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GETTING ORGANISED FOR CHRISTMAS

When I was young I remember Christmas just magically happened, mum and dad always prepared a fabulous meal and the lovely gifts and the general good cheer just fell out of Santa’s sack on Christmas Eve. Discovering the truth about Christmas planning was almost as disappointing as uncovering Santa’s real identity. A great Christmas requires a degree of planning and organisation, just enough to keep you feeling in control and excited, but not so much that you spend months stressing about it. Here are some tasks you might want to think about getting organised now to make your Christmas less stressful and more organised.

HOLIDAYS

  • Confirm your Christmas holidays or travel plans and make necessary reservations/flights etc.
  • Book annual leave or plan time away from your business
  • Check important dates – November & December is jam packed with activities, so ensure everything is diarised so you don't lose track

CHRISTMAS CARDS

  • Purchase cards and start preparing a christmas card list
  • If ordering cards online, allow plenty of time for delivery
  • If you're writing a family newsletter to put with each card, draft and print off the letter
  • Post cards to overseas destinations early to avoid delays.

GIFT SHOPPING

  • Prepare a list of Christmas gift ideas for family and/or friends
  • Organise Kris Kringle with family or friends you may be spending Christmas with
  • Christmas means crowded shopping centres, especially during extended trading hours. The earlier you can start your Christmas shopping the better.
  • Order online shopping - allow plenty of time for delivery
  • Buy high-demand/popular gifts early to avoid missing out
  • Buy a couple of boxes of chocolates (for unexpected gifts/visitors)
  • Purchase or make teacher gifts/cards
  • Make or bake any other gifts for friends and family
  • Buy kids Christmas cards for their class

CHRISTMAS TREE & DECORATIONS

  • Decide on a theme you’ll have for Christmas (eg colour scheme, lights, tree decorations etc)
  • Order your tree (if you're having a living tree)
  • Take stock of your christmas decorations, lights, ornaments etc. Check if anything is broken or needs replacing or updating
  • Purchase wrapping paper, sticky tape, ribbons and gift tags
  • Make or buy a wreath to put on the front door
  • Put up Christmas lights and decorations in and around your home

PLANNING & ORGANISATION

  • Start a master list to organise everything you need to do (include groceries, Christmas Day and general 'to do' list so you don't forget what needs to be done and when)
  • Declutter the kids’ toy box or playroom to make space for new items. Take what you can to charity.
  • Check all your wardrobes and have a clean out. Throw out or donate what items no longer fit and make a list of any new items you need (or could purchase for as Christmas gifts)
  • Make a Christmas Playlist on your iPod - include a variety of songs from different eras so everyone enjoys it
  • Plan Christmas day outfits
  • Organise haircuts (if needed)
  • Wrap presents as you buy them and keep a list of them all
  • Keep all invoices and receipts in an envelope secured away in a safe place to be easily be found in case of exchange/refund
  • Stock up on batteries (there’s bound to be a gift or two requiring them!)
  • Delegate whatever tasks you can to others ie if you're hosting Christmas, get everyone to bring something

FOOD & DRINK

  • Order meat and/or seafood (if you're hosting Christmas)
  • Bake/purchase Christmas cake/pudding
  • Clean out the fridge - throw out any old/outdated items to make space
  • Save time in the kitchen by cooking whatever you can now that can be frozen. Refer to your grocery list and start stocking the pantry early
  • Make or buy a gingerbread house
  • Stock up the drinks fridge - keep an eye out for specials on expensive items like alcohol

WORK

  • Complete end of month tasks and finalise projects
  • Do all your filing so you don't have to deal with it in the New Year
  • Send Christmas cards/gifts to clients or colleagues
  • Manage social media
  • Do any pre-planning or organisation for 2016
  • Put out of office message on your phone voicemail and email

CHRISTMAS EVE

  • Set your Christmas table (with cutlery, decorations, glassware, placecards, candles etc.)
  • Pre-prepare as much as possible (make stuffing, bake pavlova, peel & chop fruit/vegetables, whip cream etc.)
  • Double check all the arrangements and make a list of what needs to be done so you don’t lose track of time and feel organised
  • Put Christmas stockings out for Santa
  • Watch a Christmas movie, Carols by Candlelight or attend a church service with your family
  • Leave Santa and his reindeers a drink and a snack

CHRISTMAS DAY

  • Put yopur Christmas carols on and enjoy them
  • Take lots of happy snaps of your day to share with family and friends
  • Enjoy your Christmas traditions with your family and friends (despite the chaos and craziness!)
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