I can’t believe we are in the middle of November already and I’m panicking as I need to get organised for Christmas. It always seems to be a ticking clock as soon as Halloween and Bonfire night are out of the way we start this roller-coaster heading towards Christmas.
Not only is there the Christmas hustle and bustle to get into but there’s the usual hope of “Will I lose those extra pounds for Christmas and get into that sparkly dress again”. It’s more likely that I’ll be hiding in the comfort of my Christmas jumper again.
Sometimes I liken Christmas to a military exercise – Secret planning late at night, listening in on conversations to pick up valuable information, whispered conversations between your team as to responsibilities, stealth trips to the shops and then hiding sensitive products from prying eyes.
So how can we make this whole experience run smoothly? I’ve got some Christmas tips I’d like to share to help you get organised for Christmas.
1) Start the year before – Yes you read that correctly. When January 6th comes and you put the decorations away and take down the cards, make a note on your new calendar for October/November as to whether you have Christmas cards/wrap and candles etc left over which are being stored in the depths of the loft. I don’t know how many years I have gone and bought cards early and then once the decorations are down, find the hidden stash from last year all in mint condition.
2) Start planning as early as you can. Having worked for a large retailer for many years I’ve seen many research presentations where we see busy mums who start shopping from September onwards – Some may say this takes the fun out of the whole “Christmas shopping experience” however when you have a family to buy for and many of us are working to budgets its essential that you grab deals where you can.
And although we should not forget what the true meaning of Christmas is, if we’re honest getting “THE” present that the kids want on their Santa list can sometimes be the make or break of Christmas morning.
Top tip: Get yourself a handy little notebook or jotter pad to become your Christmas planning book (But don’t tell anyone about it in case it falls into the wrong hands) Here are a few of our favourites and you can see the full organisational range here.
3) Making a list and checking it twice
Write down the names of all those people who you need to buy for and review – be honest are they someone who you have seen much of this year. Are you hanging onto an old tradition that you both probably want to break. Suggest a lower limit which you both agree to or even a break if you’re feeling brave.
Now the scary part – beside each name put a budget and review. It’s amazing how it all adds up and then you realise how much you need to put aside for Christmas gift spends.
4) Look out for deals online and dropping into your inbox – In the run up to Christmas we get bombarded with emails and offers on social media.
Top tip: Use your little notebook to jot down the deals and codes as reminders for when you are out and about so you can then price compare – we all do it.
5) Keep a check on your stocking filler gifts. As my kids have got older and we’re out and about shopping I’ve been faced with the question. “Why are they saying stocking filler ideas when it’s Santa that leaves the presents in the stocking” yep been caught out a few times with that one!
Top tip: Keep a stocking filler tracker in your notebook – you’ll forget what you have bought, where you have stashed it and then realise you how much you spend on the little extras that weren’t budgeted for in your original plan.
6) Christmas Cards – How many do I need to send?
In this digital world the traditional Christmas card is coming under attack. Not only are we faced with E Cards, rising postage costs but there is a growing body of support wearing a more environmental head who are preferring to donate their Christmas card spend to charity.
Charities do benefit hugely at Christmas from either donations as above or from a % of the card value donated by the retailer so either way we should continue to support where we can.
Each year my address book is looking more untidy as friends and family move house and I then scribble out their address. I’m now at the point where in some cases I’ve completely lost track of which one is their latest abode.
So this Christmas I have treated myself to a new address book from the range as I love the gold foiling and dots which are so on trend.
We also have some new calligraphy pens which can make your cards look extra special.
So that’s it from me for the moment. Happy planning and if you want some inspiration for stationery gifts for Christmas check out our Christmas shop
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