Can you believe it? Sounds crazy! Where has the year gone? But then again, it is still only September with a lot to look forward to before the year is out, but while driving to work today I heard one of the Talk Show hosts say it is 100 days to Christmas! My heart nearly skipped a beat. Oh – my – goodness!!
So is it even a big deal? I don’t know…is it? How organised are you? Are you a planner or a last minute panicker? Have you even given Christmas arrangements a passing thought? And yes, I’m talking about Christmas arrangements as I celebrate Christmas, but you might refer to them as End of Year celebrations or Holiday/Festive Season arrangements, whatever. It’s all good. The point of this is to let you know that you only have 100 days.
Where to begin? You might go Pah! Heaps of time. Or you might want to take a few minutes to cast your mind over what exactly it is that you’d like to do this year.
- Who will host this year’s gathering?
- What size gathering will it be?
- Any old folks or small children to take into consideration when planning meals and meal times?
- Will the host provide everything or will each guest be tasked with contributing something?
- Will it be pot luck or will each person/family/guest be asked to bring a specific something, i.e. Suzie will bring pudding, Maria will bring hors d’oeuvres (or lets just call them Snacks, shall we?), etc.
- Are you planning to be away from home in a group or on your own sunning yourself somewhere?
- Will it be a traditional Christmas Day cooked meal with a Turkey, stuffing, roast veggies, possibly a Ham or two? Or will it be more of a relaxed Kiwi Christmas, with meat on the barbie, salads and a dip in the pool or ocean?
- Lunch or dinner?
- Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
It’s well worth thinking about it as before you know it, decorations will be up, Christmas tunes on the radio and you can only ignore it for so long. Much better to draft a plan, even a very rough outline of a plan now to take advantage of a little peace and quiet before the end of year mayhem begins and you miss out on booking people or venues, or end up overspending because you’ve missed all the pre-season deals.
My 5 points below might help you get started:
- Draft a rough list of suggestions or ideas.
- Communicate earlier rather than later with friends or family about arrangements.
- Set a Budget (don’t shudder – a budget is your friend). The budget should take into account things like: food & drinks; venue; presents: decorations; Christmas cards; spending money and a bit of a contingency as prices of everything tend to sky rocket around that time of year.
- Start buying now – look out for specials on non-perishable food, drinks, serviettes and gifts. Buying something off your list each week helps to reduce stress and panic spending closer to the time.
- Schedule a weekly catch-up with yourself to track progress or tweak the plan as arrangements firm up.