They say a parent’s work is never done and to be honest, that’s never truer when a parent sits down and starts to consider Christmas and all that it entails. To an outsider, looking in, Christmas begins on the 25th December and is a fantastic day which simply magically ‘appears’. Only a parent truly knows how much goes into that one day to make it as wonderful as it is.
Plan Your Finances
Finances can be a juggling act as any parent will know. Financial planning for Christmas can often be executed throughout the year, putting aside a little each month in readiness for the big day. How much money is needed will depend on the size of your family, both immediate and distant and keeping everyone happy can be quite a difficult task. The trick is not to stress. Yes the time will fly and Christmas will be here soon but a little planning can actually make you feel better and more organised moving forward!
Keep an Itemised List
Getting organised from the off is key to a reduced stress Christmas. I won’t say stress-free, as no matter how much we aim for this; us parents will feel the stress on any day we over prepare for!
Begin with a spreadsheet of all people that you need to buy for. If a gift idea pops into your head for someone, pop it into the spreadsheet. Once this item has been bought, highlight it green. You’ll soon see lots of green as you begin to purchase gifts, which takes the stress out of the bulk of the job. Keep a separate list for food; if you’re anything like me, Christmas is as much about food as it is gifts!
Stock Up on Food Vouchers
If you know you’re going to purchase food from a particular supermarket, be sure to check if they sell food vouchers. These can be purchased at a few pounds a week and can add up over the period of the year. A £5 food voucher bought every week for 50 weeks gives you £250! Do the maths and it will add up to a bountiful Christmas.
Take Advantage of Sales Throughout The Year
There are many sales throughout the year that are there to be taken advantage of. Some parents head out into the January sales and purchase all Christmas presents for the following year! Whilst this idea may be a bit daunting, money goes a lot further if you can get 3 for 2 or BOGOF gifts in regular sales that you know people will like. Keep an eye on voucher sites and discount codes to take full advantage and stretch that money a little further!
Consideration of all the effort that goes in to arranging Christmas is often overlooked and unappreciated. Still, us parents slog on, and do what we can to make the day memorable, often buying throughout the year and planning well in advance for the festive season. Only a parent will know the juggling act that appears behind the scenes of any Christmas. Children may not appreciate it, but in years to come they will remember the fantastic day that is created for them. You’re not just making one day special, you’re making their memories special, and their children’s memories special, as they recreate the moments you tenderly provided for them.
Author: Simon Calvin is the creative drive behind UKChristmasWorld.com with a real passion for the festive season. Edging ever closer to the winter months, Simon is in full Christmas mode with the holiday just around the corner.