Despite the fact that the shops start bringing out their Christmas wares around September these days and Christmas adverts start as soon as Halloween finishes, it can often seem as if the headlong rush towards 25th December takes us unawares. So here are some Workingmums’ tips for getting through the next week.
1. There’s only a week to go. If you’ve been planning this whole thing since the end of 2014 it’s time to go through the final preparations. Alternatively, if you’ve just put your head above the parapet after weeks of Christmas plays, events, office parties and end of year planning, it’s time to start your preparations [tick whichever applies].
2. Christmas begins with making a list [and checking it twice]. Put the absolute essentials at the top and then work down from there. When you have crossed something off, give yourself a small treat, in the manner of an advent calendar.
3. Attempt to cut down on stress by either shopping online or restricting shopping to one or two shops so there is less queuing time involved. Depending on the nature of that shop, you could tell members of the family that you are having a themed Christmas, eg gardening, or motoring if you are only able to do any secret shopping at the local petrol station while the kids are in the car.
4. Don’t worry about pets. They will be happy with the turkey leftovers and attacking the balls on the Christmas tree.
5. Don’t buy that cheap extra shiny wrapping paper. Sellotape doesn’t stick to it and you will become very, very stressed out and un-Christmas like. Ditto any form of bow or ribbon.
6. Write everything down, eg, cooking times for the turkey. Remember to consult your list at regular intervals and not only when you smell something burning in the kitchen.
7. Get the kids to join in the whole making decorations and cooking preparations. It will keep them busy and stop them finding the presents. Ask your partner or a visiting relative to supervise and back away quickly.
8. Buy batteries.
9. Get the children to do a nice calm Christmas project such as a comprehensive round-up of international approaches to Christmas or detailed drawings of 100 snowflakes. This should help to keep the peace when excitement threatens to tip into carnage.
10. Remember once it’s over there’s only 364 days till the next time round.
*For more Christmas tips, download Workingmums.co.uk’s e-book on surviving the festive season.