Christmas holidays are just around the corner and as expected, some mothers will respond with glee, while others will feel an overwhelming sense of pressure when they consider all the family demands that come with the season. If you are in the latter category, don’t panic! MIM Mother Christmas is here to help with handy tips on how to plan the perfect Christmas without losing your cool.
The most important trick to surviving and indeed enjoying the process of planning a good Christmas experience for you and your family is to avoid the instinct to stick your head in the sand. Instead, plan and prepare as far ahead as possible and avoid the last minute rush, so that when the day comes all you have to do is complete a short to-do list and put on a happy ‘mummy face’.
Christmas is one of everybody’s favourite times during the year, however, it can also be one of the most expensive. It’s a good time to buy and give, but before you give into the frenzy, stop for a moment and budget.
Check your bank balance or the income that will be available to you over this season and decide on your total expense budget. Work out your individual spending limit and stick to it!
After making a realistic budget, you’ll need to make it a close companion as you start shopping for necessities. The first thing is to watch out for bargains. Yes, they always exist. This is a season retailers’ give in to competitions and roll out promotions. Make sure you look out for multi-buys, three for two offers or buy-one-get-one-free promotions.
When shopping for gifts, you need to have one or two backup gift idea for everyone on your list. That way, you can easily go for the backups if your preferred option is too expensive or can’t be located in the stores.
One of the most common drawbacks while shopping for Christmas is finding a better, cheaper or more appropriate gift for a person whose gift has already been bought and crossed off the list. If a better gift is found, check if the first gift that was purchased can suit another person on the list. If not, return the first gift or stick to it.
AVOID LAST MINUTE RUSH
Christmas is NOT a surprise event, we all know it’s coming, so start executing your to-do list early and get organised in order to avoid last minute panic purchases or bookings. It helps to spread out the looming costs.
Do not wait till December 23rd or 24th make those purchases you absolutely cannot do without. Order ahead or place a booking.
FAMILY’S VISITs AND OUTINGs
If other friends or families are going to be spending the Christmas holiday with you, plan ahead for their visit. Find out if special arrangements need to be made to accommodate any special need.
If your family has decided to go for any Christmas event or spend the holiday with friends or an extended family, book your event or transportation ticket ahead and take advantage of early buyer’s discount.
HOUSEKEEPING AND STOCKING
Make a checklist of all food, drinks and other items you’ll need to host your guests. Do not make any assumptions. If the cooking will be too overwhelming for you, there’s no harm in ordering from a caterer.
PUT EXTRA SAFETY MEASURES IN PLACE
Not everyone will be in a generous or kind mood because it’s Christmas. Go an extra mile in ensuring your house is secured and not an easy target for thieves or neighbourhood touts.
If you can avoid travelling by road too late into the night this Christmas month, please do so.
DON’T LOSE THE FUN!
Remember Christmas is always closely associated with joy, do everything you can to put the merry in your Christmas. If your child tries to play a Christmas joke on you, lighten up and smile along. Allow your kid(s) to join you in wrapping the gifts and get them in on the fun. You’ll know if you’ve planned a perfect Christmas if the fun is present and it makes your family (and friends) smile.