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 Three: 4th – 10th December
Some thoughts for this week:
Give yourself some grace: The TV ads and constant marketing emails tell us that Christmas is a time for joy, family and giving. But it can also bring feelings of overwhelm and emptiness, as everyone else seems to be waltzing through December in a glittery haze of shopping trips, glitzy parties and family togetherness. There is no other time of year that forces us to be joyful in quite the same way. Or to empty our pockets on ever-more ridiculous “must-haves”.
This is your reminder that you do not have to do it all this Christmas. If you don’t want to accept an invitation – don’t. If you don’t want to spend your limited energies keeping up with every Pinterest-perfect Christmas tradition – don’t. If you don’t want to buy gifts for half the street and your-third-cousin-once-removed – don’t. This is as much your season as everyone else’s, so do it your way!
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that this post is about 12 hours late. That’s because I spent my weekend looking for the perfect Christmas tree (Spoiler Alert – here it is!), taking our little boy and baby niece to meet Santa at our local castle, hanging out with my lovely sister-in-law and having brunch with family. I had lots of wonderful memories to make this weekend – and they didn’t include sitting in front of my laptop! So this evening I sent my apologies to a business event, grabbed a coffee and a mince pie, and blogged tonight instead. Less stress, more me-time, and no guilt. The recipe for a perfect festive season.
Important dates this week:
Last dates for international post If you have cards, letters and presents to post overseas, there are more last posting dates for international delivery this week. Royal Mail advises that the last posting dates as follows:
- Wednesday 6 December: Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe
- Thursday 7 December: Caribbean, Central and South America
- Saturday 9 December: Australia, Greece, New Zealand
Europe and the USA follow next week, but 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.
Saturday 9 December: Christmas Card Day Sir Henry Cole came up with the idea of sending Christmas greetings cards in 1843. This year, it is estimated that people in the UK will send approximately one billion Christmas cards. This would be the perfect day to sit down with a cup of tea and get your cards finished!
To-do this week:
- Wrap gifts: Try to wrap your gifts as you buy them, to cut down on frantic Christmas Eve wrapping. It also makes your gifts easier to hide from impatient eyes! Don’t forget to write gift tags and secure them to the gift well. If you need help with gift wrapping (or any other Christmas organising!) get in touch to see how hiring a professional organiser can help you this festive season.
- Make or buy garlands and wreaths: You should be able to start making or buying decorations made from fresh plants from this week. Always ask the seller how they have made their wreaths and garlands. If they have used moss or florist’s oasis as a base, the greenery should last well into January. Keep them away from warm places, and remember to mist regularly.
- Plan your menu: If you are responsible for cooking this Christmas, plan your menu and your shopping list. If you are feeling particularly good humoured, check with your guests if they have any favourite Chistmas dishes or traditions that they would like to incorporate into the celebration. (And if you can’t oblige, suggest that they bring their favourite dish along!)
- Children’s crafts: With less than three weeks until Christmas Day, little ones are beginning to get excited! Keep them occupied with some festive craft activities. I love this multi-sensory play dough recipe from my friend Harkee over at AS They Grow (and it gets an extra glitter-covered thumbs up for being no-cook too!)
- Christmas cards: This week is probably your last chance to order cards to arrive on time. 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 card and gift order at ThisIsNessie.*
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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