Why it pays to take time for Christmas planning, no matter how little time and brain space you have to devote to it.
Why you need to take time to plan Christmas
The business of getting ready for a family Christmas is a big job.
If you are also working, parenting and running the household at the same time, planning and preparing for Christmas can be really stressful.
Where are you supposed to suddenly magic up all the extra time – not to mention money – to get everything ready?
Get ahead, get organised
This is why I believe it pays to be super organised, even if you really don’t feel like it weeks ahead of Christmas.
The reality is, it’s your best chance to arrive at the 25th December ready to enjoy Christmas day rather than in a stressed out heap.
I learned this the hard way.
By slumping into Christmas day an exhausted, strung-out wreck.
Albeit a wreck with a fabulous outfit and a smile plastered across my face.
But a wreck all the same.
That all changed three years ago when I took a step back and looked at how exhausted I was on Christmas day and how quickly the day flashed by.
Have a simple plan – and stick to it
Ahead of the next Christmas I sat down and looked at all the different things that need taking care of in the run up to Christmas and put together a simple plan.
A plan I thought I had a good chance of sticking to.
I found it worked.
You can find my plan – it’s in a post and there’s a download you can print out – here: Week by week Christmas planner
Still need convincing that a a bit of pre-organisation is better than winging it?
Here’s some reasons to help convince you…
Christmas planning can save you time and money
Make time to do some Christmas planning and you will invariably find there is a whole list of benefits.
1. Save yourself time
We are all time-starved in a world that is increasingly fast-paced.
Planning ahead for Christmas and breaking your tasks down week by week and then day by day towards the 25th December means you will be ready and equipped to handle each task.
Ready and equipped means it will take you less time.
What’s not to love about saving time getting ready for Christmas?
2. Draw up a budget and you will save money
If you set yourself a budget you are far less likely to overspend.
Especially if you set it up far enough in advance to avoid panic buying at the last minute.
You are also more likely to pick up better deals.
Checking for Black Friday and other shopping events and discounts can save you lots of money.
If you go so far as to plan your budget at the start of the year, you can set aside money each month towards Christmas.
That way you don’t end up feeling broke the second Christmas is over.
I’ve put together a free Christmas gift shopping planner document you can use to plan your gift shopping with.
There are columns for each gift budget, the actual cost of each gift and a running balance to help you stay on track.
Visit the Christmas gift shopping planner post to grab your planner.
Plus I’ve put together a list of 100 ideas for cheap stocking stuffers that kids will actually love and use, rather than discard by Boxing Day.
3. Make it stress-free
There is no getting away from it.
The run-up to Christmas can be stressful.
But the more time you spend on your Christmas planning, the more likely you are to keep stress levels at bay.
The lower your stress levels, the more likely you are to actually enjoy Christmas when it arrives.
You’ll also have more time to plan for the lovely little details, like making your house smell like Christmas with one of these gorgeous ideas.
4. You’ll be able to be more creative
There’s nothing worse than panic buying or making Christmas gifts at the last minute.
Put a gift list together as part of your planning to give yourself time and space to get really creative with your gifts.
It’ll also allow you to get more creative with your Christmas decorations – you’ll have time to make some!
Check out the Homemade Christmas decorations post for some super easy ideas.
Plus the Dollar store Christmas DIY decorations post for ideas that are both super easy and cheap to make.
5. Get the chores done ahead of Christmas
There’s nothing worse than finishing off Christmas preparations at a minute to midnight on Christmas Eve.
Not to mention the misery of last-minute present buying missions.
Sticking to a plan means that you can plan to get all the chores done in plenty of time.
Which means you can spend Christmas Eve getting into the Christmas spirit with your family and friends.
Ready to get going with your Christmas planning?
So where do you start with planning Christmas?
Start by drawing up a list of everything you need to do.
Base this list on what you’re doing for Christmas this year.
In fact, deciding what you’re doing for Christmas is a good start to the planning process.
Everything else on the list will revolve around what you need to do to arrive at stress-free at Christmas Day.
Here’s my version of a week-by-week Christmas planner with a link to a free download you can print out and stick in your diary or on the wall.
I’ve tried to break every task down into manageable chunks to tackle each week.
The planner starts from the first week of October.
Because I think October is an ideal time to start planning.
Especially if you want to avoid thinking about Christmas over the summer!
Discovered the planner later than 1 October?
Simply adjust the timings and still follow the basic principles of it.
Pop over and see the planner here: Downloadable Christmas planner
Then dive into the Christmas posts to get started with all the detail.
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