I must admit, I've never really been one to stress about Christmas - although perhaps this is only because my son is just beginning to understand what it's all about, and currently, the hardest task I have to tackle is what to get my other half as a gift - why is buying for men so hard?! However, there are certain things I do that make Christmas great, not only for my loved ones but for myself too and I've decided to share for all my fellow Christmas lovers out there.
1. Focus on what's important - this is my top tip as I think some people can get completely carried away and caught up in the commercial element of Christmas. The most important thing for me is making sure my family has a good time and that we get to spend lots quality time together over the festive period. I've seen countless status updates from friends who are worried that they don't have enough gifts, worried that the have too many and frantically running about trying to get everything organised. In the end, children won't be bothered about whether or not they got a certain toy off Santa or their parents, they'll forget about it soon after Christmas Day, what they won't forget though, is all the wonderful memories they made spending time with their parents, siblings and other loved ones. I still look fondly back on memories for Christmases past and they'll stay with me forever, as for the toys that I received, I can barely remember any of them.
2. Send your cards in good time - lets face it, writing the Christmas cards can be a laborious task, and trying to remember everyone on your list can be a nightmare too. This year I ordered personalised cards and made sure they arrived well before the Christmas rush. I wrote them as soon as I could and posted them all off straight away, otherwise they would have stayed sitting in the spare room for all eternity and as we've family and friends abroad I really wanted to make the posting dates in good time. Now all my family and friends have gotten their cards in time for Christmas and know that I've been thinking of them.
3. Try to save money when you can - Christmas can be such an awful expense for some people and sometimes it can be a unnecessary one too. Ever since I had my son I've begun buying gifts throughout the year, picking them up when they're on offer and putting them away for him. This has been really cost effective and means that I don't have a big rush to get to the toy shop once December comes and the toys start disappearing off the shelves. I also pick up decorations from discount stores and Penneys/Primark, they're just as nice as the more expensive ones you can buy and they save a ton of money too, my LED battery operated lights are great as it means I can have them on all the time without feeling like I'm wasting electricity.
4. Make your present wrapping personal - presents are such an important part of Christmas and it's lovely to make people feel special, so I always try and give a personal touch to my gifts. I like to print out tags or create my own and wrap the gifts up with bows, ribbons and string. This year I've also seen some gorgeous personalised photo wrapping paper and thought it was such a lovely idea. It doesn't take much longer to put the extra effort in and seeing people's faces light up when they receive something beautifully wrapped is always amazing. I really love the personalised wrapping idea in the below video too, this is one I may have to do next year.
5. Enjoy the day - some people get so worked up in trying to make the day go 'perfectly' for everyone else that they forget to enjoy it themselves. Make sure to relax, have a great time with everyone and actually enjoy the day - it's not good to be stressed at Christmas!
Those are my top 5 tips for a great Christmas and these are all things I make sure to do myself. If you're looking for some more Christmas inspiration TSB have a great 12 Tips of Christmas guide for making sure that your Christmas is the best it can be.
What are your top tips for a great Christmas?
*This is a collaborative post on behalf of TSB.