Ah Christmas! How in the past i’ve loathed the whole thing, I can’t stand the clutter, I don’t like the fuss and to be honest I dislike shopping. For me, its such an anti climax and it really feels like too much pressure. However, now the children have got older, I must admit that it is getting more enjoyable as they do so much enjoy the whole thing and get so excited in the morning opening their presents. TSB have asked me to write a bit about what we do in our house to make Christmas easier and what rituals we have in our household, they clearly didn’t know i’m St Albans version of Scrooge…
One of the things I’ve found which really helps me cope with it all is being organised and planning. I start thinking about Christmas gifts at the start of the year and each month I either buy something which I think will be appropriate for them or put aside a little bit of money. We usually have a big stockpile of Lego, Playmobil, books and computer games by the time Christmas arrives.
I must admit I do take advantage of those January sales for special offer cards, crackers and wrapping paper, it really saves a lot of money but also saves you from having to fight your way around the shops!
If you’d like to read some more useful money saving tips check out the TSB Christmas Guide.
When I get a present I make a note of what it is next to the persons name in my special notebook. I then wrap it up and clearly and securely label it. I’ve found this really helps me, as I find wrapping tons of gifts at once really quite traumatic and time consuming.
Nearer to Christmas, I try hard to secure an appropriately timed online grocery slot. There really is nothing worse than fighting your way around the supermarket! I tend to try to build up a few frozen vegetables and make roast potatoes to put in the freezer so I’ve got the basics ready to go.
The other things I consider well in advance, which have streamlined the whole thing for me, are making decorations for the tree and the teacher gifts which I prepare at half term with the children. I also make sure I book the annual panto tickets – this has become a tradition for us and the kids love it.
Coupled with all of this, I have to consider the children’s little rituals, there are things they now demand. The panto, an advent calendar- both chocolate and Playmobil, the reindeer food, a pillowcase for Santa’s gifts and a real tree laden with other gifts. Yorkshire puddings are demanded with the turkey and they enjoy making their own crackers with special gifts alongside my shop bought ones.
In my experience, there is such a lot to consider, but if you think about it wisely you can spread the cost and create a magical experience without too much stress. I’m actually very well organised this year (at least I think I am), just a few more cards to write but then I will be able to sit back and relax, until I have to cook dinner at least!