Welcome to the final part of my Christmas series, A Christmas Less Stressed. Designed to reduce the planning overwhelm, this series has everything you need to create a Christmas that rocks. Come Christmas Eve you’ll be enjoying your mulled wine and mince pies just like everyone else because everything will have been taken care of!
The countdown has begun…
We’ve been busy over the last few weeks working hard to do what we can to make Christmas less stressful and more enjoyable. We’ve looked at ways to make the planning process easier, how to get our Christmas shopping done with minimal stress and fuss, how to spend more time with family and how to come up with our Christmas menus. Now it’s time to pull everything together…it’s time to make Christmas happen!
Make Christmas happen…
Before we do anything though, we need to know exactly what there is left to do. Checking in on our progress and making a plan of what to do next might sound like an obvious exercise, but it’s surprising how many people forget to do it! Reviewing what you’ve done and adding what’s outstanding to your To Do list is the ONLY way to be sure you don’t miss anything out. Put the kids to bed, pour yourself a glass of wine and going through your diary and To Do lists, ask yourself:
- Gifts: Who you still need to buy for, what presents will you get?
- Food: What ingredients do you still need? What can be bought now, what about nearer the time?
- Christmas cards: Have you written them all? Which need posting?
- School activities: Do your kids need costumes for the school nativity? A Christmas jumper? What about teacher’s gifts?
- Seasonal activities: Do you have all the tickets you need for pantomimes, ice skating, visits to Santa etc.?
- Going away? Have you made all your travel arrangements? What else needs to be packed?
- Guests staying? Is your house guest ready? What else do you need?
- Seeing friends and family? What arrangements need finalising?
- Everything else: What else do you need to buy, make, organise, plan or do?
Make a list of everything you need to do and when it needs to be done by. It might feel like you’re taking your planning to the extreme, but when there’s so much to think about, it’ll really help you to get organised and pull everything together.
Keep the momentum going…
Keep the momentum going by making a plan of what you need to do when. Write deadlines and any tasks that need to be done on a certain day in your diary or on your calendar. Need to remember to take something out the freezer? Need to put out extra towels for your guests? Stick it on the calendar!
Stay on track by checking in on your progress every few days. Keep a master task list of all the things you need to do and pick your top priorities from it each day. Be sure to track your spending too so you don’t go over budget!
Want to make pulling everything together easy? Grab my 13 FREE Christmas planning printables here:
Finalise everything a few days before…
A few days before Christmas sit down with your diary again and work out what final arrangements you need to make. Go through your To Do list and highlight everything that’s outstanding and get it done. Write your list of jobs for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Use the lists as memory joggers on the day so you don’t forget anything. Prep what you can the night before too – taking a few minutes to put out everything you need before you go to bed makes life so much easier in the morning!
Make sure you plan for after Christmas too!
Don’t forget to think about after Christmas too! With all the planning involved for Christmas Day it can be easy to forget about the new year and going back to school. Make life easier by including the new year in your planning:
- New Years Eve: What are your plans? What do you need to organise? Make a list and get it done.
- Back to school: Sort out what your kids need for back to school as soon as they break up. Use the couple of days you have between the end of term and Christmas Eve to wash and iron their uniform and get any homework done. It might seem a little premature but the last thing you need after a busy Christmas is to be rushing around on the 2nd January trying to get everything sorted!
Know when to stop!
If you really want to enjoy a Christmas that’s happy and stress-free you need to know when to stop! It can be tempting to keep going, to try and make your Christmas Pinterest perfect – but that’s not what Christmas is all about. In the first part of this series I talked about keeping an eye on the bigger picture and not pushing yourself to organise a Christmas that stresses you out. Keep this at the front of your mind when pulling everything together. Remind yourself that done is better than perfect, that enjoying the festivities with the ones you love is what matters most.
How to pull everything together…
Making Christmas happen doesn’t have to be hard work. It might feel like there’s a lot to do to pull everything together, but if you work through each area one by one, it won’t be nearly as complicated as you first thought. Just remember to:
- Regularly check-in on your progress.
- Keep a master task list of everything you need to do.
- Create a battle plan – work back from Christmas and make a note of what you need to do when.
- Have a plan for each day – use it as a memory jogger so you don’t forget anything.
- Prep the night before.
- Not be afraid to ask for help – or delegate!
That’s it for this post and this series! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and it’s helped you to plan a Christmas that’s a lot less stressful and much more enjoyable. Follow these final steps and you’ll have executed a Christmas that rocks! You’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your mulled wine and mince pies knowing you’ve well and truly earned them!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. What’s your biggest takeaway? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
P.S. Missed some of the posts or want to read them again? Catch up on them here:
- 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