Green and Tidy: International Professional Organizer

Liberating you from the shackles of chaos and disorganisation

Christmas (and other events) and how to survive it

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Christmas planning avoid you being floored by Christmas. Toy man with shopping cart on his back in front of a large Christmas bauble.

Don’t be floored by Christmas

Christmas.

There, I’ve said it!

I don’t know whether you celebrate it.

I don’t know whether you love it, loathe it, or are indifferent.

But I do know that a lot of people get v v stressed this time of year.

So I’m here to help.

And, if Christmas isn’t your stocking of lumpy presents…

…this post applies to the approach of any celebration or event…

…whether it’s Diwali, Eid, Vesak/Wesak, Hanukkah, Vaisakhi, your hen do or your child’s birthday.

And the main message to take away is (as always):

List and schedule!

You can think of this as project planning.

The event (let’s take Christmas, you know just as a random example!) is a project….

…and your aim is to make sure that everything that needs to happen for it to be a success…

…happens…

…at the right time and with the minimum of fuss and stress.

So…

…work backwards from Christmas Day

What needs to be in place or happen on the day?

And what needs to happen in advance for that to work?

And when?

If it’s – oh I don’t know – just as a f’rexample, Christmas you’re planning, your list might include some of all of the following…

Your home is decorated (with those lovely ornaments you get out every year)

The Christmas cards you sent (if you still do!) have arrived

Knobbly Christmas stockings are hanging on the end of each child’s bed

Wrapped presents reside under the tree

An advent calendar window is opened for the last time

The people you want to spend it with have been invited and are coming!

Fancy-schmancy breakfast

Blinkin’ massive roast with all the trimmings for lunch

Extra treats and nibbles (why?!)

There’s enough (variety of) booze in the house (if you or yours drink alcohol)

Surprisingly large evening meal considering how much everyone ate all day

And whatever your personal Christmas-or-whatever rituals are

Once your list is complete…

…consider each item.

What do you need to do between now and then to make that happen?

You might need to plan more than one food shop.

Think through when you’re going to make various items of food.

For example, if you make your own cake…

…when are you going to buy the ingredients, make it, marzipan it, ice it?

Actually, if we’re talking about C*******s, some of these tasks needed to be scheduled for November…

(I may have been resisting using the C-word!)…

…like “buy advent calendar”…

…”make Christmas pudding” (stir-up Sunday was 26th November this year).

Is this a good time to mention that I make two years’ worth of Christmas puddings every other January?

It keeps amazingly well!

Still, it’s not to late to catch-up…

…just make sure you’ve thought it all through and you know when everything is happening.

Oh, and one last thing…

…Use the four Ds

Do it, delegate it, defer it or ditch it.

Do it

If it’s a quick task – do it now.

Check now whether you’ve got enough crockery and cutlery.

Delegate it

If someone else can do it – ask them! You don’t have to be the one who does everything.

They might even like being involved!

Who can take on present shopping for each person?

Who loves wrapping gifts?

Defer it

If you’re not doing it now, make sure you know when you are doing it.

When will you write any cards you send?

Ditch it

Do you actually need Christmas crackers?

Maybe it’s time to avoid that bit of over-consumption.

No one ever wants to wear the hats anyway!

(Howls of protest? Hey, it’s just a suggestion!)

Remember to enjoy the day

It’s your day too.

What else would be on your Christmas/other event project planning list? What have you removed by comparison to previous years? What are your tips for a stress-free Christmas/other event? Comment below.