This post is in collaboration with Birchbox
Christmas is without doubt my favourite holiday. It’s the only time of year that gathers absolutely everyone I love in one place – the one time that everyone will make an effort and the one time where nothing is more important.
It’s also the busiest time of the year for me, in every aspect. If I’m not careful I find myself in a downward spiral of utter chaos – and being overwhelmed at the best time of the year isn’t what any of us want, is it?
I woke up this morning feeling engulfed in said chaos. A sudden rush of panic flowed through me - I still have so much work to do, Christmas bits to collect, people to see and what feels like zero time to do it all in.
And mid breakdown, I decided to stop.
Instead of going in to full-blown panic mode I made a list for myself, prioritising everything and trying to work out ways that I could save myself some time. And then I thought, why don’t I share some of those tips with you guys, too? Because if it helps me, perhaps it could help you. A problem shared is a problem halved after all, right?
1. CREATE A CHECKLIST. It sounds simple, but it’s easily forgotten when you’re feeling stressed out. I’ve sat down and made myself two lists: 1. Who do I have to buy for / what do they want? 2. What else do I need? Crackers, wrapping paper, labels etc. You can always add to the lists when something new pops into your head and there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking something off once you’ve done it!
2. BUYING PRESENTS. I think above anything else, buying for the ones you love can weirdly be one of the most stressful elements of Christmas time. Visiting the shops under pressure can be detrimental to the process and even online shopping can occasionally be overwhelming. One gift that I’ve found to totally relieve the stress of ‘getting it right’, that covers multiple ladies in my life and saves heaps of time, is The Christmas Birchbox. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Birchbox provide a service of monthly deliveries, consisting of 5 personalised beauty products, so customers can learn and discover some of the top beauty products on the market. Birchbox can be gifted as a 3 (£30), 6 (£60) or 12 month subscription (£100). So those special people in your life will still be receiving a treat through the door, even after Christmas. It’s such a thoughtful present, but requires minimal effort on all fronts, I mean it even comes in it’s own pretty box so there’s no need to even wrap it up! Winning.
3. LABEL STUFF. I don’t know about you, but I find myself always rushing the final touches. This year I’ve decided to label the hell out of everything. If I’ve only got half an hour spare, I’m going to wrap my presents in their paper, stick a label on them so I don’t forget who they’re for and come back to add ribbons and bows later. And this might be a total curve ball, but labelling serving dishes will save a heap of time on Christmas day. Everyone knows how stressful preparing the Dinner can be, and so knowing exactly what veg is going where will help you stay calm when the Brussels are boiling over ;-)
Applying these three things to my CCL (Christmas Chaotic Lifestyle) means that I can actually take some time out to enjoy what’s going on at Christmas time. From waltzing around Christmas fairs to taking in the beautiful lights of London.
Instead of being swallowed up by the fear, I’ve realised it doesn’t need to be quite as manic as I imagined. We don’t all have endless hours in the day to prepare, but there are definitely things we can do to help alleviate the stress and enjoy ourselves that little bit more.
Because Christmas may be a time for giving, but it’s also a time for us, too :-)
Photography by Derek Bremner