Christmas Planning – Family and Friends

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

  • Book in babysitters for the Christmas season early
  • Be mindful of the family and friends around you this festive season
  • Is anyone alone that you could spend time with
  • Be flexible and understanding this time of year

Enjoying Christmas – Christmas Day

Family dinnerIt is time to think about Christmas catch up with the family. There are so many versions of “family” in this modern era that Christmas Day can involve more co-ordination than a military mission.

So take time now to get the conversation started about where Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner will be held. Who will be there? What to bring? How does that work in with everyone’s extended family?

Then of course Christmas planning has to consider some family issues (or problems) like Uncle George’s drinking problem. Maybe have a brunch rather than a dinner where fresh juice and tea and coffee and the drinks on the menu. If one of your relatives is negative, perhaps this year give everyone a card that has a conversation starter on it. Making sure the conversation starters are about happy, fun, exciting or funny things. For example, “your favourite holiday destination”, “where you dream of going in the world”, “A funny thing happened on the way to…”

Take into account the needs of small children who may need naps and an early bedtime. Make sure the events you are attending are appropriate for their needs.

If Christmas lunch or dinner is at someone’s house, how can you support and help? Divide up the meals so that everyone can bring something. Entrée, main, veggies, salad’s, bread, dessert, drinks. The person whose house it is at has to clean the house, set the table, manage the meal, clean up and clear up. That is a load of work without even cooking anything. Make it as simple as possible.

I know plenty of families who hold their Christmas Day the weekend before Christmas, Christmas Eve or on Boxing Day. Be flexible so that it is about the people who you are with rather than just “the day”.

Something else to think about at this time of year is whether you know anyone who might be alone at Christmas and can you visit them or invite them along to share Christmas with your family.

It is important to remember that what Christmas may mean to you, it may mean something completely different to someone else, so be careful and sensitive to people’s needs.

It is a time of enjoyment and celebration and with planning it can be just that. Planning is the key.

Christmas Planning – Clutter Free Gifts

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

This week our focus is on Clutter-Free Gifts.

We have a habit of giving physical gifts that can be touched. However, it is time to think differently. Let’s buy experiences and memories rather than clutter. Ideas can include taking people out, for example, to a beautiful restaurant that they would never take themselves to. Take kids out for the day with their cousins. It isn’t about the costs, it is about the experience.

Enjoying Christmas – Clutter-Free Shopping

christmas clutterI am big on reducing clutter as many of my newsletter community would be aware of. It seems that we are drowning in clutter. Our children have too many toys, we have too many things. Did you know that we live in bigger houses with less people and we are still overflowing?

I mentioned about clutter-free shopping a couple of weeks ago. I would love it if we could focus on giving memories and experiences rather than clutter this Christmas.

The thing about always giving tactile (or physical) gifts is that we have to store them. Many attendees at my “DeClutter and Take Back Control” Workshops talk about how they can’t get rid of (insert item here) because it was a gift.

I honestly believe that when we give a gift, we don’t ever want to burden someone with the item. However, so many, and I really mean so many people can’t give away items in their home because they were gifts. They feel obligated and bound to keep them forever.

So let’s not burden family and friends any longer. Let’s give them memories and experiences. It is my mother-in-law’s birthday tomorrow and we are giving her a manicure and pedicure. A simple gift but guess what, her granddaughters (aged 8 and 12) are taking her to the shop and what she doesn’t know is that they are all having a manicure and pedicure. What grandmother wouldn’t want that sort of a gift? They will all be able to talk about it for years in the future and there is not one bit of clutter involved. It is a wonderful memory for them all.

I can just picture her telling all her friends of how her granddaughters took her to the beauty shop and they all got their nails done. Won’t they be jealous friends!!! (In a nice way)

For Christmas, we have bought my brother-in-law time in a flight simulator. Once again an experience to enjoy and something that we wouldn’t buy for ourselves. We still get to give him something physical – the gift voucher – but the experience will be sensational.

For Mother’s Day we purchased a restaurant dinner for my mother-in-law and her eldest grandson took her to dinner. My mother-in-law is a real “foodie” and this was a restaurant we knew she would love, but she wouldn’t ever go there. To go with her grandson was so wonderful for her.

There are so many simple but wonderful ideas out there to give people so that they have memories, not just an object. Think about what you would love to give to the ones who are most important to you this year. Who knows perhaps this year’s gift may become a family tradition down the track.

Christmas Planning – Christmas Cards

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

This week, our focus is on Christmas Cards.

Will you be sending cards this Christmas? If so, now is the time to think about what type of cards – handmade, shop-purchased, charity.

  • Make a list of everyone you will be sending cards to
  • Get their addresses
  • Break the task down and just write a few cards a day

Enjoying Christmas – Your Calendar

calendarFor some reason, there are so many people we need to catch up with at the end of the year. Why we have this logic, I don’t know. It is something that seems to be part of the festive season traditions that have been established.

Take some time this week to think about who you want to spend your time with in the lead up to Christmas. Then make the calls (emails or SMS) to book the dates, preferably in October and November rather than cramming it all into December.

You will find that catching up with your friends earlier means you are all more relaxed and can enjoy the occasion. You are not overloading yourself with too much food and will actually enjoy the catch up.

Some other considerations for your calendar include when you will spring clean the house in the lead up to Christmas, when you will declutter. I know for some of you that may sound like a big task; however, my declutter prior to Christmas having children means clearing out the toy room of any toys they no longer need or use so that there is space for more to come in.

This one step alone makes a big difference after Christmas when it is time to pack everything away.

Block in some time to decorate the house. We decorate both inside and outside the house. The outside is with lots of lights so that is a big job. That means we block out a whole day to get it done before December.

Book in your December hairdressing appointment or any other appointments that you will need before Christmas.

By doing all this planning early, it allows you to feel more in control and the reason – because you are more in control.

Christmas Planning – Gifts

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

It is time to think about the gifts you are giving at Christmas.

  • Gifts to make
  • Present box
  • Budget
  • Gift ideas planning
  • Stocking stuffers