Too busy to prepare for Christmas? If you're not as organised as you normally would be, and haven't prepared your Christmas holiday plan yet, don't stress out, you still have time to make things right. After all, the most important part of this time of the year isn't just the food or festive decorations - it's about spending time with your family.
You could avoid the festive pitfalls if you start planning now! We have some great tips to help you begin the Christmas countdown with ease.
Last minute preparation is usually stressful. Whatever happens, remember that holidays are meant for joy and fun. It's the best time to spend and do activities with your loved ones. Keep your cheer!
Clean your house
If you have already done some spring cleaning and spent enough time decluttering your house, good on you! However, if you were too busy all this time and have left it last-minute, don't worry, you can jump-start your holiday preparation with a fresh and clean foundation.
Start by listing down all the major activities like laundry, cleaning and decluttering. Involve your family, you could make it a game by setting the timer for your activities or even add a little fun by turning on some music.
- Start a load of laundry.
- Go through each room in your house and quickly straighten things that are spread out.
- Collect things that are out of place in a box and sort them later.
- Put all the trash in trash bags and throw them out.
- Dust, vacuum and sweep all the common areas including outdoors.
- Wipe the floors and sinks in the kitchen.
- Clean all the windows and mirrors.
- Clean the bathtub/shower and the toilets.
- Make the bed and change the towels
With the major cleaning done, your house will look presentable and ready.
Plan for your Christmas meal
You could have a traditional roast feast, a barbeque or a hangi with your family and friends. Whatever you decide, create a Christmas menu and the grocery list in advance to avoid the last-minute rush at the supermarket. Don't forget to add the classic Kiwi Christmas dessert - 'Pavlova' with kiwifruit, strawberries or mixed berries in your menu.
Plan for your baking day
You could spread the holiday cheer by baking cookies and making desserts for your friends, neighbours or co-workers. Finalise the items that you want to bake and make a list of ingredients. Plan your baking day close to Christmas, so you won't end up eating most of the cookies! You could make cute little gingerbread houses with your friends and family.
Gifts and decoration
Holiday gifting and shopping is quite a craze in New Zealand. Most Kiwi families save their best gift ideas for this occasion. If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet, you could still manage to get some last-minute Christmas deals. Did you have many names on your list? Trim it down and take care of the most important people first. You could buy one family gift or just give presents to the kids. Remember to bring holiday treats for your four legged cuddly companions.
If you don't have enough time to buy a new set of lights, tinsel and other decorating items, you could use the ones you already have. Simplify your Christmas decorations by lighting some scented candles, arranging a centrepiece, placing garlands on staircase banisters or a wreath on the door.
Have you thought about surprising your loved ones by making handmade presents and decorations? Get inspired by some of these budget-friendly ideas.
Now that you have your shopping lists, start shopping! Check the opening hours of the stores, some are open early and for longer hours. Speak with your friends and co-workers who have already finished their holiday shopping, they could give you suggestions on where to find the best deals.
Plan for some Christmas fun
In New Zealand, people celebrate Christmas differently. Some families visit a church while others head down to their favourite beach for a barbeque. You could attend a Christmas concert or drive around to neighbourhoods known for their over-the-top Christmas light decorations. Make memories with your family and remember to charge your cameras or camcorders. There are many ways to make Christmas more cheerful. What's your favourite Christmas activity?
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Note: The above is intended to be general information and not financial advice. Cashtillpayday does not give financial advice.