It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The family are returning to the nest. Christmas lights are
twinkling. The scents, sounds, and tastes of our childhood fill our homes once again as we prepare
for the merriment and celebrations ahead. But there’s no denying that December can feel rather a hectic and overwhelming month too. And it’s easy to forget the bigger picture as we dash around madly trying to ensure everything is perfect it’s easy to forget the bigger picture as we dash around madly trying to ensure everything is perfect for the people we love.
Keeping Christmas Manageable
A few things to keep in mind as we dive headfirst into the festive season:
Stop, think, and prioritise
A few minutes spent updating the diary and highlighting key to-dos for each event can help keep anxiety at bay. Look for pinch points so you can resolve clashes and bottlenecks early. Mark things like last posting dates and food order deadlines on the calendar too so you can stop worrying about missing them. And be realistic when deciding how much to take on.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
Is it a British thing, or just general human nature that makes us feel compelled to accept every invite, request and favour sent in our direction? Pick and choose the activities most important to you and yours. Remember: it is still possible to socialise in January (why does it feel like we so often forget that?!) and that old cliché of ‘There’s always next Christmas’ is true too.
Celebrate a Perfectly IMPERFECT Christmas
We passionately believe in about celebrating imperfect Christmases. None of us needs the stress of striving for perfection; it often gets in the way of the very thing we’re trying to achieve – special moments with our loved ones. Anyway, the things that don’t go to plan become the stories of Christmas past which we regale each Christmas future. Perhaps, in fact, an imperfect Christmas is a perfect Christmas, after all!
Take Time For You
It’s so easy to forget ourselves in the hustle and bustle of it all, particularly as the glue holding everything together. Carve out a few minutes a day to keep your own routines going, be it exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness exercises, or simply getting some fresh air. On average, advent candles burn for about 20 minute a day —a perfect and calming timer, allowing just the right amount of time for a peaceful (and manageable) moment dedicated to you. Head to jollyfestive.com for a free printable self-care advent calendar if you’d like guided inspiration on how to use that time.
Keeping Christmas Organised
Ever wonder how you’re going to get the Christmas décor back in the box, cupboard or loft come
January? Here’s a few tips and tricks for how to keep the decorations in order, and make it easier
for yourself next year too.
Pack decorations away by room. That way you can decorate in stages rather than needing to bring everything out together and making the exercise feel overwhelming.
Separate the tree decorations from the rest of the Christmas décor so it can be its own individual activity.
Store decorations in clear boxes if possible so you can easily see what’s inside rather than having to rummage.
Take photos of your room when fully decorated, print them out, and stick them to the front of the box containing those decs. That way you’ll have a quick inventory of what’s inside plus a visual guide to help make decorating quicker next year.
When it comes to the lights, wrap them around a piece of cardboard to stop them from getting in a tangle. We prefer starting our lights from the non-plug end, so we wrap them with the plug first (but reverse if you’re the other way around). Add a small piece of brightly coloured tape to the end so it’s easy to find.
Clear collapsible ornament boxes can be useful for safely storing your precious tree decorations, especially if you have lots of uniform standard-size baubles. Otherwise, try wrapping them in tissue paper and storing them in labelled boxes by location used and colour or theme.
Keeping Christmas For The Next Generation
If you’re thinking of downsizing your Christmas décor collection, here’s a few tips and ideas for how:
Keep a Christmas Capsule Box
Think about what you’re likely to put up in the future and just keep these items – one set of lights,
one set of baubles that work together and a few special pieces of co-ordinated other décor.
And, of course, be sure to keep those precious, sentimental ornaments too. Even if you’re not
planning on decorating a tree each year, there are lots of other ways to show off a handful of special
Try and choose décor that can be multi-functional and repurposed for other seasons of the year too,
such as fairy lights, paper fans, candlesticks, and wreaths that can be tweaked for each celebration.
Don’t worry if you get it wrong; you can easily supplement in the future or simply repurpose some of
your everyday home décor for Christmas. We’ve got lots of simple ideas for how on the website.
Passing Ornaments Along
For those ornaments that are surplus to requirement, there’s lots of ways to give them a second
lease of life, such as:
Share Them With Your Children. Encourage them to pick out the decorations they hold dearest for their own trees.
Add to Tags On Gifts. A great embellishment to your gifts this year. You could even add an extra tag explaining what you’re doing and why you felt they may like that ornament.
Host A Pot Luck Ornament Party. Ask each guest to bring a dish for the party table and then have them choose a decoration from your tree to take home and add to theirs.
Donate. Schools, community centres and local shelters will often be grateful for Christmas decoration donations to spread Christmas cheer within their community.
Get Crafty. Upcycle your old decorations as gifts for Christmas or even to sell at local craft fairs. There’s so much fabulous inspiration online to get you started.
Keep The Memories Alive
If you’re finding it hard to part with your decorations, don’t! There’s no right and wrong here, just
pass them along when feels right to you. You could do it in stages, a few a year for example.
Or if practicalities mean you must, consider photographing the decorations before you part with
them. You could either make an annotated photo album, or use the photos to create a collage for
the wall (or even to decoupage a vase). The possibilities are endless!
However you decide to decorate, store, share, and celebrate your Christmas this year, we hope it’s a
happy one filled with the people you love and a touch of festive magic in the air.
Hannah & Jo, Co- founders of the website Jolly Festive.
Two sisters 10 years apart in age and living on either side of the Atlantic, both completely and utterly Christmas-obsessed!
Listen to us chatting with Hannah about how to keep calm and organised over the Christmas period.
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