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.
13 thoughts on “fEAsible…doing better next time”
Interesting reflections – a great idea to record these ready for preparations for next Christmas. Best wishes
Thanks Shirley – I often forget by the following Christmas of what didn’t work very well and end up repeating things I don’t really want to repeat.
Some great notes there, it’s certainly going to help you next year. . I always make my cards straight after Christmas when the weather is dismal.
I always think there is room for improvement in my life LOL!
This is an excellent summary of what you’ll improve on next year. Well done!
Thanks Alys – I like to try and avoid anything that made Christmas more stressful or time consuming and a few simple changes should lighten the load.
I’m with you! There’s a great book out by Elaine St. James called Simplify Your Christmas. Here’s a link:http://www.discoverbooks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=0836267850&gclid=CjwKCAiA47DTBRAUEiwA4luU2adpQnmN1AGbHH6DrjUuo6Jh0fiIh5qmBN1IOE6zz67Q0eSfi4-bzBoCRQkQAvD_BwE
She’s all about reducing and eliminating things that cause stress in our lives, and also points out how often people are relieved.
Thanks for the link – I am going to start thinking much sooner this year about my next Christmas and all the ‘stuff’ I want to leave out or the changes I want to make. I feel like I need to challenge myself to see how much I can reduce or change things so that it becomes simplified. I will probably tailor my blog posts to writing about my efforts nearer the time.
I think planning when we’re not in the thick of things is the way to go. There are always things that come up, too and those I’ve learned to plan for as well. Having a few “hostess gifts” on hand like bottles of wine or candles, things that have a long shelf life but are universally enjoyed.
Those are fantastic ideas. Do you really think you can get your mom to visit in Nov instead of Dec, haha!
I can only try – I will need some lessons beforehand in the art of persuassion!
I write a list like this too, it’s so useful. Every year I think I won’t bother making a note of things, but whenever I re-read the list I am grateful, it’s so easy to get sucked in the closer it gets to Christmas.
I find that every year I am still adding to my list as more things crop up that I want to avoid – you would think by now I would have a perfect Christmas but still not the case!!