The key to an organised stress-free Christmas is to plan ahead. Starting early means everything will be under control and you will be able to relax and enjoy the holidays.
Here are my tips below to get you started…
SANTA VISITS AND OTHER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
This is the first thing you want to check off your list. I usually start thinking about this at the beginning of October. Many Santa experiences sell out quickly. If there is a specific place you wish to attend follow them on social media or sign up to their email lists so that you can be notified of when tickets will go on sale.
If you missed the boat, not to worry. Santa in Stephen’s Green is brilliant. You don’t need an appointment and they give you a ticket with a time to come back, no waiting in a large queue. I also hear the Santa in Stillorgan is great too. I would always recommend going at off peak hours, especially if you have small children
Pantos, Ice skating, Christmas drive in movies, Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo, restaurants, hair and beauty appointments are also things to book in advance. Just double check your calendar to make sure your activity doesn’t clash with the school fair or Christmas carols!
If you would like to buy a Lego, beauty or any other specific type of advent calendar, buy it early as the good ones tend to sell out quickly!
ELF ON THE SHELF
Got one of these? After 11 years of visiting our home, the elves have learned a thing or two about being organised. They've learned to plan their cheeky antics ahead of time. It especially saves them on nights when they've been out partying with Santa and the other elves. 😉
I've heard that they plan out their visits a head of time by printing out a blank December calendar.
They start by brainstorming ideas they'd like to try on the back, listing any props they might need. Next they write in the calendar some of the kids activities ie, carol services, plays, Santa visits etc. They sometimes plan a 'themed' visit to correspond to those dates. Fill in the rest of the days, avoiding complicated ideas on hectic days/nights.
While the elf might not be for everyone, they have become a fun family tradition in our home.
You can check out our elves antics here: @charlie_and_sally_adventures
Sending Christmas cards this year? Make sure to buy your stamps and address your cards early. An Post usually have their Christmas stamps available in early November. Your cards will be organised and ready to go so you can just pop them into the post box before last posting dates. Save your Christmas card list digitally so that next year you know who you sent and received cards from.
If you are planning to do your food shopping online, make sure you book your delivery slot early. Most shops open their Christmas delivery slots in November. You can also set reminders in your phone now so you remember to book your turkey.
This is a great time to start decluttering the playroom. Get rid of anything broken, no longer played with or outgrown. This way you will have a better idea for gifts and have room for them when they arrive.
GET A CHRISTMAS GIFT APP
I have found using a Christmas gift app is a brilliant way to help you stay organised. You can list everyone you would like to buy for, set a budget and track your progress. The Christmas gift apps usually have a code to keep little people from accessing it, even if you leave your phone down for a second. Shopping online? Track what was ordered and mark it off when it's arrived. Keep notes to remember where things are hidden. Previous years can be archived so you remember how much was spent on the cousins etc. No more forgetting what you got for everyone on your list.
Total game changer.
Let me know your top tips that help you stay organised for the holidays in the comments below.