Anyone want to take part in a 'Lessons Identified' for next year?

(133 Posts)
everydayaschoolday Fri 27-Dec-13 15:36:34

I'll happily go first:

1. No need for small pressies in advent calendar; kids only wanted the small piece of chocolate!

2. You cut back this year a bit and nobody noticed; cut back a bit more again next year.

3. More than 2 bottles of shloer is required fsmile.

4. All the material/clothing items (character bath towels, slippers, dressing gowns etc) from the elves on Christmas Eve worked well as our adapted Christmas Eve hamper.

5. Prep the veg and set the table on Christmas eve next year.

6. Hide the chocolate brioche from DH otherwise it'll be gone before christmas morning breakfast fgrin.

7. Fewer, well chosen items were highly appreciated this year. The no tat challenge was a success.

chanie44 Fri 27-Dec-13 16:51:58

1. Buying bargains throughout the year leads to a stress free December.

2. Buy tape as well as wrapping paper

3. Don't put the elves/advent calandars in the back of the shed with the rest of the decorations - keep them ready for 1 dec.

4. Start elf preparations (letter, passport etc), advent calandar, Xmas eve hamper in October/November.

5. Clear out children's tat at the beginning of December to prepare for new tat.

6. Get OH to give mil present ideas for me, so I get something I like (not a dig, but she's doesn't know my taste).

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Fri 27-Dec-13 16:53:02

Ooh good idea.

Agree with 2.

Here are mine (most really specific so not expecting many nodding in agreement!)

- Having stockings for everyone really helped the intense staring at one poor Ds who freaked out due to performance pressure
- no one missed the Christmas cake!
- my Ds actually slept in all mornings, from having been to bed so late plus excitement... So gp turned up two hrs early from hotel where they were staying and sat around yawning from their early start
- I needed lots more food as managed to sit up for dinners but couldn't eat much whilst there and then everyone else retired stuffed and I went back to bed to be ravenous later.
- I need to have some kind of great surprise for the evening of gp leaving, as I'm knackered, and Ds bereft and I think to him it feels horribly flat and everything is finished - we've lots more fun in the next few days, yet he is really sad tonight.
- could bear parents to stay on more day which really is a shocker, as did see people twice during their stay down here, so broke up the unrelenting nature of it
- rudolfs dropped present from the sleigh hidden in the garden was great, we went out with torches and it seemed really special. Total christmas wonder moment.

TeenAndTween Fri 27-Dec-13 16:59:57

Double - we always keep back some small / not-really presents to use for that flat feeling after GPs leave. eg chocolate santa, books, crayons etc.

superbagpuss Fri 27-Dec-13 17:03:56

the ones I can think of is

1 don't get heavy colds christmas week
2 next year don't work christmas eve - its more hassle then its worth

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 17:50:31

Clear out the cupboard under the stairs/storage space well before you start to store gifts ready to put under the tree. Somewhere that is easy to get to.

Keep all of the lists updated.

StarvingBookworm Fri 27-Dec-13 18:58:25

demand request politely that PIL don't buy the children ENORMOUS bags of tat gifts. DD (4) ended up in this horrid frenzy of ripping off paper, discarding gift and grabbing next one, eventually asked to go upstairs and look at their collection of children's books that are always there, ignoring all the new things. DS (2) only wanted to play with one gift and wasn't bothered by all the stuff. I found it stressful as some of it is massive and we have limited space, and the kid's reactions kind of took some of the joy out of proceedings.

Less is more!!

Use the bargain threads again. They were FABULOUS.

Make sure DCs know some gifts are from us instead of allowing everything from us to be from Santa.

Keep organised, this year I was done shopping really early and wrapped a week before, brilliant!

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 19:02:41

Another upside to finishing as early as you can is...you can treat yourself for a job well done in the sales with some cash that you would have normally spent at the last minute had you not been organised.

thenicknameiwantedisgone Fri 27-Dec-13 19:14:20

I second 'don't get a heavy cold at Xmas' although to be fair not much you can do about that.

Also we decided we need either more people or younger children. Our Xmas was fine and nice but tbh a bit flat with just the four of us.

BettyandDon Fri 27-Dec-13 19:24:54

Mine would be to figure out a way of myself getting to eat the Christmas dinner starter without sabotaging the remaining cooking of the main course.

In general with just 2 adults and 2 preschoolers it wasn't worth the huge effort with dinner. Both children didn't appreciate it and wanted plainer foods hmm. They did love my chocolate log which was magnificent! Thanks bbc food for recipe.

Would have been nice to have more people to share in the kids magic but until we can afford a larger place Skype will have to do.

