This month’s ‘How to be an Organised Family’ post is again dominated by Christmas and so is renamed aptly the last minute Christmas prep checklist! For November I gave you lots of tips on getting ahead ready for the month of December so you can try and sit back and enjoy Christmas more. There is nothing worse than feeling like the only one in your family who is running around, so I will expand on this in my self care section. The rest of this post is handy hints and reminders to help stay organised, sane and save you some time. I like to write these posts in the hope that I can focus a little at keeping my own family organised and I then enjoy sharing my tips with you, in the hope it may help even one family. I will point out that this doesn’t mean I’m on top of organisational game all the time. There is plenty that I forget to do throughout the month and there are days when the house is more chaotic than others, but on the whole my life has been more in control since I started these posts up nearly a year ago.
Book your online shopping now, to get any of those last minute available slots, as they’re selling out fast. Also make sure you put in orders for extra milk with your milkman or fruit and vegetable boxes.
After Christmas Day the last thing we want to do is enter a shop until pretty much January! So on your next shop stock up on extra boring household items such as toilet roll, toiletries, cleaning, calpol, ibuprofen, dishwasher and laundry items. I find that we go through these essentials so much quicker in the holidays with a full house at home. Along with extra healthcare items, stock up on multivitamins as we all need some extra help in the Winter months.
Also stock up on extra beverages, our coffee is always in demand with two adults at home as well as extra visitors in the holidays. A few extra alcoholic bottles are also handy for those last minute invites that often happen or for a tombola prize.
Boring household essentials such as batteries, bin bags and anti-freeze/screenwash will also save any last minute trips to over priced garages. Make a big food list and check it several times. Don’t forget simple things such as condiments and check what seasonings and spices need refilling that you rely on for festive meals/baking. Also I find having some extra bags of frozen vegetables are also handy for adding to leftover meals and soups. I know that the shops are really only closed for a day or two at the most, but for me I don’t want to keep ending up spending precious family time in a supermarket!
If you buy for teachers, nursery staff, childminders, cleaners, helpful neighbours or any other helpful people in your life. Make sure you also get a couple of extra gifts just in case. It’s always handy to have an extra for that just in case gift you may need. If you’re looking for a simple homemade gift then do check out my 3 homemade slow cooker fudge recipes.
Cleaning – The next week or so is the week to get done any leftover boring household jobs that you didn’t get around to in November. So if you’re putting off anything like carpet or oven cleaning, get it sorted well before the 20th as you need and deserve a break from the mundane jobs like that until January. Or alternatively just decide that January is the time for those kinds of jobs!
If you’re a baker then get making some of your favourite festive cakes/pies now and freeze ahead to make Christmas week less fraught. If you enjoy baking but are a bit stuck for time then find ways to cheat. I always find things such as shop bought mincemeat or ready made pastry can help tweak homemade baking. We’re also a fan of the ready made pastry doughs for holiday breakfasts.
If you take part in little traditions such as Reindeer food, then please do check out our edible reindeer food which is also eco friendly!
If you’ve been last minute with sending Christmas cards, then just don’t write them this year! Maybe send emails, e-cards or a social media post to all your loved ones and friends wishing them a Happy Holiday. After all it’s kinder to the environment and you will be thankful for the extra time.
Have a look in your local area for things to do for between the days running up to and after New Year. Planning a nice walk or get together with friends is always needed after a few days of indoors Christmas festivities. Or maybe get some last minute theatre tickets.
If you’re local to me then check out Yorkshire Tots to Teensfor plenty of days out and activities across Yorkshire.
For those brave or mad Elf on the shelfers, I have a handy 24 days of Elf on the Shelf survival for you to use, for taking that hassle of planning your own elf itinerary out!
Try and not procrastinate on making a list(s) as once you do write some down you can then break it down and delegate some tasks out. Us Mums in particular are really good at trying to handle everything and we’re not so good at asking for help (sound familiar?). If there are two adults in the house then make sure that you have more of an equal share of the jobs. Also enlist any tweens, teens and older children into more housework and chores, as they need to also realise that Christmas doesn’t just appear!
Try and slow down. I know this can sometimes be hard on the run up to Christmas with so many events, school concerts, work commitments and family meet ups. I think it’s really important to not feel obliged to do everything. Christmas being only once a year means you only have this one time to do what you want to do. So yes I know it’s kind to be considerate of others but sometimes you need to say no and slow down and let others be considerate of you for a change. I know that I have been very guilty in the past of committing to things that I have got the time or energy for and I’m now getting so much better at doing more of what is good for me. I love nothing more than curling up over December with blanket or under my duvet to read a chapter or two of a comforting Christmas book. It’s one of the few times in the year that I get chance to read a book.
I have included home decor into this post as I find it really lovely and productive for my own self care to faff about my home with flowers, hygge and decor. Last year I wrote a post about Hygge Home Decor This Christmas and I really did enjoy putting some of my own simple creative touches into the house. After listening to some podcasts on being inspired by Winter and nature I really want to do the same again and bring the outside in with sprigs of holly and mistletoe and also go for the cozy Scandi look. I really enjoyed putting a simple foliage centrepiece together for our Christmas dinner last year.
As always I have included my monthly meal plan. My December meal plan is made up of seasonal food, some simple winter warmers and also plenty of indulgent recipes.
I thought it handy to include my Quick and easy Christmas Craft post for ideas to keep your kids busy! I have also included my Christmas craft Pinterest board for inspiration.
Simple Christmas activities for babies and toddlers; this post has sensory and creative ieas for play at home.
Get some fresh air and go outdoors! We love blowing the cobwebs away after a few days in playing with new toys and eating our body weight in Quality Street, so I have also included my trusty Autumn/Winter picnic ideas post for you to feed them on the go outside at this time of year.
This helpful post gives you 5 ways to dispose of your Christmas tree. for a more eco-friendly Christmas.
I hope that this post gives you some helpful tips and inspiration for making December more simple to navigate in terms of organisation, but also provides you with some inspiration for taking the month slower whilst being able to enjoy the month. If slow parenting is of interest, do read my post all about slow parenting at Christmas.