Looking back on my very first Christmas having kids, I’m sad to say I didn’t really enjoy the occasion. It was an incredibly hectic time; I bought and wrapped presents, cooked multiple meals, hosted drinks parties, cleaned the house what felt like every day… the week before I visited the supermarket no less than 5 times, my very favourite time being at 4 in the morning on Christmas Eve when it was at least fairly quiet.
But now, 7 Christmases down, I’m now a little less stressed about the whole occasion. Christmas is all about family and friends coming together to share happiness and warmth and that can’t happen if you’re lying down in a dark room stress-breathing into a paper bag with a towel over your head.
And so I’ve got for you the tips I wish I’d had 7 years ago, the ones I follow now to make sure the festive period is happy for my entire family – and me, too!
Get into the festive spirit
You won’t be able to execute a good Christmas if you’re not feeling happy and seasonal yourself! Get a couple of Christmas lunches booked in with friends and make sure you’re not too busy to attend your neighbour’s drinks party. You’ll soon feel incredibly Christmassy and the previously stressful planning will come easy!
Deck the halls
I’m usually not a fan of getting the Christmas decorations out until the third week of December. But this year I’ve prematurely dug up my fairy lights and stuck Mariah Carey on the stereo and it’s really helped me get cracking on my Christmas jobs. There’s no better way to get motivated for the 25th December. That’s it, I said it, once the pumpkins are away it’s time to choose your Christmas tree!
Christmas won’t be cancelled if you take a little time to chill out and relax about the whole thing. Take a bath, go for a run, heck, even have a nap. If you’re conserving your energy you’ll be much more able to plough ahead with the things that are really important (your neighbour’s drinks party, perhaps?).
This one’s easy but it can be tricky to think about anything Christmassy too early! Make sure you’ve got all the bases covered: subscribe to your favourite supermarket’s email newsletters so you know when their Christmas shopping slots are out, get your children’s Christmas lists nice and early and start wrapping as soon as you can. Plan your Christmas menus and populate that online shopping list for a day close to the 25th that suits you. Before you know it you will have prepped for Christmas without even realising it.
Splash out on a one-off cleaner
One of the biggest headaches for me around Christmas time is keeping the house spick and span, so having someone come in to help me with this is an absolute lifesaver. Get them to come in right before your guests arrive, or just after they leave. Or maybe both!
More Than Toast is a lifestyle blog, founded in 2009 by Digital Consultant, Writer, Single Mother and one-time swimwear model Alice Judge-Talbot.
Alice has written for publications such as The Telegraph, where she has a column, Mother & Baby, Women’s Fitness, Gurgle and The Sun, sharing her knowledge of motherhood, family and interiors.