Next year it WILL be different! What will you do differently next Christmas to make it better?(41 Posts)
A) be well. Headache and feeling icky all day meant I could not get into the festive mood.
B) don't have either set of parents with us for present opening, sick of being told we have bought the DCs too much
compared to 1948. We really haven't gone OTT!
C) go to SILs for dinner. It's about time she took a turn. Even if my DH or MIL cooks the bloody meal, not her, it is her turn to have her house turned upside down, and definitely her turn to spend a fortune on food and drink.
D) drink more.
E) get DD to make a Christmas list in November, so she doesn't surprise me with stuff she wants the week before Christmas. Which she didn't get.
F) insist on exact numbers for dinner with at least a week to go.
G) avoid hosting any big meals on Christmas Eve/Boxing Day if already hosting Christmad dinner. Too much! This year we did last night and also big production tomorrow. I am fed up of it.
H) avoid breaking any major gadgets in the few months before Christmas so a replacement becomes my present. Ok, so I now have a shinier, newer gadget than before, but I am back to square one really
and could have had a posh handbag instead.
What I would do the same:
A) again try to do as much of the toy shopping early, as the best deals are in October (IMHO).
B) Ocado delivery on Christmas Eve. A bit nerve-wracking but avoiding the supermarket was brilliant.
C) being specific with people about what to get DCs, with emphasis on money to use towards family days out.
Last Christmas I gave you my heart. But the very next day, you gave it away.
This year (to save me from tears) I'll give it to someone special
On the "spreading out of activities" - I like to have a few things spread across December that are booked/organised/agreed with family etc. Maybe 1 a week or so.
But I have also found that it's very useful to have a list of IDEAS organised and in my back pocket (or back of the handbag) for any other days - things like colouring sheets or quizzes to hand out on rainy days, or having a Christmassy DVD hidden in a cupboard (even if it's old - so it's "fresh") for a rainy/special movie session with some popcorn or a Snowman soup (hot choc and marshmallows) in front of the fire. Feeding the ducks on a fine day, gathering pine cones for an art project on a walk in the woods (and using them to paint and cover in glitter as tree decs for you or adoring GPs another day). A day to tidy closets. A day to do "their" shopping (or just have a wander in town enjoying the lights and a coffee shop stop - but not with an arm's length list of yours to organise). Reminders to change library books so they have something to read! A carol singing practise session. Researching a few funny jokes to tell at Christmas.
And I also put on it ideas of places I've seen (free or at least, can do at last minute without booking in August!) that would be "nice" to go to if we got time, (as opposed to the "we really HAVE to go do that"). Interesting exhibitions or reminding myself about the Live Crib for example.
It means that you can adapt to things that come up (we never usually do a nativity in school, but this year we are) or really good/bad weather. But also have a fund of ideas when something is needed to distract at home or by going out - and not always having to resort to manic shopping streets and over-full cafes.
Sorry, not SO much a note to self, but as there are a few comments on not over-loading, I thought it might help a few.
Do not tire out dd by taking her to panto/parties/cinema the week before Xmas - spread activities out through December.
Do some baking - still not managed chocolate log!
If spending Xmas day with extended family - have a quiet Xmas eve with just the four of us so we can enjoy build up,
Do not drink too much!
This is good - will print out and look at again in Sept.
Things that were good - started saving for Xmas in Jan so no credit card bills now, trip to the theatre on Boxing day great, Ocado delivery perfect, didn't arrange any social activities the week before Xmas because enough school activities to keep us all busy.
Things I have picked up from other posters - having a Xmas cupboard in the kitchen, buying extra underwear/socks for everyone, wripping presents earier.
Adding this as a special request from DD (there were tears last night when she realised I had none frozen - as they were "so nice, and I'm sure they only have them at Christmas" - spot on there):
Get a good few packs of M&S sausage rolls with the cranberry in them to eat and a few for freezing (the "special" ones with pastry stars on them looking homemade).
We will be travelling next year so it will be different anyway.
