To keep Christmas as stress free as possible, I start buying my presents in the Boxing Day sales and spread the cost throughout the year when I see items on offer.
Don’t do more than you need to. Do you really need to write the million and one Christmas cards that you usually do? We have been in our house for 4 years and still get birthday and Christmas cards for the previous owner, how many people are you sending to that aren’t receiving them anymore? As well as being cheaper, saving on the cards and stamps it will save you precious time. My Mum, instead of spending on cards, gives the money that she would have spent to a charity each year.
Do your shopping online, this way you miss the chaos of everyone scrambling over each other and don’t get tempted by products that aren’t on your list, making it easier to keep to a budget. If you are cooking a big Christmas dinner for the family, get as much prepared as you can before hand. Try to keep the jobs on Christmas Day to a minimum, it should be a day that you enjoy and spend time as a family, don’t be running around like a headless turkey. Prepare the veg the day before and get the children to help you. Make it a fun family activity that you can all partake in. Families Online have put together this infographic to help you prepare for a stress free Christmas dinner.
On Christmas Day the children will most probably have new toys to keep them entertained. To try and keep them entertained in the run up to Christmas as I mentioned before, get them to help you with the preparation. Make the boring household chores into a game with the first person to have finished a certain job being the winner.
For other Christmas activities for children that don’t cost a fortune, do some baking, make cookies that they can present to the family on Christmas Day. Go out for a walk, wrap up warm and go exploring in the woods, this will also give you some time to unwind. Make a treasure hunt by taking the children’s existing toys and hiding them around the house, tell your little one how many items they are looking for and give them a bucket to collect their “treasures” in. Do some colouring and make decorations, let the children make some paper chains to put around the house.