Easy Christmas planning tips...

Can you believe it’s almost that time of year again? My favourite time to be honest and I love getting everything ready. So, I’ve put together a few tips to help us all get through the run up to the festive season with our sanity intact. Hope you enjoy them!

Christmas baubles

My first tip would be that it really is time to be thinking about creating some space for all of those Christmas gifts that your family will be receiving at the end of the month, most especially if you have children!

My goodness, they can receive their own body weight in new toys and the latest must have items and all that extra, when added to what they already have, can tip the balance between enough room and clutter! So, before all of the new toys enter your home, make sure that there is space ready for them to fit into. Try talking to your children and get them to sort out any of the things they no longer want, need or are too old for. Try explaining to them that some can go to the charity shop “for children who don’t have much so they can have some toys for Christmas as well”. This explanation always worked with my children and could just be worth trying. It may need some sensitive handling but it would be worth it!

My second tip is that often at Christmas we have visitors to stay and it may be about now that you are looking to prepare your spare room/s for family or friends and wondering where the bed is under that big pile of stuff!

We all have a room where we store the things that we don’t use every day and that isn’t always neatly in drawers and cupboards, so there is nothing too unusual there!! However, now would be a great time to think about this so your visiting loved ones can actually make it to the bed. One option would be to force all of your accumulated belongings into hiding places to give the impression of space and organisation… I know... we’ve all done it! However, you will still know it’s there, even if they don’t and you will be living in dread that they might open the wrong cupboard and your secret will be out... literally! 

So, think about organising it now, while time is still on your side. Remember, get rid of anything that isn’t either beautiful, useful or that you love. That way you will feel more relaxed and able to enjoy your guests and they in turn will feel the lovely welcome that you are giving them. 

Countdown to Christmas

My third tip may sound very obvious and hopefully you do it already, but if you don’t this really can save you a lot of time, money and not to mention space, from having to store surplus gifts – make a list and stick to it. Simple... yes, always easy...   no.

Make a list of who you have to buy for before you go out shopping, if you know what you want to get them, put that next to their name as well. Carry this list with you all the time, even when you are not intending to be shopping for presents. Then you are still able to take advantage if that perfect something appears unexpectedly. This way you only buy what you need and you always know what you have got left to get. 

Now that you have your gift list sorted let’s have a think about how you are going to organise getting what’s on it. If you try and do it all in bits and pieces you could well be constantly on the go and discover that you are not getting very far while expending lots of time and effort. Not the best plan for a relaxing, organised build up to Christmas.

So, one option is to put aside a whole day to go shopping. Choose a day, choose a location and possibly even choose a friend or partner to go with. (This is optional, as you may shop better on your own, but the idea is to make it as efficient and yet as pleasurable as possible.) Think about building in coffee breaks and a nice lunch or even dinner if you are intending to take advantage of late night shopping. Set out with the idea that the trip will take as long as it needs to. Make any necessary arrangement for children or dogs to be looked after while you are out and just enjoy! Now that’s a nice way to shop!

However, if you can’t face the inevitable crowds, then go online. This is such a popular way and one that I would not have really enjoyed doing before Covid, but now I’m much more comfortable with it. Although I do prefer to touch and feel to see if I want to buy something if I’m really honest. But on the internet you can do all your shopping from the comfort of your own home, coffee or even wine in hand (and your list of course)!

You can either do it all at once... or grab ten minutes as and when you can. Choose the way that works best for you and possibly even combine the two! Whichever way, make it as less of a chore and as pleasurable as possible. 

Still keeping with the theme of the Christmas gifts...

Have you ever tried to find the gift receipt for something that needs to be exchanged or returned after the big day? That can be a nightmare can’t it?! Well, my next tip is that as you buy your presents put all of the receipts into a particular envelope. That way you know exactly where to find them should anything need to be. Also, this can help you to keep track of what you have spent and hopefully keep to your budget if you keep a running total as you go along. Don’t forget to write what the receipt is for on the top of it. There is nothing worse than thinking you are so organised and know exactly where to find a gift receipt only to have to wade through a big pile of them searching for the right one! Also, keep the envelope in a safe place.. .I’m talking from experience here !

