Although it might be getting closer and closer to Christmas already, it’s never too late to start being prepared, no matter how stressed you might be feeling about the season. If you’re starting to get overwhelmed by Christmas, you’re not alone. Just remember, it’s meant to be a fun time full of laughter and joy, not a time to overspend, overeat, and overcomplicate things.
This is why being prepared is so useful. Of course, the earlier you can start your preparations, the better. Some people even start in the summer, but it’s never too late to get things in order and get everything done. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can prepare for Christmas, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Work Out a Budget
The first thing you need to do is to work out your budget. This is crucial because, unless you know how much you can comfortably spend, you can easily go overboard and find you’re lacking funds for the bills that still need to be paid in December, Christmas or not.
Some of the things to include in your budget are:
- Trips out including parties
- Postage for cards and gifts
Have a set amount to spend in each section that adds up to your total budget. Some areas, such as gifts, will need a larger percentage of the budget, whereas postage and perhaps parking fees for trips to the mall will need less, so you can work things out accordingly.
Use Your Calendar
December can get very busy very quickly. That means you’ll need to know what you’re doing and when and make sure you hit all your deadlines. Using a calendar is the ideal way to stay on top of what has to be done.
When we say calendar, we do mean a paper wall chart, not an app or something on your laptop or phone. With a physical calendar, you can put it somewhere prominent and check it regularly without forgetting. You can add and remove things easily and make notes. It might seem a bit old school, but it works and can make a big difference to your stress levels.
Decide on Food
There are several ways you can cater for Christmas. One is to prepare a huge Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, which is ideal for Christmas Day. Another option is to have a buffet set out with lots of different Christmas party food ideas. Or, you could do both, if people are going to be with you all day and into the evening. Think about what would be easiest for you and what your guests would like, and make sure you consider all your recipes, so you know what to do and how to do it. Preparing as much of the food ahead of time as possible is the best option, saving you worry and allowing you to be with your guests more.
Buy Gifts Early
Food can be stressful at Christmas, but it is the gifts that often cause us more worry. Not only are they expensive, but some people are just incredibly hard to buy for. They don’t need anything, they don’t even want anything, and you’re reluctant to give cash or a gift card because you want them to open a gift.
This is why it’s best to start shopping for gifts as early as possible. Start in January if you want to and spend almost a year searching and buying. This means you’re sure to find something that’s just right, but as well as that, you can spread the cost, helping your budget too.