Don’t be floored by 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):
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…
…at the right time and with the minimum of fuss and stress.
…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?
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!
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.
If it’s a quick task – do it now.
Check now whether you’ve got enough crockery and cutlery.
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?
If you’re not doing it now, make sure you know when you are doing it.
When will you write any cards you send?
Do you actually need Christmas crackers?
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.