Make a list!!!! – This might seem obvious but makes such a difference, write the persons name, your budget, ideas for them, and a big tick box for when you have got it! I also have another list of what I have actually bought for people so I don’t forget after they have been wrapped!
Start early – If you start early you will feel so much calmer in December but also its cheaper! Shops put the prices up a lot in November and December.
Hit the sales – Buy bits that you can in the January sales like wrapping paper, and lovely little festive bits, it will save you lots at Christmas!
Secret Santa – Secret Santa can be a brilliant way of saving at Christmas if you have a very big family.
Wrap as you buy – I wrap as I get them as I am worried the children will find them but its also very practical, and you can wrap them really nicely as you are only doing a few at a time rather than loads!
Make something for someone – Whether you are on a budget or not this is a lovely idea for Christmas, everyone loves a handmade present or card.
Re-use your old cards – you can use them to make tags or Christmas picture making with the children. Have an afternoon cutting out all the characters.
Take the pressure off – Social media can be so pressurising, showing peoples highlights rather than their actual life! Christmas might not completely go to plan but as long as you are all together, that’s all that matters.
Look at ways to wrap eco friendly – If you love eco friendly wrapping, maybe use paper that can be recycled, use scarves or make fabric bags for presents, collect these things up early, and you will be well prepped.
Keep on top of the housework – As much as you can, keep on top of the housework leading up to Christmas. Its awful when its Christmas Eve and the house is a mess and all you do all night is clean! Keeping on top of it means less stress!
Order handmade early – Supporting handmade businesses is lovely at Christmas! However handmade takes time and often is one person doing all the hard work, so order them early. It gives the handmade business time to make it, and you know that you have that perfect unique gift ready to put under the tree.
Craft early – If you are crafty yourself, make them early! It’s amazing how busy November and December are and what often makes the bottom of the list is your crafty projects. In fact why not make a list of the crafty things you would like to achieve
Write cards early – If you like doing Christmas cards definitely do them early! I like getting my cards from a special charity and is a way of remembering the baby we lost and so I love getting them. If you leave them late though it can feel like a real stress, have a Christmas card list and put a movie on and get writing.
Early food shops – I try and buy all non fresh food things like foil, sauces, gravy etc..early on weekly shops, it means you don’t have as much to buy those days before Christmas!
Book, book, book – Book all your days out super early, as soon as you are allowed! Make sure you get to go to those special places!
Get your festive clothes in advance – If you have your heart set on matching pyjamas, jumpers and dresses etc.. get them early, they sell out so fast!
Plan the parties – Get your party dates booked in advance! One of the most important thing is meeting family and friends and loving each other, getting a day to do this is so important, so get it all booked in.
Plan in rest days – I think in all the planning, we can forget ourselves, forget to rest, forget to have days just for enjoyment. Plan in those movie nights, pamper days or simply a nothing day! You and the family need those re-charge days. Cramming in too much can actually ruin it, so write some dates for you and your family on the calendar you wont regret it.
Check the postage dates – Making sure that special card or pressie gets there is so important so check Royal Mail for the last postage dates! Happy planning! Love J x