Christmas time can get busy, even if you're super organized. There is lots to be done: presents to consider, family gatherings to plan for, food to prepare, decorations to put up.
The good news is that you don’t have to be caught off guard this Christmas. You can start planning and preparing right now. Yes, this year you can ace it with the right advice. Here are 10 things you can start to do in preparation for the upcoming Christmas season… even though it’s only October.
10 Write a list of festive season goals
Not everyone is a list person, but everyone can learn to become more list-oriented. Having goals for this Christmas season will make you more conscious of the efforts you put in as the season approaches.
As a mom, you want to stay on top of Christmas. Writing lists will also ensure your year end is productive, and not just a time to crash and burn out. What are your goals? Do you want to bring the family together? To make your own decorations? To have a themed Christmas party? Write them all down.
9 Budget for the season
Many people get to Christmas and fall prey to the big rush of the whole season – frivolously spending here and there without even meaning to. Why not sit down and work out how much you're willing to spend?
Moms and dads can determine how much they would like to spend for each child and how much they are willing to spend for entertainment and parties, and food, over the season. Don’t overstep your budget trying to "keep up with the Joneses" or trying to please the kids.
8 Decide some personal goals
A mom is more likely to survive the festive season madness if she schedules in some personal, well-considered goals. Maybe you want to use the holiday to pursue a personal goal, like writing or running.
It’s good to harness the energy of the season towards these goals as having a plan like this in mind will help you to feel like you are breaking ground in terms of personal development... even when the rush of the season might make you feel like you're losing your mind. Plan how you will fit 20 or 30 minutes into each day during the holidays so you can pursue these goals. When 2020 begins, you'll already be a step ahead.
7 Make a Christmas cake
Christmas cake is like a good wine, it’s been said. This is because some cakes can mature over time, meaning you should begin them a few months before Christmas time. A Christmas cake should be made a few months in advance so that it can be left to mature which will improve the taste.
People recommended starting it three months ahead, so get baking! After it's ready, you can pop it into the freezer. When you're ready to decorate it, take it out and you will have the perfect Christmas cake.
6 Start making gifts for family and friends
Many people go away over the holidays, so it’s a good idea to give them a Christmas present before they leave for the holiday. Also, working moms will want to give their colleagues gifts before the office closes to celebrate the occasion. For this reason, it’s great to start thinking of gifts.
To cut back on costs, moms can make gifts with their children’s help. Why not buy some beads and make special necklaces or bracelets, or make jars of chutney or jam with special festive lids for friends and family.
5 The Christmas star
Why not hold a competition among family and friends, or colleagues, to see who can design the best Christmas star in the run-up to Christmas? Your Christmas tree is going to look stunning with home-made decorations, so go the whole way in terms of impressiveness, by determining to give it the best star to crown its splendour.
Send out emails announcing the competition and let everyone get to work. When everyone gathers for the Christmas party, the winner can be the one to put their star on top of the tree at a special family prize-giving.
4 Make your own decorations
Why not cut out on expenses this Christmas by making your own decorations? This way, your children’s excitement for Christmas can be steadily built up as they begin to make the decorations for your home and for the tree.
Plan what they will make each week, so that by December when the decorations go up, everything is in order. Some suggestions are hanging lanterns from paper, paper chains, snowflakes made from paper with golden thread.
3 Clean The House
You might have spring cleaned, or missed the annual spring clean, but preparation for Christmas means getting your house in order. Keep a box or boxes on hand while you clean. They can be marked accordingly for unwanted or unused items: Toys, Kitchen Appliances, etc.
Keep these in mind while you are cleaning, and place toys, clothes and other items no longer used in the boxes. After cleaning and ensuring your house is in order for your Christmas guests, have a look through the boxes and determine who you can bless this Christmas with Christmas parcels and donations.
2 Have your photo taken
Many photography companies are now taking Christmas-themed snapshots, and have props, such as Christmas hats, ready for people who want to have photos taken with their small children. These are great Christmas presents. Dress your child in their best clothes, or in theme-appropriate clothes (preferably an outfit that matches yours) and head on down to the photography studio.
When the photos come out, buy some old frames and get the kids to decorate them. You can use noodles painted with gold to add texture to the frames’ edges. Get bling and glitter and make an extra special and super personal gift.
1 Get the art kit out
Children love to be creative and this should be encouraged. Why not determine that this Christmas, instead of using social media, or emails to send Christmas greetings, that you will send personalized Christmas cards.
These should be sent end of November/beginning of December so that recipients can put them on display as part of their Christmas décor. Use lots of paint and decorations, and if your child can write, allow them to write a special, personalized message.