Christmas: Organize yourself to make it better!
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Do you like the idea of a laid back Christmas that is the way you want?
Here is some organizational advice and personal stories from active mums to only keep the best bits!
I can see you rolling your eyes: Christmas already! Between the reminder of passing time and the excitement of the festive season, there is always that little blend of nostalgia and joy….So why not tip the scales to the joy side and really make the most of it with the little ones who are already high on Santa Claus. We are suggesting that you organise yourself in order to only keep the best parts. Personal stories and advice from 4 active mums for 4 different kinds of Christmas.
- We are simplifying everything this year!
Sophie is hosting her in-laws and there will be a lot of them. “We decided to club together for the children’s gifts. Each parent looks after buying a nice gift for his or her child within a chosen budget and we get refunded from a joint kitty. For the adults, we each draw the name of another adult and give them a small gift. The same goes for the dinner. I make out a menu and each person brings along and serves their dish. The children set and clear the table. That way, it’s still a party for everyone, including me, and everyone gets to feel that they have contributed. My sisters-in-law feel less like “guests” and it becomes a genuine family party.
- Internet all the way!
Charlie will be finishing up her end of year accounts in December and decided to do everything on the Internet. “I made a list as they year went along and I give out the direct internet links in November. It’s not very glamorous but at least they get the exact Barbie thing or Lego whatsit. For my own gifts, I have everything delivered to my sister’s directly. I can’t leave until the afternoon of the 24th, so this means that I won’t forget any packages. I’ve become used to the idea – as long as I do this job, I can’t have Christmas in my home. After one catastrophic year I decided to let other people take care of things: I’m more relaxed, and I think that they are, too…”
Anna is a sports coach and her team at home looks really well-trained (start them early!): “We divide the work for the presents – I do the girls in the family and he does the boys. We used to each do our own family, but in the end I would always find myself rushing out to get a gift for my mother-in-law at the last minute because he hadn’t found anything. As for Christmas evening, I love to cook so I am in charge of the kitchen. When it comes to shopping, the table and tidying, we make teams. Its makes for nice rituals: when my father drops the champagne off the day before, we open a bottle and drink it with him in the kitchen – the party has already started!”
- Leave everything behind you!
Camilla made a pretty radical choice with her husband and daughters. “For me, Christmas is too emotional, and there are too many frayed nerves…. It’s always complicated with my family! So, after a few fiascos, my husband and I decided to go on holidays every year, just us and the children. We give some fun mini-gifts that can fit in the suitcase because the trip is the real present. It was difficult for my family to accept, and worse for my husband’s with whom everything is fine. I hold a Kings’ Cake party for the Epiphany in January: it’s a big teatime occasion to see each other, with no gifts and no Christmas tree. I am aware that this is unconventional, but I feel so much better since we made this decision. It’s a bit selfish, but the children love it now…”
Well girls, thank you for your insight and your organizational advice!
I dream of having one of Santa’s helpers who can come up with some gift ideas instead of me… The ‘girl’ presents for me and the ‘boy’ presents for my partner is going to be a really, really good option this year, and I’m also going to think about the trip that I would so much like to go on for next year…