Book Santa train in July (and watch the site from June for tickets release) - by early August this year they were all sold out and DD really wanted to go again (I had refused to go last year as I think every 2nd year is enough).
Make more time for me, and make sure that there's enough water for a bath at that time.
Get to a carol concert - some lovely music - either just me or anyone who wants, but get there.
Make time to bake - nothing HM this year...
Do ALL the cards - and get the addresses in plenty of time. (I know that there are cards I should have sent and never did).
Make sure we alll get plenty of rest so we don't get sick.....(at least it wasn't noro, just bad colds, but I had no energy)
I will have to work out a plan of action in advance though, given that we will be travelling and "expected" to fit in with lots of others plans (but at least, as Christmas will be Wed, we won't have to travel until after work on Christmas Eve).
Next year I will buy a lot more wine and a lot less chocolate/sweet things.
Remember the PIL spoil the kids rotten ( that's kind and lovely) so pro-actively suggests what they'd like /need so they don't get very expensive stuff they don't need or worse can't use like the itunes vouchers...
Remember that part of this lovely spoiling the kids is not spoiling me. Grow up and learn to love my elephant screen wiper. Try to become an adult and not mind. Oh and suggest nice things for the cost of said screen wiper.
But as my mate said " It's wonderful... how else could you wipe the screen on your elephant without an elephant screen wiper"
Buy presents earlier - I suffer from 'perfection based procrastination', I want the presents to be perfect, so I end up looking and looking and waiting to see if the children change their minds or suggest something they'd really really really like, or to see if I get a sudden inspiration etc, so what ends up happening is that by the time I've 'settled' on something, they've sold out and I'm chasing all over the place trying to get the same things I could have got early Dec easily <sigh> I am determined to learn from it this time!!
Wrap earlier (which I can do if I have the bloody presents earlier!!) and generally be All Sorted so I can enjoy the run up to Christmas more
Things I'll do differently
- not travel very far on ds's birthday so we can see family for Christmas - the kids were just moved from one place to another with no chance to just be
- go out for Christmas dinner or just do a buffet of things we actually all like
Things we liked:
- staying in a cottage (won't afford it again though)
- stockings opened first and other presents later
- big Panto day out after new year so something to look forward to
- not worry about things being perfect
- Xmas eve hamper
- all be well (rarity)
- see family other days
- don't buy too much food
Things I have done the past few years:
save my Nectar points for a big blow out Sainsburys shop
Save £2 coins in a tin that I can't open before the end of December
Take the DC out for a day (London usually).
Buy stocking gifts early. I start in October. Christmas present buying starts in November time.
Things I did this year:
Emptied a cupboard to put Christmas things in. My big serving platter, trifle bowl, Christmas pudding basin and jug.Glass veg dishes.
DH still refers to it as "your Christmas cupboard"
Bought a Kenwood mixer- joy!
Took the DC to the cinema on the 24th (DH was working) so we had a late dinner.
Will do something different with the DC. London very busy, underground station at Hyde Park closed and Winter Wonderland very busy.
Late night shopping trip was good. Much quieter than going at a weekend. We went on the Thursday night before Christmas. DC last day at school was the Friday so it worked out well.
Waitrose- fabulous.So organised and I spent about 2 hours pottering round with my trolley. (Did main shop at Sainsburys)
Have Xmas day at home. This year was so stressful, my DD1 is very well behaved but the house we were at is immaculate & they had a big gas fire on the whole day without any fire guard. I couldn't relax the whole time I was there!
Save in advance for Christmas. Also join the Tesco Xmas savers scheme, the vouchers will be a nice bonus at Xmas time.
Involve DP single aunt more, it played on my mind knowing she was on her own on Xmas day.
Also, I shall be saving my Tesco vouchers from April and August, so in November 2013 I can get double vouchers and have around £60 to spend on Toys
I will be enjoying my first nana Christmas in 2013
Host no more than one big get together,
Try very hard to avoid illness for me and dh,
Don't suggest that something bought in July could be my present from dh.
I stopped bf'ing my youngest a month ago, milk, and have overcome some other health problems, so have been eating and drinking heavily this past week.
