Some simple tips to help you create a stress free Christmas by The Organised Housewife.
We all have visions of a perfect Christmas Day, kids laughing, delicious food on the table and everybody is having a great time. We have high expectations that the kids will love every present received and won't be disappointed, family will enjoy being in each others company and that you have time to serve a full Christmas feast, but this is what makes the day so stressful. Create some realistic expectation to help ensure a stress free Christmas.
4 things not to do this Christmas
Reality is time usually get's in the way, we can make a fuss over how we decorate the house, the time spent on Christmas shopping or the meal we put on the table on Christmas day, but the extra time you spend fussing is time that could be spent relaxing and enjoying the holiday season with your loved ones. Take a step back and simplify your Christmas.
1. Don't over decorate
Putting up the Christmas tree is such a fun tradition to do as a family, and this is certainly not the area of Christmas to do less off, enjoy this moment. However, don't spend hours decorating the rest of the house by putting Christmas ornaments on every surface especially if you don't have time, or don't enjoy so much Christmas around you. Reduce the amount of decorations around your home, or keep it to one area. Remember just because you have them doesn't mean you need to put them all out on display. This will free up some time and won't make cleaning the house between now and when the decorations come down too hard.
2. Don't spend too much time in the kitchen
It's so easy to get carried away making many Christmas treats, cooking a turkey, making sides and creating some scrumptious desserts, however, to do all this alone would mean some long sessions in the kitchen. It's not so bad if you have helpers, such as kids or other family members, this is special time to spend together. However, if you find yourself preferring to be elsewhere than cooking in the kitchen, look over your cooking/baking list and see if you can make some shortcuts, here's some ideas:
- Purchase cold meat that all you need to do is slice on Christmas day, rather than cooking for hours in the oven.
- Simplify recipes, if you want to make meals from scratch use recipes with little ingredients, not only will this save you money it will take less time to prepare.
- Get the kids to help prepare a dish, they will enjoy showing off their clever kitchen skills to their relatives. These kid friendly Santa hat brownies look delicious, find the recipe here.
- Ask your guests to bring a plate. Let them know which dish you would like them to bring to prevent you from having too many desserts and not enough side dishes. You don't need to do everything yourself and guest are usually more than happy to help.
- Find recipes that are super easy and require little prep time, I love these pita bread Christmas trees. You can find more easy appetisers here.
Wanting to make homemade gifts for family, consider making some of these easy edible gifts or create a production line to make the process quicker. Find Christmas cookies in a jar recipe here.
- Buy non-perishable food items in advance and order the remaining online, as the supermarkets are very busy on Christmas Eve, spend less time with the crowd and more time at home with the family.
- If you’re catering to a large crowd consider a buffet style menu.
3. Don't overspend
Between decorating the house, buying presents and all the food for the Christmas table, it can all add up. Take some time to create a budget considering all areas of Christmas. Consider some of the following options:
- only buy gifts for children
- play some fun Christmas gift games, try these new ways to play Secret Santa.
- set a limit on the cost of present for each person
- create a gift list so your not spending time remembering who you have to buy for and the possibility of forgetting somebody
4. Don't forget to plan
Planning is always key to reducing stress, being that there is so much to prepare at Christmas you can't rely on your memory, use a to-do list and your calendar to help you remember your events and things to do.
- Write all Christmas events in your diary, mothers group end of your party, school Christmas assembly, work Christmas parties and more. Remember... you don't need to attend all events, it's OK to say no.
- Write out a list of all those you need to buy gifts for, and it's always a good idea to buy one or two extra little gifts for those who give you an unexpected present.
- plan to do your Christmas shopping on a weekday, as it's usually chaotic on the weekends.
- If you have to go to the shops on a weekend, get there half hour before the shops open so you can easily get a park, then get a coffee while you wait as the coffee shops are usually open very early each morning. This is a huge frustration saver tip, especially if you don't like searching for car parks!
- do your Christmas shopping as early as you can to avoid disappointment of not being able to find an item.
- if you are going to spend some time in the kitchen on Christmas day, create a timeline and order of when you need to start cooking items.
Mostly ensure that you the host get to spend some quality time with your family, sit down, relax and enjoy the moment.
Written by Katrina Springer – The Organised Housewife
Kat has a passion for organising and baking. She shows how she manages her home, family and more via her blog The Organised Housewife, one of Australia’s most popular parenting blogs. Kat inspires and helps her readers to create systems and routines from organisation to cleaning, sharing how she stays in control at home through cleaning tips, organising ideas, family friendly recipes, printable charts and more.
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