10 Things You Can Do Now to Make Christmas a Breeze
Get yourself organised NOW for Christmas and you may just have some time to put your feet up and enjoy the festivities.
1. Create a Christmas budget
I know, budgets are boring! Though it’s really no fun looking at your bank statements in January and realising you’ve way overspent on Christmas. Now is the time to consider your budget.
Remember to include:
- Spending limits for gifts – itemise per person or family
- Christmas day menu or any other functions you’re hosting
- Decorations – tree, lights, table, stockings, flowers, advent calendars
- Christmas day outfits or outfits for family photos
- Travel costs if you are heading on holidays or visiting family
- Costs for any specific family traditions
- Donations to charity
- Cards and postage
- Gift wrap, ribbons, gift tags and stationery
- Christmas crafts
- Kids entertainment
- Professional photography
- Cleaning and home maintenance
- Parties – clothes, travel, babysitting, food if contributing.
Not sure where to start? Download our FREE Christmas budget printable.
2. Meal plan for Christmas day
If you are hosting Christmas at your place, meal plan now! It is perhaps the single most important plan you can make to ensure you don’t lose the plot on the day. Here are some things you can do:
- Plan out each course, drinks and nibbles.
- Try to include some items that can be prepared in advance to take the pressure off Christmas day.
- Gather all your recipes together into one folder.
- Plan out a shopping list based on your meal plan.
- For the extreme planners, do a day-to-day action plan for the week of Christmas – there are bound to be items on your list than can be prepped days in advance.
- I would also do a runsheet for Christmas day – what needs to be defrosted when, what needs to go in the oven when, who is in charge of the drinks when guests arrive etc. OK, that’s the event planner in me going a bit OTT, but planning your day to this detail will really help. Remember to delegate!
3. Shop for non-perishables
There are bound to be items on your meal plan shopping list that can be bought in advance. You do not want to be hopping from store to store on Christmas eve looking for that specialty ingredient. You can also stock up on specials in advance, which will help the budget.
Buy your alcohol and drinks in advance and have it all delivered. There’s no need to brave the crowds and lug heavy bottles from the shops. Check out Get Wines Direct for a great selection.
4. Batch cook and freeze for busy days
If you have family coming to stay, lots of social activities planned or just for when the kids are being impossible, it will be a dream to just pull a meal out of the freezer. It will also save you some money as takeaways reign this time of year. Batch cook and freeze a few meals now to save your sanity and dollars later.
Check out this great selection of freezer friendly recipes:
- Taste freezer friendly collection
- BBC Good Food freezable collection
- The Organised Housewife 50 meal ideas for the freezer.
5. Shop online for gifts
If you are still shopping at the shopping centre/mall for Christmas gifts, please stop! There is really no need to drag along tantruming kids, wandering from store to store through crazy Christmas shoppers. Shop online now, then watch the pressies come rolling in over the next few weeks. Perhaps make a plan to purchase one gift every night as you settle down on the lounge once the kids are asleep. Or one gift on your lunch break each day.
Many online stores now offer free postage and gift wrapping.
If buying presents for the men in your family is mission impossible, check out our handy manly gift guide. The best bit is, all the gifts are under $50!
Here are our favourite stores for hassle-free online shopping:
- Mumma Hack shop – our new shop has some lovely items for new mums.
- For 500+ quality homewares, as well as baby and kids items, check out Zanui.
- You’ll find beautiful linens, homewares and kids items at Adairs.
- For the man that has everything, check out DadShop.
- Fun and unique personalised kids items from Hippo Blue.
- Lots of stocking stuffers and Christmas decorations at Crazy Sales.
- If you need to send a gift interstate, forget paying exorbitant postage rates and have an amazing edible bouquet from Taste Buds delivered for free, directly to the recipient.
And whilst you’re at it, remember to grab something for yourself, like these amazing beauty boxes from Bellabox. They also do great gift boxes!
6. Create a gift wrapping station and get wrapping
If you have the space to create a gift wrapping station in the study or spare room, this will save you so much time. Instead of pulling out everything every time you need to wrap a gift, it will all be ready and waiting for you. This also means you can wrap gifts as they arrive, so it’s not a mammoth task the days before Christmas getting everything wrapped at once.
7. Put in your Christmas orders
Get in early for all your Christmas orders/suppliers. If you are set on a specific cake maker or cleaner, now is the time to call them, before their books are full. It really does take a team to get Christmas off the ground!
Remember to include:
- Butcher for your turkey or specialty meats
- Bakery/patisserie for cakes and sweets
- Fish monger for the seafood spread
- Florist for flowers and centrepieces
- Cleaner for a general clean and for specialty cleans such as the oven
- Gardener to get the lawn trimmed and yard party-ready
- Decorator/handyman to hang your Christmas lights and decorations
- Order your tree now!
8. Write your greeting cards
Aim to have your cards ready for postage by 1 Dec. That means messages written, sealed in envelopes, postage stamps on and ready in a pile by the door, ready to be posted. Then it’s just a quick drop off on your way to work and they’re done.
9. Create crafty items
If you love Christmas craft but it becomes more of a chore than a pleasure the closer to Christmas you get, create them now. A personal touch will make the day super-special. You can create table settings, centrepieces, wreaths, homemade gifts, tree ornaments, wrapping paper and advent calendars.
Here are some great sites for inspiration:
- Country Living crafty Christmas
- Marta Stewart easy Christmas crafts
- The Country Chic Cottage, 60+ craft and handmade gift ideas.
10. Create busy boxes for the kids
To give you some space during the mad Christmas rush, create some busy boxes for your kids so they can have some ‘independent play time’. Busy boxes are just a selection of items to keep your kids engaged for half an hour or so. It’s great to include new items so that they take their time exploring. Create a few so you can rotate them that week before Christmas.
Here are some great sites for ideas on what to include:
- Little Bins for Little Hands
- Intentional by Grace
- Lemon Lime Adventures
- My Small Potatoes
- Powerful Mothering.
What are you doing to make Christmas stress-free? Leave us a comment below.