One way or another Christmas is slowly but surely chugging our way so it’s definitely time to embrace the fact! We are confirmed fans of this time of year, but if you’re somewhat dreading it, then chances are it’s because you find it a bit overwhelming with a million and one things to do. Don’t let things get on top of you this December though – we’re here to help you have a delightful one!
Although nobody wants to feel frazzled around this time of the year, unfortunately a lot of us do. There are ways to remedy this though, so here are some of our favourite and easy to follow tips that will have you dancing around the Christmas tree.
Fill the freezer
We’ve all seen those Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson programmes that see them cooking up sumptuous Christmas feasts and thought to ourselves ‘no chance’! But actually, if you take a leaf or two out of their book, it is easier than you think to create a culinary masterpiece, and you won’t even need to be chained to the kitchen all day to do it.
The key is not to do everything on the one day – remember you’ve got a freezer so make good use of it. Veggies, stuffing, gravy, and trimmings like the all-important pigs in blankets, can all be made now and will just need to be cooked on the day. Other things like the Christmas pud, the boozy fruit cake and cranberry sauce will last just fine too so spend a little time doing them now to avoid feeling rushed in December.
Maybe you’ve giggled in the past at the people who put up their decorations as soon as December the 1st hits, but there are some distinct advantages to doing it this way. Chances are you’ve got a bit more time at this point in the month, plus you’ll get to enjoy the decorations longer. December sees a lot more friends and family dropping in too so it’ll be a satisfying feeling to know that your home is full of the festive spirit! The 1st falls on a Friday this year, so you can easily decorate over the weekend.
If you plan on getting a real tree rather than a false one, of course you won’t be able to put it up along with your other decorations at the start of the month. However, you can have all your baubles and tinsel ready, the stand and star looked out, and the fairy lights detangled and tested for blown bulbs.
It’s ok to cut corners
There’s something about this time of the year that convinces many of us that we all need to become domestic gods and goddesses with home-made mulled wine, fresh home baking from scratch and beautifully wrapped gifts. You don’t have to over-burden yourself with things though, and especially if you’ve got a job and a family it can be almost impossible to squeeze all of these things in, particularly as we get closer to December 25th.
So we’re here to say that it’s ok to cut corners! If you want to bake mince pies for example, use pre-made pastry and filling – they’re going to taste great no matter what! And shop-bought ones are absolutely fine – just pop them in the microwave for a moment and they’ll be meltingly delicious (just remember to remove the foil case first!). We are so lucky that there are so many great products out there that make Christmas, especially the food, so simple, so do take advantage of them.
And as for the gift wrapping which we’ve already talked about here, if you have managed to leave it to the last minute then don’t spend your Christmas Eve up all night with the sticky tape, use foil instead. Quick, convenient and festively silver, not to mention cheap, it also makes wrapping more difficult shapes simple.
Scheduling & saying no
The reason that we can find it so tricky to fit in all of these festive domestic duties is because there are so many parties and events in December, from Nativity plays to office Christmas parties and more. Make sure that you keep note of everything and keep your scheduling well organised to avoid double booking and to ensure you can actually enjoy the events!
And if you think that you’re going to be stretched too thin, then it is fine to be realistic and say no. Sure Christmas is all about seeing and friends and family but there is no point forcing yourself to go to things which you’ll be too tired to enjoy! So don’t feel guilty about refusing invitations around this time of year – people understand that it’s a busy time.
Like with gift wrapping, we’ve previously sang the praises of online shopping, and since it is so convenient and such a time-saver, we’re going to sing them again! Not only is hitting the shops online perfect for tracking down all of those gifts without having to brave the seasonal queues, but it is also wonderful for making your grocery shopping easier.
Big supermarkets of course offer online shopping with really competitive delivery costs, so make the most of it. It’s easy to find exactly what you need, you’re much more likely to stick to your shopping list and you can make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything before you click to buy. Our one word of caution though is to book your delivery slot well ahead of time since other savvy shoppers will have the same idea!
Choosing your drop-dead-gorgeous outfit
Just like we’ve already mentioned, December is one party-filled month so it is a smart idea to get your drop-dead-gorgeous outfit (or outfits) sorted now. And with big shopping events like Black Friday happening soon, it could be the perfect chance to nab that unmissable bargain.
And as usual we’re going to recommend shopping online since it’s certainly less hassle and will give you access to a wider range of retailers. To make the most of your money, it’s a good move to shop online on a site that features multiple brands and fashion pieces since that way you’ll have a much bigger choice, and are more likely to get the best deal. If like us you love saving money especially around this time of the year, then we recommend that you check out these fashion bargains at Groupon for codes, promotions and more that can help you make the most of your buck. Now is one of the best times to find your dream outfit that’ll have you feeling and looking glam!
Having a delightful December really comes down to just being a bit organised, which is something anyone can achieve. As we slip into the second half of November, it’s the ideal time to get on top of things, so start thinking about your Christmas game plan now! You’ll find that things will seem much smoother come December.