Notes to self for next December
Each year I reflect on what worked and what did not both in the run up to and over the Christmas period – then I make notes. This is the list I made recently to remind me of things to do better, things I want to do again and things to definitely avoid next year.
- Definitely no decorating beyond end of October – there isn’t time to look for furnishings with all the extra events and general tasks in the run up to Christmas and stocks are low in the shops – we spent a lot of time and petrol money trying to buy the electric blanket for mum – it must have been on everyone’s Christmas list!
- Buy fancy Nougat for OH stocking early from TKMAX – don’t wait until we are out shopping together or with mum as it gets too tricky to buy it secretly.
- Negotiate with mum that she plans her visit for November again like she used to – it has crept into middle December now and this leaves me with no time on the busiest weekends and all the Christmas events that we could go to tend to be in November.
- Make less food for our neighbour / friends get-togethers – our new neighbours just did a selection of crackers, cheese and wine with a little fruit and some dips – it was both simple and ample and you don’t have to cook anything.
- Make Christmas cards in October –waiting until November and December are too late to experiment with ideas. This year some of the colours of my stamping inks had dried up or gone off and I had to dash to town for new ones.
- If supplementing with bought cards buy enough of the same design – don’t buy different packs then there are no decisions to be made of who has which card.
- Plan to draw the names for the family Not So Secret Santa and Not so Secret Santa Stockings by mid-November – to allow plenty of time to buy the gifts and order any online and take advantage of any offers.
- Stock up on stamps early – buy a book each month to spread the cost.
- Send an e-card to Australians with the newsletter – to save on postage costs.
- Collate newsletter for friends and distant family in November – to save time this year I used my blog photos and posts to remind me of significant events and highlights throughout the year.
- Update card and address lists in January for next year – remove anyone who has died or doesn’t require a card anymore.
- Good tip from The Sadie Diaries – take photos and make notes of décor and lighting that works – most important label those fine wire lights with the colour of the white – warm white / bright white etc – they differ quite a lot and is easier to get the right ones in the right place if you know the exact colour.
- Also like Sadie put outside lights up in warmer November.
- Reduce décor that is put out in the rooms – less is more – use more natural foliage as décor and simple twinkly lights and candles looked really effective this year.
- Buy plenty of batteries when on offer – as they are so expensive full price.
- Make a plan of December menus that are quick and easy and can be frozen – for those extra busy days. Make notes on recipes for next year.
- Find recipes that use left-over fruit and nut and egg whites and are quick and easy.
- Buy one roll each of Adult Christmas wrapping paper and don’t forget one roll for Children now we have more in the family.
- Pre-write gift tags when writing cards – to save time when wrapping gifts.
- Put the Saltaire Living Advent event into diary – not to be missed – also check on the one in North Yorkshire.
- Buy a few sprigs of flowers and leaves from the florist for decoration – they were really good value and you can select exactly which ones you want.
Hopefully with a few adjustments I can make next Christmas run more smoothly and have more fun.