Friday 4 December 2020

Removing the stress | Prepping for Christmas - Blogmas Day 4

Christmas can be stressful. Despite it coming at the same time each year it still seems to manage to creep up on us. You think you’ve got plenty of time to get everything sorted and then BAM it’s here, and you have a mad last minute rush to get the rest of your gifts purchased and wrapped.


Sound familiar? It’s a problem a lot of us face year after year, myself included. Last year was slightly different as my friends and I didn't do Christmas presents for each other, to help us save for us all to go to America. Instead we all put some money in a pot to fund food and drink and have a little get together. This worked really well, but with no idea as to whether we'd be able to do the same this year or not, we've decided to go with Secret Santa  - again to save on costs, without forgoing presents completely. This is just one of many things you can do to help lighten the mental load at Christmas time.

I’m gonna get this one out of the way because it’s something that people seem to have split views on. Some think it’s perfectly acceptable and others don't. Personally I feel that you should be grateful that someone went to the effort to get something for you, but if all you are going to do is put it in a draw never to be seen again, or throw it away on the sly, then it's a bit of a waste. 

Especially if you have a friend or loved one who would really love that gift. Rather than throwing things away, or leaving them to gather dust and be forgotten about why not keep them back to be used as a future present to someone who would get far more joy out of it than you did? Just make sure not to re-gift it back to the person who gave it to you, cos that's just awkward..

Present box
Something that I used to do in the past was maintain a present box. It was a place that I would store various gifts and generic cards for future use. On the occasion that you've forgotten a birthday, or need a present last minute you can dive into your present box and (hopefully) find something suitable to use. 

It's not something I've kept up with for a little while now, but when I did it worked really well. Going forward I'll be bringing back the present box to get a good stock of gifts together and help reduce the stress in the lead up to Christmas. All being well, it should come in handy at other times of the year too.

Take advantage of the sales
Everyone loves a good sale, but you can make it really work for you, especially if you are looking to implement a present box like I just mentioned. When it comes to generic presents (or even something that you know a certain someone will love) you can stock up in the January sales and save them to be used through the following year, as well as the next Christmas. 

I know it may seem silly to some to essentially start present shopping a year in advance, but why the hell not? Why pay full price for something that you don't need to? Just make sure you don't get anything that will be out of date or perish by the time you come to gift them.

The year before
The second Christmas is over everything relating to it drops in price. This is the perfect time to buy cards, wrapping paper and even Christmas decorations. Last year I got a pack of Christmas cards for 20p, which would have cost me a couple of quid had I got them in the lead up to Christmas. 

Plus by doing this you have the added benefit that your wrapping paper and cards are from the previous season, and so it won't be everywhere. 

Don't do presents 
I mentioned before that my close friends and I aren't doing presents in favor of saving the money for our trip next year. That doesn't mean that we are going to let Christmas come and go like it never happened though, we've decided to go for something slightly different.

We all agreed that spending time with each other and enjoying each others company was far more important than any present that could possibly be unwrapped. So instead of physical gifts we decided to each put a small amount of money into a pot, and use that pot to get food and various drinks for a Christmas get together. We'll have an entire evening of Christmas songs and spending time together, which to me is far more in the spirit of Christmas. 

What are your tips for a stress free Christmas?


Originally posted 13th December 2019



  1. Christmas always ends up being stressful, no matter how hard we prepare lol it's a good idea that you and your friends decided to skip presents this year in favour of saving, you can all have a ball in America. I always use a present box all year round, it's gotten me out of some forgotten birthday conversation Haha and I swear by the sales for stocking up, we always buy extended family in the sales to avoid over spending as S has A LOT of family and without the sales we wouldn't be able to manage it. Great tips of avoiding stress at Christmas or atleast minimizing it.

    Jordanne ||

    1. Doesn't it just!? I think it might be something we do in future, even when we don't have something to save for. It was really nice having our present to each other being quality time and making some great memories together.
      I used to use a present/card box and it was fantastic, saved me on more than a few occasions!

      Em xx


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