December is just around the corner and that means the crazy Christmas rush is coming, right? Well, Christmas is certintainly coming, but it doesn’t have to be a crazy rush. We know that for many people Christmas is a stressful time with added pressures and expectations.
But we also know that Christmas can be a rewarding and enjoyable time to enjoy with those who are most special to you. This year, let’s try to maximise the feel-good parts of Christmas and avoid the not-so-nice parts. Instead, let’s break it down and take it one step at a time.
Here are some ways to get on top of the Christmas rush:
Stock up EARLY
December creeps up so fast and before you know it, it will be Christmas eve! November is a great time to find your decorations, non-perishable foods, and presents. The shops are well stocked, crowds are smaller, and the stress is much more manageable. You also have time to order online and know that it will be shipped and arrive in time. Write down some of the things you know you will need and get as much as you can ticked off early so you have less to worry about later. Starting early is not only an easier and more enjoyable shopping experience but it also spreads the costs over two months so it doesn’t all hit at once.
We all know the awkward feeling of getting an unwanted, impractical gift! No one wants to give a gift that goes to waste. Instead of going all-out and guessing what might be a big hit with a loved one, try to think practical. Simple every-day items like books, pyjamas, and socks are great stocking fillers. You know they’ll be appreciated AND it will save you buying them later when your kids run out. Simple presents are easy to find and easy to personalise too. If your son needs new t-shirts, why not get them in his favourite colour? Practical AND personal.
Gift an experience
Experiences are the perfect gift when you don’t know what to buy someone. Not only are you giving them something fun to do, you save yourself time running around the shops! There are so many great experiences you can find online like a night away, a sporting activity, event or concert, or a relaxation package. Experiences are a thoughtful gift, without the time and energy of present shopping. Not all experiences are expensive either. Some great ideas are zoo passes, museum, theatre or movie tickets, craft, surf or dance lessons. Try to think of an activity that will be practical and easy to redeem– you don’t want that voucher to go to waste!
Prepare food ahead of time
December is a busy time for all of us, but just because you’re busy that doesn’t mean daily family meals stop! You might not have the time to cook a fresh meal every night, but if you make the most of meal-prep you can keep you and your family well-nourished. Preparing bulk meals ahead of time will save you energy, and save some money for all the Christmas shopping too. Knowing your food is sorted ahead of time will give you more time to juggle all the other December commitments. Try a slow-cooked casserole or vegetable lasagne for easy, low-cost meal prep.
Delegate or outsource on Christmas Day
For many of us, our Christmas day commitments are too much to manage on our own! If you are planning a big family event, why not get a bit of extra help to make it run smoothly? Get your guests to bring some food or drinks along and share the experience together. Delegate