Well, December is here… The kids are bouncing off the walls, and we’re all busy working; so how do we stay sane over the next three weeks?
Parents apparently have to remember about twenty five family relating things a day. So, when you add in work, our list of things to remember grows immensely. Then, if you start to factor in preparing Christmas for the kids then the number could double again.
So, how can we keep up with everything without cracking under the strain? Well, you’re a parent, so that already makes you partially superhuman now doubt; so what else can you do over the next three weeks to keep your sanity intact?
How are you going to remember everything? Well, if you rely upon your memory alone then you’re preparing for a fall.
Get everything down on paper as soon as you think of it; make sure it’s somewhere like a diary or calendar that you are not going to mislay. Failing that, go for an electronic version like siri or amazon echo.
Plan in advance. Make yourself a list with subheadings like presents to buy, food to get, childcare arrangements for the holidays etc.
Place a deadline bay each category; it will instantly make you more oganised and will cater for tasks like overseas postage… And remember deadlines for Christmas shouldn’t involve the 24th December as you’ll only live to regret it.
Cards. If you child can write their own cards, make sure that you let them. Get them to create their own christmas card list; for younger ones it is a great way of getting them to practice their spellings and handwriting. Don’t for get teachers and teaching assistants.
School gifts. Many people have got into the habit of buying gifts for teachers at Christmas, or for friendship groups. If you feel yourself being drawn into this, then why not make it an inexpensive craft event for your child(ren) by getting them to make something. A cheap frame from for a budget store with a photograph inside makes for an inexpensive yet person gift.
Presents: Online shopping is the key to reducing stress if you get it completed in the next week or so. Following Black Friday events around the Nation there are still lots of online bargains to be had, but be mindful of delivery dates and ratings before relying upon online shops.
If however, you are they type who prefers endless exposure you countless christmas songs on loop and queues, then save some stress and time by planning in advance. Plan what you’re going to buy for who, how much you want to spend and where you are going to buy from.
Consider booking a half day or full day off from work to hit the shops when they are quieter; weekends are inherently busy this time of year. Make the shopping experience as stress free as possible; go with a friend and stop for a coffee – ‘shopping til you drop’ without a break will just increase stress levels.
Remember, as sad as it may sound, this could be your last child free days this year – make the most of it!
When shopping, consider if toys look particularly difficult and time consuming to put together, or if they are going to need batteries – these kind of things can make or break the joviality of Christmas morning.
School: Find out as early as possible when plays and other performances are being held; you might need to ask for time off from work or at least a different lunch break and early notice will make this easier.
If you’re involved in helping with your child’s costume, try and keep things simple! Don’t view the school play as a test of your parental skills as you’ll just exhaust yourself in the process.
Childcare: A number of childcare day nurseries close for Christmas and child minders may not be around either. You may have family and/or friends with time off over the festive period that can help if you are unable to take time off of work.
Perhaps you can reduce time off of work by sharing childcare with the parents of you child(ren)’s friends.
Food: This is another area of essential planning is needed so you’re not driving miles the day before Christmas to get Grandad’s favourite Christmas tipple that has sold out locally.
That said it’s a fine line as you may also be able to bag some bargains in the days leading up to Christmas as they prepare to close for the day.
All in all, I guess it pretty much depends on how hung up you are on the traditional trimmings likes of your family members.
Remember, the Christmas Dinner is just a single meal and after all you need to spend some quality time with your children on the day… Don’t overdo the quantities; everyone gets tired of eating the left-overs after a day or two.
Make sure you make the most of your planning by giving yourself much needed breaks during month.
If you’re ahead of the game and getting everything done early then make time for a family night in with popcorn, pizza and a movie; the kids will love the fact that you’re making the lead up to Christmas fun.
So, lets all get our Christmas planning under our belts alongside our day to day jobs of parent and worker.