Diet starts next week.
I won't be breastfeeding next year, so I'll drink tonnes of booze!!! A merry drunken Christmas, to everyone
next year for christmas 2013 i will!
make sure i enjoy more even know i love christmas lots i have been ill alot this time and not been that festive
i will get started early i left it untill late novemeber to start shopping
not get so stressed
enjoy the day more
hopefully not be ill again
decorate the home better
take the kids to santas grotto never done it and feel guilty
make it as special as possible i do this every year
have a good christmas drink im breastfeeding and couldnt this time
over all xmas 2012 was okay but next year it can only get better!
Not get ill.
Make sure the whole family has gifts of new socks and underwear so no stress if we get behind with the laundry.
Not have PIL to stay the weekend before Christmas.
Otherwise a lovely chilled day. Perfect after a manic term.
Eat out either Xmas day or boxing day. Maybe both.
Ensure dh isn't ill
Not be pregnant so I can drink.
Make the most of being off work due to mat leave!
I started a similar thread last year as I got so stressed out, my main 'resolution' for Christmas this year was to be less stressy and not worry if it's all not perfect. I think I managed that a bit better, at least on the outside. A couple of little things went pear shaped in the morning which would have had me sobbing into my turkey last year but I just shrugged it off this year.
Last year I also resolved to set all major deadlines for work for early December which meant that I didn't have a load of work stress in the lead up on top of the Christmas preparations and DC's school stuff. Had normal workload instead of a lot of late nights on the laptop.
Another thing which worked this year, going out for a short while on both Christmas and Boxing Day (DC on new bikes), helped to avoid the cabin fever of last year.
For next year: I will buy and store things away throughout the year, I started in October this year which you would think would be plenty of time but still felt rushed towards the end.
Hide the key from the wardrobe where I keep presents. In October I had bought a few things and hidden them away along with the wrapping paper which Father Christmas uses. Came into the room after work one day to find DP had left the wardrobe open and the DC's had seen the contents. <had to use different wrapping paper and keep the presents for DC's friends birthdays>
I will get more involved in the food shopping. DP took care of all that side of things this year which meant there wasn't much I wanted to eat!
8. tell gp's early on what we'd like for the girls (in a dream world) so we dont end up with tat for them and rubbish clothes that wont get worn.
1. decorate more (only did tree and cards this year <lazy>)
2. have lovely decorated table (look for items in the sales this year)
3. not bloody skype bloody gp's ruins the flow of the day (first of all my mum doesn't know how to do it properly and it gets on my nerves, 2nd of all the connection is always shite, so we cant hear a word she says, dh's parents want to watch presents being opened but dd who is 20 months was having fun just doing a bit of playing and running around, just ruins the natural flow of the day)
4. buy booze well early (didnt have any this yr because queues on chrimbo eve were horendous)
5. prioritise getting oysters and fresh fish on chrimbo eve (just go off shopping early by myself, this year I had 20 month dd and 6 week dd with me at all times!)
6. start up some traditions
7. make christmas playlist early on so it's ready for when we put up dec's etc and then ready for the day
We've had a nice day on the whole but, next year I'll book an Ocado delivery for Christmas Eve. I wanted to this year but DH persuaded me it wasn't necessary as he was breaking up from school on the 19th so could do it all. As it turned out, the DCs, then DH and now me have all had a shitty flu virus (I still feel awful) and all shopping was a bit last minute and rushed. I still can't taste or smell anything and my throat feels red raw. So, I'll be cancelling all illness this time next year.
Not got to the bils.
Massive row last year between them and their youngest
She was fine this year but bil was a git, infact he and dh played touch tag miserable shit all day. SIL and I didn't know if we were coming or going.
Dn then announced her scabby boyfriend was coming round at 4:30 so instead of staying for tea as planned (and paid for as we gave big £ toward food and basically got a roast), we packed up and left
(Dn has serious issues with bad sorts and police etc been involved in her life, I will not involve my dd, who is only 1 school yr younger, in her friendships and shenanigans)
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