Yup, I said it. The ‘c’ word has been uttered and it’s only October. You can’t blame me though for chatting about Christmas already, The X Factor is on TV, big tubs of chocolates are for sale in the supermarkets and my local has already got their big Book Your Christmas Party Here! sign up. I love Christmas; the food, the family time, the cosiness, the traditions, the booze, the films – I love it all! I’m not going to lie to you though, I do get quite stressed out in the lead up as when it comes to Christmas, there is A LOT of organising that needs to be done. I have been partial to the odd Christmas related mummy meltdown in recent years and this year I am going to make it my mission to fully enjoy the festive period and not get overwhelmed by all the arrangements for the big day. Like the sound of a meltdown free Christmas? Read on to find out how I am planning to make preparing for Christmas stress free this year.
How to avoid a mummy meltdown this Christmas
Write lists – I love a list, as long as I have it written down in a notebook somewhere then I can guarantee I won’t forget to do whatever it is. There is a lot to plan and remember around Christmas time so get your pen and paper out and make some lists.
My regular Christmas lists (and I don’t mean the one to the big guy in red) usually go along these lines:
– People to buy presents for
– Food shopping list
– Christmas essentials shopping list (includes things like Sellotape, wrapping paper, Christmas tree etc)
– People visiting over Christmas/dates they are staying
– Trips planned to visit family/dates we are going away
– Christmas decorating checklist
– Christmas events (date of school nativity, carol service, Santa visit etc)
Strategic present buying – DON’T DO YOUR SHOPPING ON CHRISTMAS EVE! Sorry for the shouty caps but, seriously, don’t do it. I have left all my shopping to the last minute before and I don’t think there is anything more stressful; leaving shopping for Christmas Eve isn’t a smart move, it’s really stupid and is going to leave you in a panicked mess as you rush around the shops. Some people I know have already finished their Christmas shopping, they are the complete opposite to the frenzied Christmas Eve shoppers. I am suggesting you sit yourself somewhere in the middle and get your shopping done in good time but don’t start stressing now at the beginning of October if you haven’t started yet. Whether you are going to buy everything online, use a catalogue website like creditstores.co.uk , visit the shops or browse Christmas markets, just have some kind of idea what you want to buy and where. Winging it works it lots of aspects of life (*cough parenting cough cough*) but when it comes to Christmas shopping it’s always good to have some kind of plan in place.
Accept help – If a family offers to make the Christmas pudding or a friend says she’ll come and help you organise the toys in your living room to make space for your Christmas tree, then say a big thank you and accept. Everyone is more giving and happy to help out around Christmas time, it’s all that festive cheer in the air, and if you are offered help to get organised then take it with both hands and appreciate the gesture as much as you would a big shiny present under the tree.
Ditch the Christmas cards – Controversial, I know, but does anyone really send Christmas cards anymore? I haven’t done Christmas cards for years, it’s not because I stopped caring about those I used to send them to, it’s just because now I have kids there is so much to organise and get sorted and something had to give. Social media and Facetime have made it easy to wish those around us a Merry Christmas and, although a card may be a more treasured gesture, a ‘Merry Christmas’ is still meant with love, no matter if it is delivered through your letterbox or over the internet.
Plan your festive days out early – Christmas time is full of opportunities for lovely days out. Weekends in November/December are usually jam packed with Christmas themed events and activities and it is best to plan these early. Check if you need to buy tickets in advance and, if you do, purchase them as soon as you can as you don’t want to miss your chance. I always think it’s nice to have a few family days out in December as there is nothing that makes me feel more festive than spending time in a Christmassy setting with my little family.
Here are some ideas of family activities to do over the Christmas period:
Visit a Christmas Grotto to see Santa
Go ice skating
Visit a Christmas Market
Watch a pantomime in the theatre
Go to a carol concert
Watch your town Christmas lights being turned on
Don’t try to be Supermum – Christmas traditions are fun and a lovely part of a childhood but don’t drive yourself into the ground trying to do everything. Attempting to be Supermum anytime of the year is impossible for even the most organised Mum in the world, trying to be Supermum at Christmas time is just going to leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Decide the things you would really like to do with the kids and ask them what they would like to do but don’t feel the need to make a gingerbread house, bake Christmas cookies and do every Christmas craft you can find on Pinterest, just because you think that’s what good mums do. You don’t need to rush your kids all over town to every single Christmas event and will anyone really care on Christmas day if the presents are wrapped in mismatched wrapping paper instead of in brown paper and tied up with string? Just do what you can and enjoy the time with your family, Christmas is meant to be a lovely time for relaxing and being with your family, don’t put pressure on yourself to do every little Christmassy thing the internet has ever told you that you should be doing.
Have some kid free time – Christmas isn’t all about the kids you know. Amongst all the family time and prepping and organising, make some time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with your friends and family while someone looks after your little ones. You could go out for some Christmassy cocktails, have people over in the evening for some mulled wine and Christmas nibbles or you can plan a child free trip to mooch around a Christmas market or out for an evening meal together. Do something for you, whether it’s a Christmas wreath making class or night out on the town, just don’t forget to have fun and switch off from ‘mission Christmas’ from time to time over the festive period.
I hope this post has helped you feel a bit more relaxed about getting organised for Christmas this year. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, that is when you are not crying over empty shelves in the shop where your child’s ‘must have’ present should be or freaking out in Tesco because you don’t know what you need to buy. Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? Or did you read this shaking your head that I dared to mention the ‘C’ word before bonfire night? Leave me a comment and let me know.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you may also like to read…
5 reasons I’d love to celebrate Christmas abroad
Christmas treat mason jars
You know you have a toddler when – the Christmas edition
When you have post natal depression at Christmas
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with creditstores.co.uk