Now keeping a Christmas gift list is great but it can also be a fab way to help you feel organised about the meals you are going to serve over Christmas as well, including Christmas lunch itself is.

An idea is to plan your meals well in advance and then itemise all the ingredients needed for them so that when you go food shopping, you know that you will have everything that you’re going to need when the time comes to cook them. ( t can also save you a fortune because, if you’re at all like me, you can easily be tempted in by all of the wonderful things that will be for sale and quite possibly over buy. If you have your list you will either know you need to substitute or just not be tempted).That way you avoid the total frustration and possible disaster of either having to substitute things or even miss them out all together...  Neither of which can be recommended to keep your festive spirits high! Yes, I’m talking from experience again! 

So be prepared, avoid the possibility of stress as much as you can and write those lists... and... of course... make sure that you remember to take them to the supermarket with you when you go shopping! You may laugh...

As this month and next move on how are all the preparations going? Full steam ahead? Good... or not so good if you are trying to do it all yourself. As we have already discussed, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year and it really does help if you can get other family members to be involved.

So delegate.

There is no reason at all why you should be the one to do everything and in fact any project manager worth their salt (and none of us have any doubt that Christmas is a major project), would dream of being the sole person responsible. So get those jobs shared out and let everybody do their bit. Share the effort, share the magic!

Now, I know that the last tip was about remembering that it is perfectly okay to delegate and you might think that this tip is just a repeat of that one, but it is a little different I promise.

My tip this time is to be willing to ask for help when you need it and also to be willing to accept help when it’s offered. This goes a bit deeper than delegating and involves a letting go of the reins a little. Here we have to trust that others really can help us out and that they will do as good a job as us and to acknowledge that they might even love to help, given the chance. As women I do feel that this is often very hard for us to do but we really do need to remember that we don’t need to be Super Woman we just need to relax into being super women. Enjoy getting help and let others enjoy giving it 

The next thing to consider as the month of December moves onwards and Christmas gets closer is how to keep track of the things that you have been invited to and the things that you would like to do. Not that easy at times, as I’m sure you remember from previous years, as the invitations and requests to do things and be come in thick and fast. Some of these requests you will be more than happy to do and be, and that is perfect, but I wanted to remind you that you don’t always have to say “yes “to everybody and everything. It’s ok to say “no” sometimes as well.

I find a good practice... for any time of the year, not just the run up to Christmas... is that when a request comes in, no matter who from or what for, do not say “yes” straight away. Especially out of pure habit or a sense of obligation. Stop, think... do I need to do this? Do I want to do this? Will it make me feel good? If the answer is “no” to any of these then it really is fine to decline in the nicest, but firmest possible way. Don’t let yourself be swayed. People may be shocked at first if this isn’t usually you, but they will get used to it and they will respect you for it. 

Christmas room

I hope that you find at least some of these tips useful and that you find that you carry some of these ideas that help you to be kind to yourself over into the New Year.  Now that really would be fabulous!

In the meantime, remember, at the end of the day, a magical Christmas, that is remembered for the rest of the year, and beyond, does not depend on how clean and tidy your house is or how beautifully organised and delicious Christmas lunch is... 

It is about how you make each other feel and the love that is shared.

So, I wish you and the ones you spend it with, a Very Happy Christmas, with lots of love and laughter and great memories in the making.

Lesley Beattie

Your Organisational Angel

Posted by: 
Lesley Beattie
Lesley Beattie
8 November 2021

Free guide

7 Tips for a healthier home

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive my 7 best tips guide.
Lesley Beattie Logo
Having a “happy” and “healthy” home where the negative energies have been replaced by positive ones, is like living by a calm ocean or forest, It allows us to expand and reconnect.

Working with Lesley will ensure you have the calm, relaxing and welcoming space everyone deserves.
Follow Lesley
Connect with Lesley on Social Media for the latest in Home Healing and Mindful Decluttering.