There are a few special memories from childhood Christmases that will stay with us forever. These moments in time whether unplanned or carefully cultivated by our loved ones are part of the magic of childhood that we all work hard to create for our own children. But the festive season can be a lot of work for any parent so we have had a look at ways to take the edge off with some simple organisation tips.

Decide what you want out of Christmas. The buildup to Santa’s arrival can be as much a part of Christmas as Christmas Day is itself with a bit of pre planning. On the other hand, there is a lot going at this time of year and you might prefer to save all the fun for Christmas Day itself. There is a middle ground here, which is really about saving all the excitement for the big day but adding one small nod on a daily basis – think advent calendars with a little treat. The point is that you need to figure out how much you want to do next Christmas and what the festive should include for your family.

Actually plan. Most of us have a general idea in our heads but don’t actually write down a plan. If you make the effort to write a plan based on what your expectations are, you can also write a shopping list, budget accordingly and share the workload as you’ll know ahead of time what the tasks are. Don’t forget to add in the sneaky extra costs such as event admission, work party costs and school raffle prizes etc.

Spread the cost. With your newly written plan including a strict budget you can now plan what you need to save every month and get started, the earlier the better. Consider using helpful savings apps such as revolute or Money Dashboard. You might realise how much you really spend a Christmas and start looking at ways to save money. Take a hard look at your shopping list: what can be reused from last year; what can be purchased early or during sales and what can scrapped entirely as non essential? 

Spread the workload. You don’t have to do it all yourself! Spread the workload between yourself and your co-parent, grannies, grampa’s, aunts and uncles will also love to share the special festive moments with your children. If you can’t get off work to take your child to see Santa, or don’t have time to make a Christmas nativity outfit or get the food shopping in, consider who would be happy to help? 

Preprepared the food. Guess what freezes well? Pretty much most of your Christmas dinner! Preparing ahead of time and freezing food is not cheating, its making use of the tools available to you. Less time in the kitchen means more time enjoying the day with your family. On the other hand consider ordering your entire Christmas dinner from one of the local supermarkets.

Start shopping early if you have the storage space. Ideally, well before the shops start to advertise their Christmas promotions. Buying items out of season is a great way to save money and get ahead of the to-do list. Do keep in mind that there are some items you will need to watch out for guarantees and return policies. Get one gift a month and you will be done in no time without the crazy Christmas crowds. 

The festive season seems to creep on us earlier and earlier every year and the thought of planning so early for one event seems ludicrous but it could make all the difference to your December. Happy planning!