Pres­ence of mind

Start pre­par­ing now and make Christ­mas a lit­tle less chaotic

The Morning Bulletin - - HOME - STAY AT HOME MUM with Jody Allen Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stay­ath­ome­mum.com.au

CHRIST­MAS is men­tal for mums. And any sin­gle thing that I can do to make it a bit eas­ier is gold. Here are my tips on how to start pre­par­ing for Christ­mas right now. START PICK­ING UP A FEW LONG-LIFE PANTRY ITEMS OR FROZEN GOODS NOW: When you do your weekly or fort­nightly gro­cery shop, con­sider pick­ing up some items that have a long shelf life that you will use over the Christ­mas pe­riod. Good ex­am­ples of gro­cery items to put away in­clude frozen party pies and sausage rolls, nap­kins and pa­per plates, frozen veg­eta­bles, fruit cake, wine and other al­co­hol, and potato chips.

PICK UP A GIFT CARD OR TWO WHEN SHOP­PING: $5 or $10 gift cards are easy and well-re­ceived Christ­mas gifts for neigh­bours, friends or ex­tended fam­i­lies. Not only that, if you buy a gift card from the su­per­mar­ket ev­ery time you shop you can then use th­ese cards your­self for the big Christ­mas shop that needs to be done in De­cem­ber.

TALK TO THE FAM­ILY ABOUT GIFT GIV­ING: I don’t think ev­ery­one should buy Christ­mas gifts for ev­ery per­son in the fam­ily. Not only is this fi­nan­cially stress­ful, it isn’t nec­es­sary. Per­son­ally, I think ex­tended fam­i­lies should only buy for kids un­der 12 – and then only have a limit. But if your fam­ily is into gift giv­ing con­sider hav­ing a max­i­mum amount (say $5 or $10), or hand-made gifts.

SET UP A CAL­EN­DAR OF EVENTS FOR THE SILLY SEA­SON: With the end-of-school con­certs, fam­ily get-to­geth­ers and par­ties, it is re­ally hard to re­mem­ber what is com­ing up and when. Think about print­ing a large cal­en­dar (or print­ing two A4 cal­en­dars and putting them to­gether) to stick some­where you will see it ev­ery day.

PRINT OFF A CHRIST­MAS GIFT LIST: Plan ahead what gifts you have, what you need and your bud­get. Ever thought of a great idea of what to get some­one and then for­got­ten it (yep me too!) – this will help you out. Keep the list out of sight, though.

THINK ABOUT YOUR CHRIST­MAS MENU IN AD­VANCE: If it is hot­ter than the sun at your place on Christ­mas Day then think about your menu and what is do-able or easy to achieve. Seafood is a pop­u­lar choice in Aus­tralia, as is a bar­be­cue lunch with fancy sal­ads and a cold dessert.

Take Christ­mas in your stride this year by tak­ing ac­tion now.

ORI­GIN: The Ger­mans made the first ar­ti­fi­cial Christ­mas trees out of dyed goose feath­ers. PHOTO: ISTOCK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.