4 ways to make Christmas less stressful
[Ad] This post is in conjunction with Boots but all thoughts are my own.
Now that Halloween is out of the way, can we say the C word out loud now? Let’s get stuck in to Christmas!
Boots recently conducted a survey to get an insight on what people really want for Christmas and how they manage to organise themselves throughout the festive season, so I thought it would be good to compare it with my own experiences and use some of the findings to inspire me to become a more organised person when it comes to planning for Christmas.
All I want for Christmas is for it be less stressful. After all, it is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year.
I want to get things ticked off so that I can enjoy Christmas like they do in the movies, complete my shopping list by November and spend the last month of the decade doing things that make it the most magical time of the year. Let’s see if the survey has helped me determine where I’ve been going wrong all these years!
Start Christmas shopping in August
Interestingly, almost a quarter of Brits start their Christmas shopping in August. Ok, as appealing as that sounds, I am never going to be one of those people who start their Christmas shopping in August.
First of all, it has to be the right environment to put me in that frame of mind. I enjoy shopping for gifts under the twinkly decorations with the sound of Bublé blasting throughout the store. It’s almost like a game to me now; how many times can I endure Holly Jolly Christmas before I crack under the stress of long queues, angry shoppers and funds amounting to a month’s wage coming out of my bank account like no tomorrow?
I always manage to buy some amazing Christmas Gifts For Her at amazing prices (even at the last minute) but I get stuck with buying Christmas Gifts For Him. Dads, uncles and boy cousins are so difficult to buy for, so I refuse to be defeated each year. But I’ve decided that the stress isn’t worth it, so maybe I’ll be good this year, I’m going start and finish my shopping by end of November and that’s organised enough for me.
Make a wish list
Ever wondered at what age we grow out of making a wish list? According to Boots, it peaks at 34 – the age I’m at now – but actually 63% of 25-34 year olds still make a wish list.
Making a wish list is something my sisters and my parents always ask around this time every year. Like, a real one, not a fantasy one made up of things that I’d like to buy if I won the lottery (a mansion, an island, and a couple of horses…)
Sharing a wish list is something we like to do in our family because they’re extremely busy people and would prefer to know exactly what to buy when they hit the shops. I mean, I’m busy too, but I work in one of Europe’s biggest shopping centres, so I can’t get away with the ‘I’m too busy to go shopping’ excuse, can I?! They’ve even got the cheek to ask me to do their Christmas shopping for them now. “Listen, I’m too busy to go shopping” I tell them.
Other reasons they might find a list helpful could be that want to avoid spending more than a couple of hours paying for the carpark, they’d rather have more time to spend time with their babies, or generally want to avoid wasting money on something I already have. Whatever it may be, I have to admit that even though a wish list takes the magic out of Christmas, it sure does save you time!
To give you an idea of what I’ve asked for, here are a random mix of things that I’ve had on my wish list in the past: Laura Mercier’s bath honey, Jo Malone candles, new carpet for my bedroom, a 256GB camera SD card, an external hard drive, a Netflix gift card, Lush bath bombs, CB12 mouthwash, and a pack of Oral B electric toothbrush heads!
I know that without a wish list, I am a very difficult person to buy for because I am someone who has everything I need and if I want something, I’ll save up and buy it myself. and A third of the people that Boots asked in the survey considers themselves difficult to buy for and 37% of them would rather self-gift than receive presents from others.
With that in mind, my little sister and I are going to be doing things differently this Christmas. I’ve told her that instead of buying me a present this year, she should use that money to treat herself to something. And I will do the same. Then on Christmas Day, we’ll sit down together, just me and her, to open our (self) gift and talk about the reasons why we’ve bought it. As we have to explain the meaning behind present, it compels us to look for something that has some thought behind it. A bit like a haul, but (hopefully) much more meaningful.
I always feel bad for picking up ‘obvious’ gift items such as alcohol or a perfume set. Personally, I would be made up with either of those, but I fear that the recipients might think that I’ve not put any thought in to their present.
However, I can buy these things without feeling guilty because survey says… they’re the most popular gifts to buy and people love receiving them! To make life easier for yourself, the top staple Christmas gifts are chocolates, fragrances, booze, socks, PJs and hampers. And chocolate coins and chocolate orange make up the quintessential Christmas stocking. You can’t go wrong with any of those items and you can buy all these things at your local Boots store!
To kickstart Christmas, I have teamed up with Boots to give one lucky winner a chance to win a Soap & Glory Miracle on 24th Street Advent Calendar. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post to enter. T&Cs apply.