It’s officially two months until Christmas Day!

Every year it sneaks up on you and BAM all of a sudden the Secret Santa hat is being passed around the office!

It’s time to give some thought to a few things that could ease the stress, I have listed ten things to consider this week:

ONE

As a family pick a charity that you can help over the holidays. You can decide to donate money, gifts or volunteer your time. Kids are generous creatures, often all it takes is a conversation as a family about, making a difference, and they will throw numerous ideas into the mix. It adds appreciation to what can be a selfish time of year and put into perspective how fortunate we are.

TWO

Talk to your family and friends this week to confirm who is coming to your house these holidays. Avoid any last-minute arrangements and stress. If you have family or guests staying finding out now allows you time to prepare. Don’t assume, ask and confirm!

THREE

When are you going to decorate? I add the date and time for decorating our house and putting up the tree into my calendar months before the holiday season. When my kids were little, and they began noticing decorations in the shops, I would inevitably get the following question “when are we putting our tree up?” Because I had it planned I could give them an exact date and time. Trust me when I say they stop asking pretty quick because they had an answer. It also ensures we have time to enjoy the process. It’s a lovely tradition in our house. We play music, eat cookies and take our time.

FOUR

If you have an Elf on the Shelf, get ready now! My kids have just moved beyond those years, and I know the struggle! Get onto Pinterest now and write down as many ideas as you can. There are endless ideas for your Elf or Elves if you are crazy enough to have two, but when you are tired and officially over it, having a plan helps!

FIVE

Set a budget! Write a list of all the gifts you need to give over the holiday period, don’t forget teachers, coaches etc. Then set a budget. But the essential element is you need to stick to it! Setting it out now will make a world of difference to your bank balance in the New Year. Allow yourself time this week to plan it out.

SIX

Plan your menu. Ok so by now you think I’m crazy but hear me out, ask family and friends that will be eating at your home over the holidays what they would like to eat will prevent unhappy guests and uneaten food. Seafood rocks some peoples boats and not others. It’s ok to ask. It also opens up a dialogue about what people can bring/contribute. I ask my family to pick one dish to have for Christmas lunch, so everyone has their favourite, last year my son picked my home-made mac and cheese! I was happy to oblige, and it went so well with our stuffed turkey roll that I am thinking about doing it again this year, but I may add lobster, lobster mac and cheese, yummy!

SEVEN

I’ve written this before, I think I remind everyone every year, buy sticky tape now!! You will need it, it will not go to waste, and you will thank me later, I promise.

EIGHT

Book your hair and beauty appointments now! Like today! It will save you juggling, squeezing and trying to get in. Book now to get the appointments that work for you.

NINE

If you will be away over the holidays and haven’t arranged where your pets will be staying, make the arrangements ASAP. If your pets are staying at a kennel or cattery and you haven’t booked STOP reading this list and book it now!

TEN

Stock up your medicine basket, especially if you have extra people staying with you. Bandaids, paracetamol, sunblock, all the essentials is a good idea. One less thing and additional cost to worry about in the busy season.

Giving some thought to the holiday period is a fabulous idea even though there are still eight weeks left. Ease the pressure on yourself and start making arrangements, so you have a brilliant plan and can minimise unnecessary stress.

I hope this list helps!

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