Christmas is looming ever larger on the horizon. It’s traditional for me to go into meltdown during December because, being the perfectionist that I am, I would like everything to be ‘just so’, but I already know that I simply cannot reach my own impossibly high standards (Monica Geller move over).
A few years ago I realised what I should have guessed long ago, i.e. preparation is the key to, if not a perfect Christmas, at least a relatively stress free Christmas. If you recognise yourself in my description above, you might want to do yourself a favour this year and follow my Christmas Countdown. Exact timing is not essential – this is not boot camp – but my prompts in the coming weeks are just that: prompts. Stick with me and we’ll get through this together ….smiling.
All that being said, where are we today?
Start thinking about Christmas cards.
This first prompt is for total homemaking novices: Do you have a Christmas card list? If not, make one – showing names and up-to-date addresses. It will obviously include family, friends and (wrack your brains here) anyone who sent to you unexpectedly last year. This list is gold dust. Keep it year on year, updating at the end of each year and it will save you hours of time. It tells you, at a glance, how many cards you need to order / buy, and you know that no one will be forgotten.
I’ve bought my cards (and Christmas wrapping paper) from favourite charities for years now. Charity cards used to be a bit ify in quality – not any more. If you order now you should have them by mid November at the latest. (Bear in mind that, certainly here in the UK, some overseas ‘guarateed’ posting dates are as early as the end of November/start of December). The following are just a suggestion of charities that have some nice cards available, but there are loads of worthy causes to choose from: Save the Children (UK), RSPCA (UK), RNLI (UK), Cancer Research (UK)
Finally, if you’re happy to give family and friends something from a ‘wish list’ as opposed to a surprise present you have picked out, try and prompt them to start thinking about what they’d like, maybe give you a few pointers or begin compiling a wish list.