Paula Scott

Paula Scott

Feb 27, 2023. 5 mins read

Home Life

How to Get a Massive Jumpstart on Christmas Preparations, so You Have Time to Actually Enjoy the Holidays

This is not a drill. And let's start by saying no one has lost their mind, yet. This is a – clever – suggestion to begin preparing for Christmas, like, now. Before rolling your eyes and clicking the X at the top of the screen, pause and consider the benefits! Every year, promises are made about being proactive and getting the end-of-year Christmas act together by October. Still, despite best intentions, it most likely has never happened.

thinking_planning_santa

So, why not try a different approach for Christmas 2023? It may seem ridiculously early, but with a little organisation, it can be an enjoyable holiday season for the mums because the dads shouldn't be the only ones that get to relax – right?! And, maybe while last year's debacle is still so fresh, the motivation can be found to get moving?! Reckon, it's worth a try? Let's dive in and save a whole whack of stress and money.

1. Make a List and Check it Twice

First things first, as they say. Start with a CHECKLIST. Add every little item that goes into making the holiday season magical. The beauty of this step is that it can be reused every year, so the effort spent now is time saved year after year. Even knowing all that is required, some things can be missed until Christmas Eve – eek! So please make a list, check it twice, and assign tasks and reminder dates. This will keep the holiday festivities on track. And who knows, you may get to go out to a movie before the holiday chaos begins? Dare to dream, friends. Dare to dream.

2. Gift Apps Simplify Everything

It's difficult to remember what Aunt Stella mentioned in June that she just loved/ wished she had, and guess what? Thanks to the many gift-giving apps available, you can keep a record of who's getting what and when. They can keep track of your ever-growing list of people you need to buy for, from the ankle biters to the star educator at childcare – if you're that way inclined, no pressure! It also keeps track of your budget (yes, there should be one of those) and checks them off as you go. Now, if only an app could brave the shops, we'd be on to something!

3. Never. Ever. Pay. Full. Price

Everyone loves a good sale, so why not put it to good use for the holidays? Christmas does not need to break the bank, but if left until the last minute, those hard-to-find items can also be tough on your wallet. Boxing Day into the New Year is the best time to buy Christmas decorations. It's often 50-75% off the marked price. Yes, please! Throughout the year, watch those End of Financial Year sales, Black Friday sales, Anniversary Sales, etc. Subscribe to alerts for your loved one's favourite brands and compare prices over time. Even source quality or unused second-hand items through Sassybae and box them beautifully for the little ones. They're so young they haven't a clue; there are plenty of years ahead to spend big in the future! If it's done right, a whole bunch of money can be saved, and that trip you've been dreaming about becomes a little more possible! 

4. Don't Get Stuck Staying Home for the Holidays

Plan WHERE to spend the holidays. If it's close to home, decide which house this year. Is there enough room? Enough tables? Chairs? Do you need to rent these items? Or if a beach vacay is on the agenda, it would be a good idea to start looking at options now. Whether it's a resort stop in Bali or a snow-filled jaunt to Japan, hotels can book up fast for popular destinations. Start planting the seed with the family now – if they are invited – so they can also plan accordingly. If a big group is travelling, it is even more essential to plan ahead and book accommodation that will house the whole crew! Take a look at Airbnb

You should also be keeping an eye on discount flights. Basic economics plays into this game; when demand is high, the prices go up. Don't wait and leave until the last minute; otherwise, you will be paying top dollar for a flight you could have spent half if you bought in that sweet spot. Also, make sure to plan your holiday leave from work asap. For some workplaces, the early bird gets the worm. Planning ahead might get you those choice days you may have missed out on if you leave it until October! You already don't like Sally in the next cubicle. If she snakes your vacay days, all bets will be off.

5. Deck the Halls Without Breaking the Bank 

Have a BUDGET… and stick to said budget. One way to relieve some of that pressure is to sock away a few bucks every month for the Christmas fund. $ 100 a month is $1200 in December. Start now and thank your future self later. 

Some savvy mothers pay extra on their mortgage each month so they can skip December. Think of it like a little Christmas treat to yourself! Also, there are lots of loyalty programs that you can – and should – take advantage of. Points programs have come a long way with improvements to Coles Flybuys and Woolies Everyday Rewards. Collect points as you make purchases throughout the year, maximise booster points each week (but ensure not to buy things just for the sake of points) and claim them in December. It adds up, and if you're buying there anyway, why not get these shops working for you! This shopper paid $62 for a $602 checkout bill. Who doesn't like that? Another great way to save money is a Secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying every one of your 10 nieces and nephews a prezzie. It saves money, and it's fun! Win-win.

6. Don't try to be superwoman

A mum can only do so much, so it's time to delegate. Mums often find it hard to admit that they are overwhelmed when they're so used to doing it all, but trust that by delegating tasks to everyone that is partaking in the festivities, you will be able to enjoy the magic a little more this year. Because mums deserve it. If you are the host again this year, don't hesitate to ask Cousin Bob and his wife to bring the mashies or ask your sister to be on dessert duty. Let hubs and the kids help decorate this year, even if the thought of it makes you twitchy. Just go back and move a few things when they aren't looking. Everyone knows it takes a village to raise the wee ones, but it also can – and should – be said that it takes a village to pull off Christmas.

Conquering the Chaos of Christmas

No question, Christmas and the end of the year are a hell lotta work, but with a little – well, maybe more than a little – preplanning, you CAN be prepared and organised this time. The holidays are all about believing, and if you believe, you can make it happen. Yes, it might be a Christmas miracle, but isn't that what the holidays are about? Can't you hear the sleigh bells?!

Paula Scott

Paula Scott

Active mum of 2 . Wife . Research Nerd . World Traveller . Adventure Seeker

Loves writing about fashion, travel, parenting, must-have products, and music. She can be found chasing her children, playing tennis, at the beach, or at a concert. Loves to eat. Hates to cook.

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