Want to have a more organised Christmas this year? For the last six weeks of 2017 I am writing a weekly blog post to guide you through the festive season and into 2018. This Christmas I want to be more intentional about how I spend my energies, money and time. I want to capture the true feeling of the festive season – family, friendship, and a little bit of magic – without the frenzied shopping, the stress or the endless to-do lists. If you do too, here is this week’s post!
Week Two: 27th – 3rd December
Some thoughts for this week:
Advent: Despite what the shops have been telling us since we came back from summer holidays, for me, Christmas starts on 1st December. So this week there is much anticipation as I get the decorations out of storage, we plan where to go for our Christmas tree, and start looking out for the best holly and ivy bushes in the fields around us. Despite some of my “behind the scenes” planning, this is the time when we start to count down and celebrate together as a family.
I think it is important for small children especially to have a defined season for Christmas, that starts when the family is ready rather than when the retailers tell us. Advent is a beautiful time of year as we count down to Christmas. Community events, Christmas fairs and carol services bring people together in ways that frantic shopping and expensive product-laden advent calendars never could. Take some time this week to think about how you would like to mark the lead-up to Christmas Day with your family.
Charity: For all its festivities and celebration, Christmas is about more than presents, food and parties. Over the past few years I have made efforts to bring charity and kindness to the centre of our Christmas celebrations. To be more intentional in the way we think of others at this time of year. I’ll be sharing some ideas throughout the next few weeks, but today I am most excited about More Organised’s new partner charity – Massive Outpouring of Love (MOOL). I volunteered for MOOL last month and fell in love with this amazing, soulful organisation. MOOL helps people in need wherever they are, be that locally or across the globe. I’m currently collecting new underwear and socks, scarves and hats to make up SNUG packs for MOOL. Please let me know if you can donate!
Important dates this week:
Saturday 2 December: Small Business Saturday The UK’s Small Business Saturday is a campaign to highlight small business success. It encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. As a small business, More Organised is proud to support Small Business Saturday! In recognition of the day I am offering special offers on sessions booked before 02 December. You can find out the details of these offers and read more about other small businesses in your community by searching the Small Business Finder database. How can you support your local small businesses this Christmas?
Saturday 2 December: Last dates for international post If you have cards, letters and presents to post overseas, the last posting dates for international delivery start this week. Royal Mail advises that the last posting date for all services to Africa and the Middle East is 2nd December. Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand follow next week. (Don’t worry, I’ll give you another reminder!) But if you have any international posting to do, get it ready this week and tick it off your list.
Tuesday 28th November: Giving Tuesday Straight after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is the day to do good stuff for charity. On the day you can choose to support any charity you want in any way you want.
To-do this week:
- Plan advent: This is the week it all kicks off… Friday sees the start of December. Whatever your plans for marking advent, take a little time this week to prepare. You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive, product-laden advent calendars that have become all the rage this year. Say no to the marketers and the clutter, and keep it simple!
- Christmas decorations: If you have been waiting until December to decorate, it’s time to get the tree up. Get the children involved and have a crafting session to make decorations and cards. For any decorations you don’t use, donate or sell them so someone else can enjoy them. And it will mean less for you to put away in January!
- Christmas cards: If you haven’t bought your Christmas cards yet, do it now! Many charities rely on Christmas card sales for a significant part of their income. You may want to consider supporting your favourite charity in this way. I like the ThisIsNessie cards that support Alzheimer’s Research UK (they can be personalised too!) – use the code ORGANISE20 at the checkout to get 20% off your whole order at ThisIsNessie.*
- Post international cards: Post cards for African and the Middle East before 2nd December.
- Shop for non-perishables: When you do the weekly shop, start to pick up non-perishable items you’ll need for Christmas. This will help to spread the cost and load of the extras you’ll need for your celebration. Don’t forget tin foil, black sacks and sellotape!
So there you have it! Some thoughts, key dates and a short to-do list for this week. I’d love to hear how you are keeping Christmas simple this year, and any tips you’d like to share!
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