If you didn’t already know (ie. are that person living under a rock - which I doubt my sparkling readers are), we are well and truly into the busy season now, or as I like to call it, the ‘Festive Season’. Public transport is becoming emptier, the shopping centres are becoming busier, the streets are decorated and sparkling, and if you are like me, you have a lot to do (a lot).
The purpose of this blog post is to once again give you some of my personal tips and tricks to help you get through one of the busiest times of the year with SPARKLE (rather than stress). This time of year should be all about the time you get to spend with your loved ones, it should be about enjoyment and moments of relaxation, not about your endless to-do list. Now don’t get me wrong, focusing on what you have to do is great, but at the end of the day it’s the ‘getting it all done’ that’s the hard part, so my sparkling reader, I’m here to help!
1. Write your to-do list
Now as said above, Christmas shouldn’t be a time where all you do is focus on all the things you need to do, but having lists is still important. Not only does writing what you need to do down give your mind a break from everything you already have to remember, but you will instantly feel more organised, motivated and on top of everything as you begin to cross tasks off.
Examples of lists you could create..
Christmas present list (write this one first) - this one goes without saying as there really is nothing worse than heading out to the busy shopping centres and not knowing where to start aka wasting time. When writing a Christmas present list a great idea is to also write the shop you need to go to next to the present you’re wanting to get. Writing which shop you need to go to not only will save you time once you hit the shopping centre, but it will also help you to group like items so that you don’t find yourself backtracking.. level 1.. level 2.. back to level 1 (you get the idea).
Christmas card list - if you are that person who has already written and posted your Christmas cards give yourself a pat on the back, but if you aren’t, start with writing a list so that you can work out who you want to write to and who’s addresses you might still need. This also helps you to work out if you have enough Christmas cards in the first place.
Christmas Day grocery shopping list - this appeals mostly to those that are hosting the Christmas Day celebration itself. Once again this really helps a lot when you get to the supermarket so that you aren’t walking around aimlessly wondering what to get, or if it will be enough etc. If you receive supermarket catalogues sit down and have a read through those to see what’s in store this week/on special whilst you write your grocery shopping list (we’re all about sticking to that budget here on SPARKLE on darling - especially at Christmas time).
2. Finish your Christmas shopping early
Now I know what you are thinking.. ‘I can’t, I don’t have time' or ‘I don’t know where to start’, well darling what you need to do is simply, start. Whether you can get a few things on your lunch breaks, after you drop the kids at school, on the way home from work or do some online ordering (when ordering online just make sure to check the postage expected date to make sure it will arrive in time - I’m a big fan of express postage here in Australia). If you do what you can when you can, trust me when I say you will surprise yourself just how quickly you can get it all done.
If you have a spare day off over the next 2 weeks, use that day to complete all of your Christmas shopping in the one outing. I realise this can be a daunting task, and exhausting (take it from personal experience - I finished all of mine yesterday, in the one day), but you will feel like a total organisational queen at the end of the full day of shopping. It’s well worth the many, many lines you will wait in to know you’ve completed this task nice and early, and if you need to head back out to the shopping centres for a few last minute things, that’s ok, at least you’ve done the majority of it.
Make sure to take with you your lists, grab a cuppa on the go (don’t forget your reusable coffee cup) and importantly, you must have with you your patience. I worked in retail for many years and now that I don’t anymore I have complete respect for the person behind the counter trying to help you out. Remember to always be nice, retail workers at this time of year are exhausted, most likely even more than you, plus, Santa knows everything, so be a kind human, especially when you are out shopping.
3. Use your time wisely
In relation the the above point, we all have time, yes understandably some have busier lives than others, with kids, full time jobs etc., but that doesn’t mean there are parts throughout your days that you aren’t still wasting time doing something else instead of getting organised for Christmas.
Over the next 2 weeks forgo your TV/Netflix time a couple of times each week to instead eg. write out your Christmas cards, wrap some presents, tidy the house or prepare for Christmas Day. If you spend your television time (say 1-2 hours a night) getting organised for Christmas instead you will absolutely blow yourself away by how on top of everything you are come the big day.
4. Look after yourself
Being such a busy time of the year we tend to forget about one of the most important people in our lives, ourselves (if you’re a regular sparkling reader of mine you’ll know I talk about self love/self care - a lot). In order to give back fully to our lives and our loved ones we must allow time to rest and rejuvenate. Schedule in a mini pamper morning/night where you put a face mask on, put a hair mask in or even take a nap (because you can - I give you permission because power naps are the best).
Taking time out for you might just be one of the most important tasks you do during this time of year. Nobody likes a grinch at Christmas, so make time to look after your own SPARKLE first so that you can spread that glitter to everything and everyone.
5. Put that phone away, darling
This is something I am super passionate about, why? Because if you are on your phone you are not in the moment (and no - you can’t argue with me that you are, because the truth is, you aren’t). If you are on your phone you’ve just missed the expression of your loved ones face when they opened up the gift that you gave them, if you are on your phone you’ve just missed that dad joke your dad told (you know - the one about the dear with no eyes), if you are on your phone you’ve missed what ‘Christmas’ is all about, being together. Your Facebook friends and social media followers can 100% wait until later, because the fact is they are probably with their loved ones too, your loves ones should be the focus.
This year try having a bowl/box near the front door where all of your family and friends put their phones into when they arrive. If you find them sneaking a little peak at it throughout the day then they are automatically rostered on to do the washing up after lunch (they won't look at it when you say this - trust me).
If you still want to capture those moments and turn them into memories from your celebrations with your loved ones, take your camera or invest in one (or leave a little hint for Santa). Always having my ‘actual’ camera with me is how I stay in the moment, but am still able to keep the memory for later too. It’s the best of both worlds because once you take the photo you are instantly back in the moment and you get to keep it, but there’s no where to hide, scroll or online world get lost in.
I hope you took some inspiration and got some motivation from this blog post to help you get through the festive season with ALL of your SPARKLE (and then some). Make sure to subscribe to SPARKLE on darling to ensure you don't miss the next blog post from the second 'A SPARKLE on darling Christmas' series.
Let’s rock this busy time my sparkling reader (I believe in you).
All my love,