Mum reveals the things to do now for a stress-free Christmas
Do you feel ready for Christmas and relaxed at the thought of the upcoming festivities?
Or are you tearing your hair out, looking at everyone online going all out for the big day while you’re still trying to work out how it’s already Christmas when we only just had Easter?
Things can start to feel a little overwhelming as we head into the busiest couple of weeks of the year, especially if it’s your first year of hosting a bubble thanks to you-know-what and you have no idea how to get everything ready on time.
But stress shouldn’t ruin the big day.
The best way to protect yourself from Christmas Day overwhelm is preparation.
This list of things to do now for a stress-free Christmas will have you sorted, so you can enjoy the magic of Christmas and the end of 2020.
Take stock of food
Have a proper dig around your fridge, freezer, and cupboards and take stock of what’s there, so you have room for the Christmas food needed and don’t buy duplicates.
Then you can meal plan for Christmas day and the days around it.
This is when you can get excited about all the amazing food you’re going to eat, so enjoy the process.
If you haven’t already, think about ordering your turkey and booking a Christmas food delivery slot for the day before.
Sort out your car
Make sure your car is in good working order if traveling – tires are okay, fuel, oil and water, wiper fluid etc. The last thing you want is to not be able to get to where you need to be on Christmas day.
Arrange delivery of gifts to make this strange Christmas feel special
Think of those you won’t be able to see because of bubble restrictions and plan something special for them– a special hamper delivery with some homemade treats, Christmas carols from the end of the garden path, perhaps some mince pies.
Write and send your Christmas cards
Royal Mail’s latest recommended posting dates for delivery in the UK in 2020 are: Friday, December 18 for second class mail. Monday, December 21 for first class mail. Wednesday, December 23 for special delivery.
Don’t delay – get those cards written and sent now so you don’t have that horrible moment on Christmas Day when you realise you’ve forgotten to write to your nan.
Plan your outfit
Plan your Christmas outfits now to save stress nearer the time – shop your wardrobe or thrift for new festive clothes.
Thank delivery drivers
Ahead of Christmas, show your appreciation for delivery drivers and others who have worked hard this year.
Some little sweets parcels on the doorstep or a bottle of something nice are a great way to say thanks.
Book an outdoor event
Many things will be different this year, but we can still make it special.
A visit to Santa is sure to raise Christmas spirits, so get this booked in if you haven’t already.
Start batch cooking
Batch cook sausage rolls, mince pies, stuffing etc. to save you time on the day. Simply pop in the oven to heat up.
It’s also a good idea to prep potatoes and veg the day before to save time on peeling and chopping. Store in a bowl of water in the fridge or covered box in the garden and you’ll be saving hours on the big day.
Make a Christmas wreath or a garland with items from the garden or a woodland walk. Gift to an elderly neighbour or have a great night in with girlfriends to do it together if allowed or over Zoom.
Make reindeer food from porridge oats and biodegradable glitter to sprinkle out the night before if you have children, or pack up a Christmas eve hamper filled with hot chocolate, a Christmas movie and a bedtime story.
Plan your Christmas movie marathon
Who remembers doing this with the Radio Times when they were little?
Get thinking about what you want to watch over the festive period and get cosy under the blanket.
Make sure you don’t just assume a film is on Netflix – use this time to double check how you’ll watch each movie on your list to avoid disappointment on the day.
Stock up on supplies
The last thing you want to happen mid-wrapping marathon is to run out of sticky tape.
Make sure you have enough supplies in such as Sellotape, tin foil, batteries – and an extra roll of wrapping paper, because running out is inevitable!
Work out your budget
Avoid money-related stress on Christmas by working out exactly what you’ve spent and how much more is needed for all your presents, food, decorations, and so on.
Once that’s sorted, now is the best time to budget for next Christmas. Take half an hour to write down what you’ve spent and work out your 2021 budget. Then, you can use this knowledge to set yourself a saving challenge for the year ahead.
Don’t forget to head over to my blog, my YouTube channel and Instagram for daily money saving advice, tips and hacks for living your best life on a budget.
For more money-saving advice as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join Metro.co.uk’s Facebook group, Money Pot.
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