Can you believe Christmas is nearly upon us?! It didn’t seem that long ago I started my series A Christmas Less Stressed and now here we are, a little less than two weeks to go until the big day! If you’ve not had chance to check out the series, definitely give it a read. It has everything you need to reduce the planning overwhelm and create a Christmas that rocks!
Christmas Planning and Survival Tips
To celebrate the series finishing, I thought I’d share a roundup of some of my favourite Christmas planning and survival tips from around the web. Taken from some of the best blogs out there, follow these food, family, travel and self-care tips and you’re guaranteed a Christmas that’s both happy and stress-free! Be sure to click the links and check out the related posts where you’ll find lots more tips…there’s even a few fab freebies for you to download too!
Are you ready?! Let’s dive in!
Christmas food and drink…
- Kristen from Joyfully Thriving says: “Gather all your Christmas recipes in one place. Print off the recipes you need online now so you aren’t searching for them later” and “make a list of all the ingredients you need and stock up on your baking supplies” plus “make a baking plan – massive baking day or bake one treat a week? Decide which fits your schedule and style and make a plan.”
- Amanda from The Modern Nest: “If you do any baking for the holidays test out how well your recipes freeze. Bake those that taste better fresh the week before Christmas.”
- Kate from My Sweet Home Life: “Check your serving dishes, bowls, plates, cutlery and glasses.” Do you have enough? “…it’s much easier to do this now than in the crazy Christmas rush.” On stocking up, she adds: “Purchase what groceries you can in your normal weekly shop. Make sure you stock up on toilet paper, hand soap and similar items too.”
- Chrissy from Organise My House: “Consider a buffet rather than a sit down meal. It’s easier to prepare and allows for great leftovers!” and “ask people to help – get guests to bring some food to share the load” plus “disposable baking trays will be your best friend – get lots to save on washing up!”
My top food tip:
Make a note of what you need to defrost when. There’s nothing worse than spending time making lots of yummy treats only to realise you’ve forgotten to take them out the freezer! Read more in my post Christmas Meal Planning Made Easy.
On quality family time…
- Kate from My Sweet Home Life says: “Christmas is a beautiful time where the focus of the day is on family togetherness. Make both the lead up to Christmas and the day itself even more meaningful by creating family traditions.”
- Lauren from Grace and Granola: “Find some time together to talk about what the holidays mean to your family. Plan family festivities that matter, be fully present, enjoy them.”
- Jaime from For Every Mama suggests keeping a Christmas journal: “Write about family traditions, your favourite Christmas, your letters to Santa, Christmas dinner and much more!”
- On making socialising run smoothly, Chrissy from Organise My House says: “Be proactive asap and book in family and friends so you don’t get to nearer the time and find everyone is booked up already” and “work out where you will be and make the most it. Can you travel via somewhere else to see people instead of making an extra trip?” plus “See people in groups. Why not arrange a larger meet-up so everyone gets to see each other more easily? This works well for families and different friendship groups.”
My top tip for spending time with family:
Create memories by spending money on experiences instead of things. Rather than picking out a toy or game from a catalogue, ask yourself what experiences you could buy that’d give you quality time together. It’ll mean so much more to your kids than the toy that’ll be laying forgotten in the cupboard a couple of years from now! Read more in my post Five Ways to Enjoy a Family Christmas.
For stress-free travel…
- Amanda from The Modern Nest says: “Figure out work, school and gathering schedules so you have time to make necessary arrangements.”
- Michele from Michele’s Finding Happiness: “If you’re leaving early, let your kids travel in their PJs. Pack the car, grab the kids and throw them in the car. They can change later in the day once they’ve joined the world” and “…leave plenty of extra time, chances are you won’t be going anywhere fast. Leave plenty of extra time to get where you need to be.” On dealing with traffic, she adds: “Have patience and lots of it. You know it will be mayhem, getting upset about it won’t change anything. So listen to some holiday music, catch up on your favourite podcast, or try a book on tape.”
