Love it or loath it, Christmas is on it’s way…FAST.
And if your like me, it’s going to be sooner than can be properly afforded.
So why do we leave it till the last minute to have everything organised? Who knows.
But, I have been looking into the ways that Christmas can be carefully planned in advance to take the stress out of this most amazing part of the year.
So here is a list of the things I try to do in the lead up to the festive season.
- Get the kids to write a Xmas Wish List. For us, it’s a book that the kids make and then list all the things they would love to get for Christmas. Anything, nothing is off limits. But they know that they most likely will not get everything on their list, but it’s the best chance of getting something they really want. They start this on the school holidays when they are bored, and spend hours researching for it which is great for boredom busting during the holidays. This book is something that I can take with me shopping so that I can remember what the kids want, cause I can’t remember everything, I’m only human.
- Make your own Xmas book. I use an old exercise book and keep it handy to write things in as I remember. It is broken into sections for – Food for Xmas day, so I can make a shopping list out of it and start purchasing things as Christmas gets closer. – Presents, a section for each person where I can list what I have already purchased, and a section for what I would like to look for as I think of amazing ideas. – The Secret Santa List, who is buying for who and what they eventually buy, so I don’t double up. In our house, 8 kids means secret santa is a great way to allow the kids to buy for each other without me having to fork out on 64 gifts!! And it teaches them the value of money because it’s a challenge to get someone a nice gift within their $25 budget. – What I have already coming, this is usually form Chrisco. Oh how I love Chrisco. This years bounty will include mini hampers for the oldest girls who have moved out of home, gift cards so I can go to Kmart and Woolies and spend like I’m actually rich and lolly hampers to keep the kids happy until Christmas actually arrives. – The gifts and cards for everyone else who isn’t in our home.
- Start building your present stash as early as possible. I’ve been using lay by to gather a few gifts already. There is nothing worse than trying to do all the present shopping on Christmas Eve, AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS people. Trust me, I’ve tried it and it will ruin your Christmas spirit real fast.
- Check your budget. If you can forecast all your upcoming bills and expenses through until New Year, then you should be able to calculate how much money each week you can afford to spend on Xmas purchasing. This is not a guarantee to a debt free Christmas, but it gives you a base line to work from. Because nobody loves the December Credit Card Bill that is bigger than Ben Hur.
So, it’s still September, just, so if you haven’t started yet, there is not time like the present. If you have any other great Xmas prep ideas, let me know. I’m always looking to refine this most fabulous time of the year.