As the weather finally starts heating up, many of us will be itching to get…
You may or may not want to hear it – but the countdown is on to the silly season! And while it’s some people’s favourite time of the year, there’s no question that it can also be busy, stressful and quite hard on the bank balance.
So with a little over three months to go, how can you make sure Christmas is as enjoyable as it can be – without having to panic about last minute buying, or deal with unexpected problems? Here’s a few festive season tips:
Make a list
A physical list that you can sit down with to make notes, and then keep somewhere safe, is ideal for feeling organised and on track for what you need to do. You may want one main list, with a few others like one for presents, one for food, one for cards to send… or anything else that is important for you to categorise. It’s also good to have a piece of paper and pen next to the bed, for those last minute thoughts before heading off to sleep.
Imagine your ideal holiday season
You don’t have to be controlled by what the festive season means to everyone else. Allow yourself to think about what Christmas means to you, and how you want to celebrate it. It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities and what society tells us Christmas should be, but it’s different for everyone – and it needs to be a time you enjoy!
Set a limit
Spending can easily get out of control in November and December, so preparing with a budget is a good idea – especially in retirement. Work out the limit for each present you’ll buy for your family members, and do your best to stick to it.
You might also like to let others know what your plan is as perhaps the grandkids would just like a voucher to contribute to something big they are saving up for, or that maybe everyone agrees to doing Secret Santa where you only buy a present for one person in your family group.
Write down important dates
Part of having an easy, relaxing Christmas is being organised with where you have to be and when. So make sure you write everything down on the calendar to keep check of what’s happening and when. It’ll help you feel in control and also allow you to plan downtime in between activities, especially if you need that time to re energise. There’s no need to tire yourself out.
Start buying now
By buying a few things each week in the lead up to Christmas, you’re better set up to stick to the budget you’ve put in place and it will also allow you to spread the cost out over a couple of months. Keep an eye out for specials, deals and make the most of them when they pop up!
Talk to your family
To set expectations, it’s always a good idea to have a chat about what everyone is planning for their own Christmas festivities. If you have children and grandchildren – ask where they would like to have Christmas and work out how you will fit into that.
Plan for extra
In all the busyness of Christmas, it’s easy to leave someone off the list – like the courier driver or mower man. So have a couple of boxes of chocolate stashed away ‘just in case’ (you could always grab extra when you next see them on special). Then you’re not having to rush to the supermarket at the last minute, and it also helps if you receive anything unexpected – you’re then able to reciprocate.
The summer sun, a time to see friends and family, delicious food – Christmas and the ‘silly season’ is about enjoying the simple things in life. And with a little preparation (using the ideas above) you can ensure you do less of the rushing around and more of the relaxing, fun stuff.
Bonus tip: One of the truly wonderful ways to embrace the spirit of Christmas is to spread joy – read our blog from last year that has 5 ideas of ways to give to others.
If you have any questions or are interested in retirement living in 2023, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch