The silly season has started for some of us and for others has only just begun. Regardless it is a fun but hectic time of year. Down under it is also summer so we want to party all the time.
How do you make sure you get to Christmas unfrazzled and relaxed? First of all, you need to get planning. I know you don’t want to deal right now but I am going to tell you, you do.
There is so much to do for a few days and to make that few days as magical and as special as you possibly can, you need to be ready and organised. You need to plan to be organised and you need to map out the days until Christmas Day and confirm what you are doing by each day. Once you get there you will be ready and nothing anyone throws at you will affect you.
What are you doing for Christmas Day?
Who is coming?
How do you want the day to run? Write three words that describe your perfect Christmas.
Now those three words are your mantra, your chant or even your Christmas carol to create the perfect and relaxed Christmas.
To get organised you could use a Holiday Planner that includes everything from Christmas card lists and recording what presents you got (which is a nice idea but seriously- who has the time)
Too many planners sound like you will be writing for days on end and getting very little achieved. So, I have planned the no fuss version of Christmas Planning.
- Christmas Goals
- November Calendar
- December Calendar
- Christmas Bucket List
- Christmas Traditions
- Christmas Gift Planner
- To Do List
- Christmas Day Planner
- Christmas Eve Planner
- Christmas Day Meal Planner
- Boxing Day Planner
- Christmas recipes
- Christmas Décor inventory
For me I need to record my recipes as I am always looking through the 6,000 food magazines I must find the recipe again. Stay tuned as later this week I will be sending out the Christmas Planner free to subscribers.
How to get organised when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Grab the biggest piece of paper you can find.
Write down everything in your head
Don’t get overwhelmed at the size of the list or number of thoughts. Many of them will be irrelevant just by writing them down.
Try to group these thoughts into some sort of system. You may like to break into departments or task area. Regardless you need to put a priority against them all.
Start to tick off three of the highest priority over four days.
Now go back to the list and schedule when you need to do things by priority.
All you need to do then is enjoy Christmas.
Nailing those Christmas goals
The most important part of my planning is the traditions and the goals for Christmas. I want the focus to be less on gifts but I want the day to still be magical for my children. How does one achieve that? I try to make sure we do some giving and look after those less fortunate. I am a big believer the Christmas Tree’s at school do not work for this. The children have very little attachment to this when they are not seeing where the gifts are going.
You could try some of these to deliver some sense of gratitude.
Operation Christmas Child, run by the Good Samaritans. Click here for details
Support our Troops. Click here for more details. Last year they received 20,000 tonnes for 2,400 deployed personnel. They do not need packages but emails.
Toy and Book Appeal run by the Smith Family. Click here for information.
Gifts for underprivileged kids run by Barnados Australia. Click here for information.
I have found the best programs are the ones where kids must go to the shop and physically select the gift.
Perhaps your goals are around budget planning and sticking to it or ensuring you don’t forget anyone. To achieve any Christmas goal you need to make sure you have a plan and you put it into action. This year I am trying to think of ways to get rid of wrapping paper without losing the magic of unwrapping a gift.
Setting those Christmas Goals
Whilst it may seem a tad funny to set goals for Christmas but to ensure you have the Christmas of your dreams you need to give thought to what you want to achieve or to define your goals.
Set specific goals. Your goal must be clear and well defined.
Make sure they are attainable, relevant and time-bounded.
Write the goals down
Do these goals motivate you? Make sure they motivate you so that you are encouraged to reach them. WHY? Why are the goals important? Knowing the why is relevant to understanding your motivation to achieve your goal.
Make an action plan – this is how you will achieve them.
Give yourself little reminders or rewards to encourage you to stick with it.
The kids love to countdown for Christmas but you should use this for yourself. Not for an additional stress but as a reminder of what you need to have done by when. Remember when you are scheduling in chores and a list of things you need to do by what date, use the countdown as a handy reminder as to what you need to achieve and by when. There are a few handy apps you can use that can send a reminder to your phone.
Remember, take it one day at a time. When there are kids to take care of and school concerts, Christmas parties and a whole load of other events, remember that many smaller steps will get you to the finish line. You don’t need to do everything at once. Space it out and plan for one day at a time.
Tips for maintaining the cool
Ask for help. You can delegate tasks. You will be amazed at what help you will get if you ask.
Set expectations with others. If you are being asked to do the whole hot lunch thing and you don’t want to – call it out. Make sure people know you want them to come relaxed and ready for a swim in the pool. Or, ask them to wear a cocktail dress if that is what you are looking for. Ask them to bring something or reinforce you don’t want any help with anything just bring your sweet selves!
Clear out the clutter
When you are organised you are ready. When you are ready you can take on any small issue with ease and grace. Get organised and you will arrive at Christmas relaxed and ready to enjoy the festivities.
The first step is put aside all the things you do not need. Remember the prioritisation of earlier, concentrate on what is a must have first and work your way down to nice to have and all the bells and whistles.
The next step to avoiding clutter is learning how to say no. Make sure you are not taking on too much or saying yes to everything.
Plan your day the night before. Allow yourself 5 minutes prior to your bedtime routine to ensure you know what you are doing the next day.
There is nothing to it, other than planning. From little things, bug things grow. Start small and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.