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  • Writer's pictureBenella

"Christmas doesn't have to be stressful" My top 10 tips for an organised holiday

If you are organised then you can relax and enjoy the holiday...

I love being home for Christmas and hosting family and friends. However the pressure nowadays to make it all "perfect" can lead to stress and overwhelm.

If you are hosting then it can become busy - the gifts, the food, the cooking, the clearing up...

I distinctly remember my first Christmas in my new home as an adult and my in-laws were coming over. I was reading Delia Smith's Christmas guide to cooking for the day and she basically said to take the odd break between cooking and making bread sauce to see how the present unwrapping is going!

I was so shocked, I wasn't going to miss that by being stuck alone in the kitchen, and never have, I always ensure all is under control in the kitchen so I can enjoy all the good bits.

With Christmas fast approaching, here is a list of my top 10 tips to be organised for the holidays. Let's dive in!

*This post may contain affiliate links which don't cost you a penny but pay a commission to this site.

some ideas to get you started:

1. Plan ahead: Prioritise your "To Do List" with what is most important. Checklists are a fabulous way to not forget things but also be able to spread out any tasks. Below is my

FREE CHECKLIST to help you. However, focus on what really matters, being with friends and family, taking time off. Plan so it is stress free - not get bogged down with the tiny details.

2. Delegate: No one should expect one person to do it all. Create a list of jobs that need completing and ask others. Children can help with many tasks depending on their age. Guests can bring their favourite dishes contributing to any meal. My mother in law makes a trifle every year along with her infamous rissoles which we eat in the evening with some cheese and crackers they have also brought with them.

3. Declutter and organise: Having a clear out before the holiday season helps create space. If you have younger children, chances are new toys will be unwrapped. Are older toys still played with? Can they be donated before so there is room for what is coming in? Check fridge/freezers and cupboards, can anything be used up or moved so there is more space for the extra food that will need to be stored.

4. Set a budget: Having a realistic budget of what you can afford helps things not be stressful in January. Who wants to dampen the holiday spirit by getting into debt? Agree with family members and make a budget that encompasses gifts, food, socialising and decorations.

5. Gift with thought: I love to give presents and think about what someone would appreciate. Whilst I understand there may be teenagers that would like money, nothing makes me more sad on the day than someone saying "didn't know what you wanted so here is some money".

How about agreeing with someone that instead of exchanging gifts you will book a walk and pub lunch in together in the New Year? A voucher for a beauty treatment or experience?

Hands down the best present my children ever gave me was photographs of them re-enacting their childhood. I have these photographs framed side by side and they make me laugh daily. It probably cost my children £5 and a few hours - it was the effort that bought me so much joy - not the amount of money that was spent.

6. Think about cards: For many I know sending greeting cards is very important. My rule however, is that if I am seeing the person over the holidays, then I won't send a card. If they are on my personal social media then I wish them a Happy Christmas that way. I donate to a charity close to my heart rather than spending money and time sending cards to people I will see and chat with. A great Aunt or someone you know would appreciate a hand written card - then send in plenty of time to avoid the postal rush.

7. Buy in advance: Think about gift shopping earlier than December, avoid the rush and budget squeeze by spreading it out. Non perishable food and items needed also can be added to each food shop and stored rather than one big expensive shop.

8. Prioritise self care: Now is not the time to run yourself into the ground and be ill. By using checklists and being organised you should not be run ragged. Ensure you meet friends for walks, enjoy an hour wrapping some gifts and then reading a book in front of the fire. Or of course, watching a Christmas movie curled up on the sofa - my new favourite is "Last Christmas"

9. Prepare in advance: Can you make and freeze any dishes in advance? I always put a couple of hours aside each Christmas Eve afternoon, wine is poured and the music is on and I par boil my potatoes, prepare the stuffing, pigs in blankets, peel the vegetables and whip the cream. This means on Christmas Day it is mainly about timings and putting things in the oven rather than preparing. I love my ritual on Christmas Eve!

10. Say no: It is ok to say no. Non stop parties and invites can become overwhelming and chances are will lead to stress and sickness. There can also be pressure as people feel they "must get together". Why not do it in the New Year?

To help even more, I have created a Christmas Planner Bundle in my Etsy Shop which can be purchased and re-used year after year.

By incorporating these top 10 tips into your holiday routine, you can create a stress-free Christmas that allows you to fully enjoy the season with your loved ones. Remember, simplicity often enhances the magic of the season, making it more enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved. Don't forget to grab your free checklist and also the additional bundle if you want extra tools to help you.


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