- As the proud owner of a new Frenchie pup, it’d be wrong not to include a tip on travelling with pets! So here’s one from Debi at Rescue Dogs 101: “Exercise your dog before you leave. A dog that is well exercised, mentally and physically, will be more likely to be calm during the travel time – a quiet dog creates a peaceful ride for everyone.” And for the actual journey, she says: “Plan on making several pit stops to let your dog go potty, there are usually rest stops with pet areas on motorways.”
My top tip for making travel a little easier:
Keep a small winter kit in your car. Store whatever might be useful if you were to get stuck on the motorway for a few hours. Ours has drinks and snacks, an emergency mobile phone charger, spare change, a blanket, warm clothes for the kids, a colouring book and felt pens to keep the youngest entertained and a collapsible snow shovel. Read more about prepping for winter in my post How to Plan a Happy and Stress-free Christmas.
Don’t forget to look after number one…
- Heather from Moritz Fine Designs says: “Holidays often mean being surrounded by friends and family. This is wonderful, but sometimes it can make us feel claustrophobic. Make sure to plan some alone time and practice a little self-care when you can. This will help you keep calm and carry on!”
- Save yourself from unnecessary stress by keeping your kids calm: “Consider their normal routines when planning your holiday schedule” says Rachel from Smart Mom Ideas: “…if the schedule changes too frequently, they’ll become disorientated in time and the younger ones will become fussy, irritable and downright unmanageable.” On staying calm, she adds: “You will be tempted to give in to the overwhelm yourself. Remember to stay calm. The more calm and steady your voice when you speak to your child, the calmer they will be. If you lose your cool and yell or speak crossly, your child will become more stressed too.”
- Ruth from Living Well Spending Less: “If you start to feel burnout, exhausted, deflated or stressed, take a break! Take time to care for yourself…know when you need to take a break and go for it!” On giving yourself permission to be imperfect, she says: “You don’t need to be the perfect hostess. You don’t need to decorate the perfect tree. You don’t even need to decorate a tree at all! Give yourself grace and permission to take a break from perfection.”
My top tip for taking care of number one this Christmas:
Get some sleep! We can only function at our peak if we’re well rested, and that means getting a good night’s sleep. Try unplugging for the last hour before bed. Turn off the TV, switch your phone to airplane mode and spend the time doing something that relaxes you instead. You’ll feel calmer and find it easier to drift off because you’ve had chance to unwind and relax. You’ll get a better night’s sleep too because you won’t be feeling so wired. Come morning, you’ll be ready to take on the world – and Christmas!
25 Christmas planning and survival tips…
There you have it – a great list of Christmas planning and survival tips! Which one was your favourite? Mine has to be Living Well Spending Less’s giving yourself permission to be imperfect. I’ve struggled with this for years so it’s one that really resonates with me. Now I’ve stopped trying to make my Christmas Pinterest perfect, it’s become SO much easier to plan and enjoy. Give it a try too and see the difference it makes.
That’s it for this post! Follow the tips and watch your Christmas become a lot less stressful and much more enjoyable!
Enjoyed what you’ve read? Why not join my tribe?!
Benefit from weekly emails on all things related to family life, home life and wellbeing. You’ll discover ways to better organise and manage your home, ways to be more productive and tips on how to set and accomplish your goals. You’ll also have access to FREE printables including worksheets, checklists and planners. All of which are designed to help you find more balance and create a family life you love. PLUS, you’ll never miss a post! Sign up now and I’ll send you a copy of my FREE Christmas-themed Daily Planner as a thank-you!
Did you enjoy this post? What was your favourite planning and survival tip for the holidays…do you have one to add? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
P.S. Want to read my series A Christmas Less Stressed? Here are the links:
- 1. Introduction: Your Guide to a Happy Christmas
- 2. Part One: How to Plan a Happy and Stress-free Christmas
- 3. Part Two: How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done
- 4. Part Three: Five Ways to Enjoy a Family Christmas
- 5. Part Four: Christmas Meal Planning Made Easy
- 6. Part Five: How to Pull Everything Together