AHH CHRISTMAS! WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! CHRISTMAS DINNER, ALL THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, LOTS OF FAMILY TIME, BOARD GAMES, FOOD, AND SO MUCH MORE! CHRISTMAS IS NO DOUBT MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR BUT I KNOW THAT MANY PEOPLE STRUGGLE WHEN IT COMES TO PLANNING FOR IT BECAUSE, LET’S BE HONEST, IT’S A LOT OF WORK. SO TODAY I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU 5 TIPS TO PLAN FOR THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.
I absolutely LOVE planning for Christmas; I never hosted it at my house since I live abroad in a house share, so if I spend the holidays in London, I’ll usually be invited at a friends’ house, or if I go back to Italy, I spend it at my family’s home. However, I always contribute to the planning process, and I know that means a lot to the person that’s hosting, especially when it comes to hosting dinner. But there are so many other things to think about when it comes to Christmas: the decorations, cards, gifts, and it can get quite overwhelming for some!
That’s why I decided to write this post, to help you out if you’ll be hosting dinner this year, but even just if you need to think about gifts, cards, etc.
This year will most definitely be a different kind of Christmas, just like everything else has been different, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate, regardless of how we’ll actually do it, so let’s get into it!
5 tips to plan for the Christmas holidays
MAKE A BUDGET.
First thing first, this is really what you need to do before anything else. You need to know how much you are able to spend before you start making any plans, otherwise you might end up in trouble. The thing is that Christmas shopping is usually expensive in the first place, but if you don’t have a budget and just start buying whatever seems cute, you’ll end up spending a lot of money. So make a list of what you need to buy this year; do you only need to think about the food? Or you also need to buy the decorations? Or maybe you don’t need to buy any food but you need to buy gifts for your whole family and circle of friends? Whatever you need to buy, make sure you write it down and write down how much you are roughly able to spend for each item, to avoid going over your budget. If you need help with writing a budget, make sure you check out my post with a step-by-step guide to make this process easier for you.
WRITE A LIST.
A list will be a lifesaver for you, so make sure you make this your second step and write everything you need to do. Don’t forget to write using categories and then break them down into smaller tasks to be as detailed and organized as possible. If you’re going to host dinner, make sure you write a detailed list of everything you need to buy and cook; if you need to buy gifts for several people, write down each person’s name and what you plan to get them so that you won’t be overwhelmed when it comes to buying the gifts or you won’t end up doing lastminute.com! And if you need to buy new decorations, also write down what items you need so that you will have enough time to browse online or in stores and see which places have the best offers so you can stay on track with your budget. To have some inspiration to apply to your Christmas list, check out my post on how to write a to-do list.
MAKE A FOOD PLAN.
If you’re hosting dinner (or lunch, whatever you have as part of your tradition), making a plan for the Christmas menu will be essential. You want to make sure that you prepare something that everyone likes (we always have Christmas favorites in my house) and that you have enough time to prepare for everything. Holiday menus are known for stuffing us until we can’t eat anymore, and then make us pass out in a food coma. That means there is a lot of food involved, and a lot of preparation too! You definitely CANNOT wait until the last minute to plan the menu and cook, otherwise, there might be a lot of disappointment. So make sure you create a menu and write a detailed list as shown in point 2 of this post, then book a day when you’ll be buying all the groceries. I recommend buying in advance whatever you can to avoid huge crowds in the store when everyone is buying at the last minute, so buy all the long life food and things that can go in the freezer in advance. Leave the last few days only for fruit, vegs, and anything else that might go off quickly. Finally, you need to start prepping. Make life easier for yourself and thank me later, but if you can start prepping something in advance, go ahead and do it! If you have no clue about meal planning, check out this post where I take you through each step.
PLAN NEW (OR OLD!) TRADITIONS.
This is by far my favorite part about Christmas. Until my grandma was still here with us, we would gather every year on December 8th to make the Christmas tree at my grandparents’ house. My grandad would bring the tree and all the decorations from the garage, my grandma would start setting it up, my sister and I would start decorating at the sound of classic Christmas songs, and then my mum, uncle, and aunts would usually pop by and help us finish or just spend time together. I also love playing games on Christmas Eve and watching classic movies on Christmas Day, when we’re all cozy on the sofa and so full of food that we can’t even move. I usually spend Christmas in Italy with my family, but a few times I decided to spend it in the UK with my other families (friends who are family), and I loved learning about their own traditions. My point is that you should make it a priority to plan for some traditions, whether they are the same every year or you want to create new ones this year. They will really make this time even more magical.
SCHEDULE SOME TIME TO REST.
Christmas can be quite a hectic time of the year, so I would recommend you are firm in setting some time for yourself to rest and recharge. If you have to decorate, cook, buy gifts, etc., you will have your hands full so make sure you are very intentional with your rest time. I plan to take a week off from work, because especially if you run your own business, it’s very easy to be consumed by work and your to-do list even on Christmas Eve, and that is not a nice thing to have. If you can’t decide when to take time off from work, just try to schedule it in your free time whenever you can, to make sure you have a proper rest and avoid burnout.
I hope these tips have been helpful and that they will make planning your Christmas holidays a stress-free experience to enjoy with your loved ones!