We all love Christmas but not making plans to prepare come holiday season is the road to disaster and stress. Here are a couple of simple ways to stay sane and silently sound the alarm for yourself in advance before December's big day.
1. For mall shopping, as much as possible, apply for a fixed, prepaid debit card loaded with your chosen budget rather than carrying cash around, for bazaar shopping carry your debit card and cash but don't shop alone for safety.
In both ways, prepaid debit or cash, you'll relieve yourself of the stress of upcoming credit bills to pay before the new year. When everything is as good as paid you can put your feet up and plan your new year when the hype of celebration settles.
2. Aim at all costs to get ALL your giftwrapping done at least one week or five days before Christmas.
Even if you need to pull a few late nights just to make it, it will be worth it saving yourself time and having the extra days to get every other holiday errand other than giftwrapping done before Christmas Eve.
3. If you're pressed for budget and time, it's okay to hack preparation for those holiday meals (take out, instant, whatever) except one special dish. To make things during holiday meals extra special, practice one yummy dessert recipe 2-3 days before Christmas then nail execution on Christmas eve.
I say dessert because usually dessert instructions are easier to follow if you aren't a natural cook. You follow everything exactly. It can be a refrigerator cake, pie, or a batch of cookies. Hack everything except that special dish and the nice thing about dessert is what you've made is good to serve for Christmas Eve and still okay to keep for Christmas Day.
4. Create a small kids' and pre-teens activity corner in whatever venue or home you are celebrating Christmas in. To create more harmony and peace on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day... let the younger nephews, cousins, and nieces see that you prepared for their visit. Designate an area for them out on a patio or in the corner of a living room with things to do, a home movie setup or a tent or teepee setup with stacks of books, board games, and engaging things for them to do.
A lot of the chaos happen when children have no idea where to camp on that special day, this way they'll know you thought of them and they'll gather and enjoy where they're less likely to break things or get in the way of preparations or sneakily open gifts before they're supposed to. Banish boredom and all will be well.
5. Designate a day just for writing Christmas cards even if just for your immediate family. The nearly buried art of writing heartfelt Christmas cards ought to be rediscovered. I love it when someone has taken the time to write a couple of lines just for me.
I am guilty of recently beginning to take this thoughtful act for granted. I don't even mind if a Christmas greeting comes scrawled on blank stationery, what's written to me is what counts the most.
ALSO READ: Cheat Sheet: Spark Your Joy—5 Ways To Curb Sad Vibes This Holiday Season