writing down every single person that you intend to buy a gift for this year. Now write down at least one gift you know they need or like, even if you aren’t totally happy with it. You now have a backup list that you can add to if and when inspiration does strike. A great idea is to keep this list somewhere you’ll see it every day, like on a planning board on your bedroom wall. You’ll constantly be reminded to brainstorm gift ideas and can add them as you go.
Tick off the names as you buy the gifts, wrap them as you buy them, and keep track of all your deliveries and remaining gifts to buy on your planner. This way you won’t forget about them and leave them to the last minute.
Decorate Early as a Family
For some families, Christmas decorations are a no brainer - just whack up a tree and you’re good to go. In other households, Christmas decorations can be a big deal and require a certain amount of planning to really pull them off. The easiest way to avoid putting up decorations by yourself in a frenzy is to decorate the house early as a family.
When the first of December hits, pull out all the decorations you have in the house and call the family together. As a group, you’ll have the place looking festive in no time and you can cross another big job off your December to-do list without breaking a sweat.
The best way to approach the Christmas feast is to tackle it in three stages: planning, prepping, and presenting. In the planning stage, map out every aspect of the meal. Note down how many people you need to feed, any dietary requirements, list each side dish, main, appetiser, and dessert alongside their ingredients list and how long they take to cook. Once you have this complete overview, plan out your shopping list and timeline, bringing us to the prepping stage.
This is where you will buy everything you need ahead of time and prepare whatever you can in advance. Plan your prep to take place throughout the week before Christmas if you can. There will obviously be some fresh dishes like salads and the roast turkey that you’ll want to cook on the day, but components of those dishes such as dressings and stuffing can be prepped well in advance.
Once all the food is prepped and Christmas has come, you can finally cook up those last few dishes and present your hard work without all the stress
Taking on the responsibility of preparing an entire Christmas feast for all your friends and family is a lot. In fact, it’s too much. Remind yourself that it’s totally okay to delegate tasks to your family members. Whether it’s assigning the Christmas shopping to your partner, side dishes to relatives, or outsourcing dessert to your local bakery this year, every little task you can take off your plate will make Christmas run that much smoother.
To keep track of who is bringing and doing what, plan it all out on a wall planner so that you don’t forget. By delegating big tasks you’ll avoid overwhelming yourself, meaning that you can actually enjoy Christmas this year.
Schedule The Pre-Christmas Clean
Despite all your planning and best efforts, the lead up to Christmas can still be a messy time. With the kids on holidays and relatives in town, clutter and mess can build up. To combat this, schedule in a clean during the week before Christmas. Not only will your house be inlaw-ready, but you’ll feel calmer when preparing for Christmas in a tidy space.
Need to keep track of all the kid’s concerts, shopping lists, meal plans and guestlists in the lead up to Christmas? Check out ourCommand Centre Wall Planner - perfect for organising literally everything in your life a month in advance.Make sure you also check out ourBlog for organisation tips and more.