In the inimitable words of Noddy Holden "IT'S CHRISTMAS." Yes, I know it must be one of the most annoying songs; it's always got me off the dance floor! Whatever way you look at it, there's only 11 more sleeps until ‘C’ Day!! Why is it that life during these first 25 days of December always seems to be just rush, pressure and hassle? When really Christmas time is supposed to be about the opposite - peace, joyfulness and having a good time.
So, I’m not going to create more hassle for you or give you a lecture about what you should be doing to create a Jamie, Kirstie or Nigella Christmas. I am simply going to say here's some ‘get out of jail’ card suggestions for bringing a bit of peace back to your Christmas. Oh and next year maybe get a little help sorting out stuff from someone who is great at it around about October, November time(hint, hint!!). Just like the lovely lady I've been working with who now has the use of a spectacular dining room ready for her to enjoy with friends and family way beyond this festive season. We discovered the room together underneath (literally!) a whole heap of all sorts of stuff. Now she no longer hurriedly closes the door before opening the front door to people but happily invites them in to show them around!
Anyway, here's a few helpful suggestions to turn madness and mayhem into candle lit christmassy cheer.
Start by making a list of all the things you think you should be doing. Don't panic; you are allowed to do this with a glass in hand. This doesn’t need to be a chore in itself. Now, cross about half of them out, keeping only the really important ones! Now you are getting near a realistic and workable to do list. (Make a room in the attic for guests will just have to wait until 2016. Meanwhile, there are loads of great, comfy blow up beds on the market nowadays.)
Now, take your list and divide it up into doable daily chunks. This is the secret to really getting it all under control and done. After all, how do you eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time, of course. You just have to make sure your list isn't stupidly long and that you actually DO each thing you have committed to do that day. Then, hey presto before you know it you are actually starting to enjoy this Christmas malarkey.
Give yourself a night off cooking and get a take away. It doesn't have to cost the earth - M&S do a great £10 meal deal. This can allow you to get ahead with other meals. Do a big batch cook up: stick some good music on and make like you are cooking for a big party. Or if you don’t fancy yourself in a pinny, buy lots of freezable ready meals for those ‘oh heck, I'm just too tired to think’ moments.
Get a cleaner to do a full ‘deep clean’ or if you’re already lucky enough to have one, treat yourself to a few extra hours of their help.
Buy batteries!! You know what they are for. You can never have enough batteries especially when your kids are opening that incredibly annoying present that you vowed was never entering your home, but dear Aunty Doris has bought it! Oh what joy!
Buy loads of tea lights and church sized candles. Everything always looks better in candle light. It also hides a multitude of sins and is just pretty and festive.
Make sure you have got enough wrapping paper, sticky tape and extra little pressies so when that someone pops round and gives you a little something, you are able to give them something too! After all, it's all about sharing. I wrap each present as I buy so I'm not overwhelmed. Also, if you always get in a fight with the sellotape and never come off the winner, make use of all the wrapping services that many shops offer. Treat yourself to a sellotape dispenser, then you WILL be the winner!
Just remember, the real spirit of Christmas is not in the organising of things or the presents you give, but the good times you share with the people you love and cherish. A bit of madness and mayhem is all part of life. All you really have to do is create a warm, friendly atmosphere with loads to drink and eat.
Have a happy Christmas, you deserve it. Stick some Christmassy music on and if Noddy Holder pops up, stuff a mince pie in his mouth before he starts shouting!