I know what you’re thinking… it’s only September, why am I already chatting about Christmas..? Well, my friends, Christmas is only 3 months away and whether you like it or not, it’ll be here before you know it.

Suddenly it’ll be December and you’ll be rushing around the shops trying to get those last-minute gifts and worrying about whether or not you’ve got enough food and drinks. And that is exactly why I’ve decided that September is the perfect time to start planning for Christmas!

I love Christmas. I look forward to watching all the cosy Christmas films, singing cheesy songs, and eating so much food that you feel like you’ll burst. I know that it’s just one day of the year, but honestly, life is way too hard to not say “f**k it!” and have the greatest day ever.

In saying that, I know that Christmas can be a stressful and chaotic time of year, so let’s get planning now to make it easier.

He’s Making A List… Or Ten

I’m a scatterbrain. I have hundreds of things whirling around in my head and never manage to remember anything. We live in a fast-paced world so it’s no wonder that our minds are racing at 100 miles per hour. But when it comes to Christmas, we might have ideas that we really do want to remember. That’s when a list(s) will help. You can create a list on your phone, in a planner or on a scrap piece of paper. You can jot down any thoughts that you have for gifts, foods to buy, films you want to watch, decor ideas, or literally anything you want to remember. If you feel like going a little bit further with your list, you can have a master list and then sublists for more detailed ideas. My favourite way of doing this is by having multiple lists. I have my ‘master list’ and then each point on the master list gets its own list. I probably make it way too complicated by it does mean that I can write down everything and never forget a great idea.

Save Those Pennies

Finances are probably one of the biggest stressors when it comes to Christmas. Let’s face it, Christmas isn’t cheap. That’s why it’s always handy to start saving early. It’s way too easy to slip into the last-minute shopping that you can’t really afford and suddenly January doesn’t look so good. A great way to start saving is by allocating a certain amount of money each month that’s dedicated to Christmas. You can put this in another account or use the envelope method, whatever suits you best. Then, when Christmas rolls around, you can work with what you’ve got then.

That doesn’t change the fact that gift buying is certainly not cheap. But, I have a little idea for you on that one.

Spending Limits or Gift Challenges

I love giving people gifts. Watching their faces when they open their present is always so lovely. But if you know a lot of people, buying gifts is going to get pretty pricey, pretty quickly. That’s where a spending limit or gift challenge can come in. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Secret Santa but there’s other gift challenges too. There’s nothing wrong with Secret Santa, it’s actually great. You can save money by only buying one gift and it’s a fun game too. However, if you’re buying a gift for one friend, you can’t really play Secret Santa. A good idea for this situation is to set a spending limit or challenge. Setting a spending limit means that you and your friend can buy each other a gift without putting financial pressure on yourself. No one wants to see their friends in debt because they got you a present. As well as a spending limit, you can add a challenge to gift buying too. This could be anything but some ideas include buying a gift within a theme, of a certain colour, shape or size, or getting a gift that you’ve never heard the other person talk about before. The randomness of the challenges can make the gift swap really fun.

Get creative this Christmas and get planning. Christmas should be a fun and exciting time of year so make the most of the festivities.

In conclusion, do your future self a favour by planning now.

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