Last year I promised myself as stress-less Christmas. I even wrote a post shortly after Christmas to remind myself what to do. Thanks 2015 self — you had my back.
It’s early November and I am determined to have Christmas fairly well sorted by the time the kids are on summer holidays. Then there will be nothing to do but lie in the sun, play with the kids, sip drinks with umbrellas in them and feel smug.
Here’s my plan. Feel free to join me and use any of the pretty printables. (I am much more inclined to organise myself with a pretty printable to help me.)
I know a lot of people have moved onto e-cards, but let’s face it — most people would prefer to get mail than another jangly thing in their inbox. If you are going the electronic option, consider giving something. We love the JL Advent calendar each year and you can buy it as a gift and send to others.
If you are intending on going retro and back to old-fashion Christmas cards, here are my tips:
- Buy a few of the smaller sized cards for the cards you need to post. The savings will add up. The full list of Aus Post prices for within Australia are here and the international prices are here. Be careful about adding stickers etc. as they do increase the weight and you may not be able to send under the “card only” prices.
- Consider which cards could be hand-made by the kids.
- To decide on your list, review your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn contacts and go through your last 2 – 3 weeks of emails. If anyone has been particularly kind this year, either professionally or personally, I think it’s nice to let them know you are thinking of them and are grateful.
- Set a week aside for writing cards and spend half an hour each evening getting it done. Maybe pour some wine, put on some tunes and enjoy the lost art of connecting through hand-writing.
- You can recycle the cards you receive into some great Christmas craft.
This printable might help with card organisation.
The aim this year is to have everything bought and wrapped before the last school bell rings. In order to do so, here is my cunning plan …
- Ask the kids to write their letters to Santa sooner rather than later. After all, Santa needs to be organised. I like the idea of “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read” as a guide on buying for kids.
- Buy and hide the “Santa” wrapping paper. My seven year old is getting mighty suspicious and I don’t want things ruined for the three year old, who has only just gotten over the “Santa terror”. The years in between are VERY short.
- Talk to the adults in your circle about how you’d like to handle gifts. My parents have a “no presents for adults” policy but my mum will inevitably make something for each of us. My husband’s family operates a not-so-secret Santa so that the adults all receive one present that they REALLY want. Rather than exchanging gifts with girlfriends, you might want to donate a handbag filled with useful gifts to Share the Dignity.
- Create a secret Pinterest board and gather present ideas there. If you see something in the shops that you think would be perfect for a person on your list, snap it and save it to the board. If something IS perfect and you have the funds, just buy it. Seriously, you know you will end up doing so anyway.
- Pinterest is also a great way to source easy hand-made presents that are perfect for school friends. Our school has a no candy cane policy at Christmas (which I agree with) but it’s fun to share something small.
- If you are making any personalised presents, like photo books or mugs with photos printed onto them, start now so that you aren’t rushing at the end. I’ll be making one for my three year old who LOVES photo albums and this way I can write little stories alongside the pictures.
- If you are making things for your loved ones, make sure you note all projects down and give yourself plenty of time. Making things with love at leisure is one of life’s greatest joys. Making things in a rush is one of life’s stresses. And we are aiming for stress free.
- Take a special note of any December birthdays and make a fuss. Please don’t wrap in Christmas paper or only given one present. It’s not easy being a December baby.
This printable might help with present organisation.
In all the Christmas, remember yourself. The whole point of being organised this year is so I will ENJOY the celebrations and down time. I just want to bask in the whole season and feel as free and fabulous as the kids do. So I WILL be booking in a manicure, pedicure, massage and facial between now and New Year. The haircut was already booked in weeks ago.
What are your organised Christmas tips?