|16 Things to do before Christmas|
|Monday, 24 November 2014 00:00|
The Christmas list.
Yes it is time to start thinking about Christmas. Don't stress out by waiting for the last minute rush. The following are the top 16 things you can do now to make the holidays a little less stressful.
1. Christmas Cards. Make your own Christmas Cards using a photo of the children as the main artwork. Aim to have these made by end of November, as opposed to mid December which has been the case for the last couple of years.
2. Plan early. Sounds simple but the number one reason why people stress out during the holidays is because they put everything off until the last minute. Make a list. Decide early-on what you want to get everyone. By taking the time upfront to decide what to get everyone you insure that the gift you give isn't an afterthought which can be very expensive as well.
3. Set a budget. Let's face it, the Holidays can be expensive. We all have friends who go overboard during the holidays and end up paying off their credit cards for the rest of the following year.
4. Don't forget others in your life. Your maid, gardener, teachers, hairdresser, beautician are people too and deserve being recognised for their efforts this holiday season.
5. Do your Christmas grocery shopping in advance. This is somewhat of a no-brainer but I’ve known people to forget in the past and they are then frantically running around the nearest supermarket like they are on a free-for-all supermarket trolley dash! The beauty of getting everything as early as possible is that you do not have to worry about rushing about last minute as well as being able to avoid the manic queues both inside the stores and outside with the traffic. Christmas shopping may be a fairly mundane task to do but it is pretty much a mandatory thing to do as well as the fact that it is inevitable that you will need at least something from your nearest store. If you want my advice, go as early as possible, if you have a 24 hour store near you go at the dead of night, just try to avoid the huge queues, you can thank me later.
6. Plan your contribution to Christmas day. If you are hosting Christmas lunch or dinner then plan your menu now. If you are an invited guest then offer to take a dish to your host, next year they will be willing to bring a dish and make you day of cooking less of a load to bear.
7. Put up your Christmas decorations on the 1st December. You will enjoy your festive house for a longer period. Too often we put the same tired decorations up that we used last year and the year before and the year before that. Go out to a craft store and get something new. Spend some time with the kids and make some fun new decorations. Throw out your old tree lights and get some new ones. How many houses burn down because of old Christmas tree lights?
8. Photo with Santa. Take Your Kids To See Santa. Remember when you were a child and you were taken to see Santa? Remember how it felt? The excitement, then panic of thinking about which toy to ask for and the fear of wondering whether or not you had been ‘good’ enough throughout the year? Well if you’re now all grown up with your own children it means you can become a little nostalgic by taking your own kids to see Santa. It’s brilliant watching the faces of your little ones whilst there waiting in line to see Santa, and it’s one of the only queues you can stand in where the children will actually behave (sometimes). Not only is this a great thing to do for your children it also helps to reinforce the whole ‘Santa Claus is real’ debacle which keeps their imagination running wild. It’s important for children to be able to have a childhood and by taking them to see Santa you are actually feeding their imagination.
9. Be charitable to the less fortunate. This season give a little extra to help support the various charities. Stop by an eldercare facility with your kids and spend some time with someone new, you may make a new friend. Many if not most of these non-profit organisations depend on holiday giving to meet their annual budget.
10. Go out and buy a real Christmas tree. Everyone has different family traditions, maybe you have a fake Christmas tree instead of a real one, maybe you go out every year and buy one together as a family, get one early so you can enjoy it more.
11. Give unwanted toys to a children’s hospital. Christmas is a time for giving, and if you find yourself overrun with old Christmas toys from years ago then maybe you are thinking of throwing some of them out. You’d be surprised at how little can mean so much to a child especially one who has to spend their Christmas day in hospital. So if you are feeling genuinely generous and you want to give to others in this festive holiday then why not pack all those toys up and donate them today. The staff will thank you for it and the children will be thrilled. If you were to do just one item on this list before Christmas I think this should be it.
12. Put Christmas lights on the outside of your house. Every year it seems there are more and more people in the local neighbourhood who are competing for the “most lights on a house ever competition”. If you want to put some lights on your house then please do so, it really does help carry the festive mood.
13. Buy a present to give to a children’s charity. Santa Shoe Box is an excellent charity.
14. Give your unwanted clothes to a homeless shelter. We’ve all got old clothes from time to time right? Either we have just decided we no longer like them, or maybe you have lost a lot of weight (or put some on).
15. Bake some Christmas themed cookies for the kids. Christmas cookies, just like mince pies, Christmas cake, and mistletoe is now a tradition and it’s another great way to get the kids off the couch and into the kitchen so you can have some quality family time. They also make great stocking fillers for Gran and Grandpa.
16. Kiss someone underneath the Mistletoe. It is great for getting up close and personal with the love of your life and adding a little Christmas romance to the mix, plan a good few kisses under the Mistletoe. Be careful where you put the Mistltoe and remember where it is! The last thing you want is to receive a big sloppy kiss from your In-Laws!
article by : familydiary.co.za