When do you start thinking about Christmas? Are you a planner and have actually been sorting and organising since boxing day 2017? Or are you one who will only allow yourself to contemplate Christmas in December or dare I say on Christmas Eve?
The shops want us to start to get prepared in August, which even for me, who adores Christmas and is a planner, is too early. However, there is some wisdom in planning and preparing earlier than you think, in order that you can enjoy the Festive Season when it does arrive.
October is a great month to get ahead, so read on to find some of my thoughts and ideas on how you might go about thriving rather than surviving this December.
Could you buy or make your Christmas cards in October half term, write in them, address the envelopes and put them somewhere safe until December? There is no rule that says cards need to be done in December. Perhaps this is not in the spirit of Christmas but I also tend to buy my next years Christmas cards, this year in the post-Christmas sales.
All kids (and adults!) love a morning chocolate in the lead up to Christmas, however, perhaps Christmas means just that little bit more.
What about starting a reverse Advent? Each day in Advent you add an item from your kitchen food store that could be donated to a food bank or a women’s refuge.
Elf on the Shelf is an American tradition that has made its way to our shores, the mischevious elf causes havoc overnight and lays in wait for the kids to discover in the morning.
In my home we have Kindness Elves, https://thekindnesselves.com/ as these help us to embrace the spirit and meaning of Christmas and asks our daughter to think about more than just herself! The kindness elves ask her each day of advent to do an act of, well, kindness from making cookies for the neighbours to having a toy sort out and donating what she doesn’t need or want anymore to those less fortunate.
Buy your wrapping paper in advance, use brown paper and titivate, or get the kids to do some printing on the paper which, having tried this route, always sounds better in the theory than it works out in reality, so perhaps let me save you some time, go buy your wrapping paper!
Allocate a different wrapping paper to each family member, that way it is easier to wrap and sort gifts. It means that if you wrap the gifts not long after purchase there is less chance of them being hunted down and discovered and if they are, then they are wrapped so no secrets lost! It also perhaps means you can cut down on having to tag the gifts, you just need to remember whose wrapping paper is whose or write a sharpie initial on the underside of the gift for who it is to go to.
We have decided in our house that Santa only brought smaller gifts that fitted in the stocking and perhaps one or two bigger gifts. However, the main gift of the day, comes from my husband and I. This was done for a couple of reasons, when our daughter stops believing it makes it easier to transition, it also means that I can wrap the gifts and put them under the tree as soon as they are purchased or wrapped and hidden and then put under the tree in December, no last minute panic.
The Festive Season is such a wonderful time to connect with extended family and friends, however, it can be to the detriment of spending time with our own immediate families. Take some time now, to discuss with your partner or children, what you want to get from the Festive Season, it might be that you can pre-plan a family movie day or a day of adventure that is only for your family that is fixed in stone and will not move regardless of what invitations you get. It is ok to say ‘no’ or pop it into that period between Christmas and New Years where everyone looses track of dates, days and time.
‘Maybe Christmas’ the Grinch thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more.’ – Dr Seuss
The Positive Parenting Coach – www.anisalewis.com