I promise to do this every year, but this year I decided to get organised for Christmas early. I know we all cringe about how early the decorations, gifts and food come out, but if they didn’t do this how would we prepare early? How many of us say we will save throughout the year to make the financial side of it easier, but I have never managed to achieve this. I decided this year, starting at the end of October I was going to start picking up a few decorative items for our house, and I have started purchasing items online.
This year, as with most years our Christmas celebrations aren’t going to be at our house. We don’t even know what we’re going to be doing yet on Christmas Day as we’re still waiting on my husbands’ roster to come out, and I have requested the day off so hope that works out ok. But, as we work through Christmas usually it’s nice to feel the festive season at home, I like to use lots of fairy lights, and little Christmassy nick knacks. I LOVE Christmas and seem to have converted hubby, so this year he has requested a white Christmas theme, we both love the idea of a white tree as we never had one as kids so we have plans to do a white, winter Christmas theme.
So I wanted to make this post to point out that while I do not encourage the idea of Christmas consumerism all year round, I think we should stop complaining every year about how early it is, and use it as an opportunity to stop waiting until the last minute, and chip away at the purchases. I know a lot of people go over the top with gifts, food and decorations, we enter the silly season the closer we get to the day, as we all know deadlines are the greatest motivators, and we end up with mad traffic and crowds at the shops that we all hate to participate in but that we feel is a necessary evil. This year, or maybe even next year lets make a change that will hopefully improve our holidays.
- Have a discussion with your family about what your Christmas will be this year (ie ours is a white Christmas, we buy for the kids in hubbies family, and for couples and kids in mine since I have a small family)
- Make a list of the people you need to buy for, add stocking fillers, and think about food – can you delegate food if you’re hosting, or can you take a plate to share if you’re going to someone’s house
- Start researching online shopping now! I have realised there are a lot of “cheap” (under $15 and under $50) items on catch of the day that would make great stocking fillers or things for people who you don’t really know what to buy for. You could do the same with groupon, ebay… Whatever you can think of. Buy a few things each fortnight, decorations and even start planning menus and trialling things if you need to, you can take things to work to get feedback.
There are a heap of apps and checklists out there, but if you make a gift list, a to-do list and decoration list you can start chipping away at things now. Online shopping will get busier as time goes on, so try and make those purchases sooner rather than later. Most importantly try not to make Christmas bigger and better each year. Keep it simple and it will feel better anyway. Take advantage of the Christmas displays as they are released, it will really help. I feel like a whole new theme this year will be expensive, but shop around, there are lots of bargains to be had, you can get lights online, from discount shops, lots of decorations from kmart, it’s such a disposable world these days, but we keep our decorations in “themed” boxes and rotate them each year. The biggest challenge for us is going to be how to keep the cats out of the tree.
We can all leave the consumerism behind, repurpose, reuse, and simplify. Make this Christmas one you can enjoy, take a moment to slow down and enjoy the process, instead of entering the rat race in December. Besides, I like to decorate our house on the first of December and enjoy the atmosphere.