How to get ready for Christmas next year!
Christmas is next week. How did that happen? The year has flown by. It seems the older I get, the faster time passes.
If you’re anything like me in past years, you’re probably feeling a little panicked and stressed with everything you still have to do, despite all intentions to be organised this year.
But this year I do feel more organised than in the past, because there are a few things I did this year to ensure there wasn’t a last-minute panic about presents, or stresses about finances.
Here are 5 strategies you can put into place from Boxing Day this year, to make sure that next Christmas, everything runs smoothly.
1. Make good use of the Boxing Day sales.
Last Christmas we didn’t have a Christmas tree, as we went away for Christmas to visit my mum. But we had just moved into a bigger place, which meant that we could have had one, unlike in previous years. I knew that this Christmas we would have a tree, so I went to the Boxing Day sales last year, and I bought everything Christmassy that I could, on sale. I bought Christmas tree decorations, lights, wrapping paper, ribbon, Christmas crackers, and the list goes on. You can also stock up on presents in the sales, for next year. Just make sure you hide them well, and also don’t forget about them!
If you’re still not prepared for this Christmas, Christmas Warehouse will beat any price match by 10%. If you find an identical product somewhere else, they’ll not just match the price, but reduce it by a further 10%. It’s not too late to buy things at a cheaper price!
2. Buy throughout the year.
I tend to buy things throughout the year now. If I see something that I know someone I plan to buy for anyway would love, I buy it then and there, so it’s not a mad scramble at the end of the year to buy for everyone in one hit. It is also easier on the budget.
Also, whenever there is a toy sale at one of the big stores, I go to stock up on the things I want to buy for my daughter.
Toy Universe has sales running throughout the year, and I always keep an eye out for any sales on products I want for my daughter, or her friend’s birthdays.
3. Set up a savings plan for next year.
At the start of this year, I totally re-jigged my finances and set up different accounts for different things. I already had a dedicated account for day care fees, but I set up other accounts, one of which was specifically for Christmas and holidays. Firstly, I worked out how much I wanted to spend on Christmas, weekends away throughout the year, and holidays, and then I divided this into a fortnightly amount. Secondly, I set up an automatic transfer, so that each fortnight this amount was transferred into a separate account. This has definitely made this Christmas easier on my wallet (and stress levels). This way you don’t have a massive blow out at the end of the year, and it doesn’t throw your budget out the window.
4. Communicate with your ex now.
Christmas can be a really stressful time for separated parents, and blended families. Work out with your ex now (or in January if the tension is currently sky-high), what the Christmas plans are for next year. Having a plan in place is going to reduce the tension come later next year when stress levels are rising.
5. Plan for any holidays.
Christmas is actually a great time to get away. If you do have the kids next Christmas, maybe you want to think about renting a little house out at the beach? Or maybe you can start saving for that holiday in Fiji that you’ve always wanted? Or if you don’t have the kids, and you want to minimise the risk of feeling lonely and sorry for yourself, plan a trip away for YOURSELF! You don’t want to be alone and depressed on Christmas (see this blog post on getting through Christmas as a single parent), and as the day approaches next year, it will be something to really look forward to. Holidays don’t have to break the bank either. I always compare prices across numerous websites but have generally found Agoda to have the best specials.
The secret to a stress free Christmas, is planning ahead.
P.S DID YOU KNOW?
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