Organised for Christmas – Guest Post from Marcia Francois
[Guest post from a friend who is much more organized than I am]
There are less than 3 months to Christmas.
When you think about that, what do you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed and just a little bit stressed at everything you have to do? Or do you feel excited at the idea of spending time with friends and family?
My best Christmasses have always been when I’ve been organised, prepared and more importantly, when I didn’t leave everything right up until December.
Here are a couple of things to consider so that you have an organised Christmas this year:
- Your vision for a great Christmas
Decide, together with your family, if you want to celebrate with many spiritual activities, spend time at home with just your immediate family, do lots of baking, etc.
- Christmas cards
Will you be sending cards by themselves, or with a family newsletter? Or will you be sending cards at all? Do you have a list of recipients?
- Christmas gifts
Will you be giving gifts this year? Are you making any gifts or are you buying them all? Do you have a gift-giving budget? Remember to budget for gift wrap, gift tags and, if necessary, postage to your loved ones who live in a different city.
- Christmas Day
Where will you spend the day – with your parents or his? Or will the family gather at your house? Who will cook the food? Which recipes will you use? Do you know where to find them?
How far in advance should you plan?
Well, that depends on how much stress you can tolerate J
Personally, I like to have gifts done by the end of October and cards by mid-November. That’s because I really don’t enjoy the stress of having to get the perfect gift with no time to spare. Add to that the crowded malls and you can practically see my blood pressure rising!
I like to start planning at the beginning of October and I set myself mini-goals of compiling my card list first, then planning backwards so I write out a certain number of cards per week until they’re all done by my self-imposed due date.
And I do the same for gifts. I also wrap a few gender-neutral gifts just in case someone pops around with something for me. It’s relaxing for me to prepare a beautifully-wrapped gift with a gift tag because I believe that presentation is part of the gift.
Something I do that has saved me lots of money is I no longer buy Christmas gift wrap. Instead, I buy red and green coloured craft paper and matching ribbon. I can use the paper year-round with a different bow so that it doesn’t look Christmassy for birthday gifts.
This year, get organised for Christmas with the 13-page Christmas Planner so you can welcome the season instead of dreading it.
Marcia Francois is a professional organiser who teaches busy people how to have more time, less stress and a more organised and fulfilled life. Visit www.takechargesolutions.org for your free Organise your Life e-book and the rest of your organising success pack. Marcia also blogs at Organising Queen and Clutter Control Freak