Are you the kind of person who always has Christmas covered from September? Always have everything bought and wrapped, and thinking you can chill. Then find yourself more stressed because you have nothing to left to buy? While looking at everyone around you in a frenzy, desperate to get their shopping done with only a week left until the big day. Finding yourself buying more presents because you feel you need to keep having the buy buy buy bug?

Well, I used to be the most organised Christmas person ever! I had everything covered, and you know what over a period of ten years trying to perfect this and that, I was stressed to death! Why might you say? Well because I just kept putting more and more pressure on myself. There is a saying that goes No-one is harder on me than me, So if you’re panicking because you haven’t made your Christmas cake yet, or you haven’t even thought about what your Auntie Nora wants to open on the big day, STOP.

 

Last year was the second year I haven’t been completely finished by the end of October. I did ninety-nine percent of my Christmas shopping in independent shops. That means there was no awful queue to get in the big shopping centre. There was no mad pushing and shoving, or crowds. I wandered around slowly, and pottered where I wanted to go, and picked up lovely presents. So if you’re fed up of feeling frazzled by the time the big day arrives follow my top tips for a pleasant time and pour yourself a little tipple and relax.

Tip 1 Think about what you want to get out of Christmas. Write a list of what makes you happy at Christmas, and what makes you stressed. Work on how you can change your stress list into more positive things. So if you can’t get away from seeing that family member who always winds you up, then try to do a positive activity after you have seen them to brighten your mood.

Tip 2 Buy the same present for multiple people. You may think this is not going to work, but if I have a few people around the same age, liking the same kind of things, I always do this. So that Caramel Vodka I am putting in quite a few bottle bags this year.

Tip 3 Children should be given thoughtful presents because they will always remember growing up, who put the effort into their big day. Saying that it’s so good to be creative and think of top trend presents they are going to love. I always like to be that cool Auntie who just had to get the How to be the best ‘Bubble Writer’ ever book!

Tip 4 Shop independently not only are you helping local business survive, but you won’t have endless queues, you won’t have to fight your way out of the car park to get home. I love shopping in little shops and giving them my custom, and they always appreciate this, they always remember you.

Tip 5 Buy a massive roll of brown paper, looks the part, and then you won’t need to worry about running out of wrapping paper. Then you can add all different kinds of bows in all different colours. You can even buy this from your local Post Office. I Love using Brown paper, and if you’re like me and love a colour theme, (well I am always looking at colour) then you can alternate your parcels to have brown paper and a pretty patterned one! To make it look even more snazzy, you could add some fresh foliage, looks gorgeous and always looks straight out of a magazine.

Tip 6 Save up your brown paper bags throughout the year and then cut up into pieces that can fit through your shredder! yes, this trick saves a fortune when doing hampers for people. I always like to do small hampers, whether it be filled with beer, or preserves and this trick really does work. I have also found that when you are shopping in independent shops, they are more likely to give you a brown bag.

Tip 7 Save shoe boxes so you can use wrapping paper to cover them. Then use your paper bag filling to fill it, and create the perfect hamper! Also saving shoe boxes you can always do the Shoe Box Appeal.

Tip 8 Tired of sending 100 Christmas cards out? and thinking how much it has all cost? Then my advice is don’t send any cards. Think of a good cause you would like to put your money into instead. Last year I put up a notice on social media to inform everyone that they wouldn’t get a card, that I was using all the money for the Homeless Shoe Box Appeal. The money I saved, I managed to fill 3 shoe boxes, and I felt really good doing something for someone.

Tip 9 Christmas is supposed to be fun, so if your super stressed you’re not going to enjoy it. Try and share out the workload so you get some me time, and feel relaxed.

Tip 10 Learn to say no, understand that you can say no, and it is ok.

Tip 11 Mix up your traditions you always have, as when you keep the same traditions, it’s hard to adapt when situations change. I would say mix up what you plan, so your not stressing to get those last theatre tickets, because you have always been. Instead, think of something new to do each year so you can experience new things around Christmas.

Tip 12 Don’t be afraid to buy food to make your life easier. If you haven’t got time to make a Christmas cake then buy one. Or even better find someone who loves making them and get them to do it.

In the end, no one will remember all the things you stressed about in years to come, they will remember if you were smiling and having fun x x

My favourite wrapping things to do……..

Have Christmas music on, sing songs, eat mince pies, (preferably not getting them on the wrapping paper!) buy lots of different coloured ribbon, buy or even make cool gift tags, have It’s a Wonderful Life film on in the background, while swearing because the gift won’t fit the wrapping paper! Oh and have a glass of Sherry! Have fun peeps x

Photos via Abi Dare, and Decorator’s Notebook

 

 

 

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