Anja1Cam Fri 27-Dec-13 19:28:31

My one success this year was: wrap your presents early and in small batches, made it a lot more bearable than one long session on the 22nd or 23rd. MIL was surprised when I didn't need to disappear upstairs one evening this year...

WipsGlitter Fri 27-Dec-13 19:36:50

Don't buy wrapping paper - there's loads left over
Shop throughout the year for kids
Stick to the budget (I did pretty well on this one apart from an M&S food panic shop)
Don't get arsey with DP on Christmas morning - give him a list if presents to choose from so there is some element of surprise
Add panto tickets to the budget

HomeEcoGnomist Fri 27-Dec-13 19:37:08

Lunch out is brilliant - kids behave well (that might change, but they did this year!), you're eating at normal lunch time without having to get up at the crack of dawn, someone else clears up, fridge is not filled up with leftovers for weeks....
Only downside is the cost really but you can factor that into the overall Christmas budget.

It was our first time this year - will be persuading DH we should do it every year.

Setting a budget and sticking to it is actually a great way to make sure you buy presents sensibly.

DontmindifIdo Fri 27-Dec-13 19:44:57

Good thread! Mine are:

1. Wrap as you go along

2. Assembling dcs big gifts in advance made for a far nicer Christmas morning for DH

3. I over catered by a long way! Next year I will buy less treat food, we are eating for the sake of it now and everyone's sick of picnic /party food

4. This year we insisted on fewer parcels for ds, it really worked! He had only 9, (plus stocking) but they were all non-tat gifts, and he didn't get overwhelmed by a present mountain

5. Discuss stocking fillers with DH so we don't double up.

6. Remember there's a family birthday between Christmas and new year, I forgot and so this morning I baked a cake. As I was icing it I did think "why didn't I order less party food and instead add a cake to the ocado order?"

7. An ocado order on 23rd really worked, much better than 24th that I'd wanted, because it gives you a last day to hit the actual shops if something's missed off the order - also, worked making myself do the final changes a few days earlier than the deadline, so when I was ill over the weekend I wasn't trying to think about food.

BornToFolk Fri 27-Dec-13 19:50:48

1. Buy all wrapping paper, tags and cards in the Jan sales again
2. Buy bigger cards. Tiny ones make you look tight and are harder to write in!
3. Buy less food. Especially crisps.

Squeakygate Fri 27-Dec-13 21:09:46

1.If dh suggests he might go out for drinks on Xmas eve after work don't expect him to be any use whatsoever.
2. Don't forgot to make a trifle (dd and I really missed it)
3. Due to # 1 I didn't get chance to get any holly.
4. Pre order the deli order from farm shop.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 27-Dec-13 21:25:11

1)Start putting decorations up earlyish in December so that they appear gradually and avoid that rush to get them out of the loft and up on the weekend before Christmas.

2)Store decorations somewhere more accessible so 1) can be achieved.

3)Stop buying random things for the tree and stock up on garlands so the rest of the house can easily look festive.

4)Forget turkey - we all admitted today we enjoyed the Boxing Day pie more than the Christmas dinner; Beef Wellington next year.

HollyBollyBooBoo Fri 27-Dec-13 21:30:04

1. Don't do the Panto. It's 70 quid for the same old shite.
2. Wrap the presents in DDs stocking, didn't thins year (because last year she took forever to open them!) this year she just emptied out the stocking onto the carpet in a frenzy.
3. Don't buy quite so much food. Specifically chocolate, booze and cheese.
4. Don't roast parsnips, NO-ONE ate them!

Lucylouby Fri 27-Dec-13 21:45:33

Biggest lesson learnt. Don't move house the week before christmas again. The weeks leading up to Christmas were highly stressful with the whole thing nearly falling through, packing, buying and wrapping presents and trying to organise Christmas while trying to organise a house move.
Luckily the children loved their presents and Christmas Day and Boxing Day both went really well with me feeding 14 people in my new house. But, I've learnt my lesson and am never moving house again!

Haribojoe Fri 27-Dec-13 21:56:22

Wrap as you go, that made life a LOT easier this year.

Don't but any chocolates with the food shop. Loads of people buy them for the DC and we end up with too much.

Save more during the year to take the money pressure off. Am going to out £20 on a sainsburys gift card every payday for the food shop. Have already got a savings tin for present money.

Write and send cards a LOT earlier.

Oblomov Fri 27-Dec-13 22:05:15

Wouldn't change a thing.
No. Actually
1) sainsburys log was vile and dry. Ds1 loved it and scoffed the lot. But I need to buy a better one.
2) do a sainsburys on line shop.

stubbornstains Fri 27-Dec-13 22:12:27

1) Buy any panto/ Christmas theatre tickets well in advance. Last minute whims don't work at this time of year, it seems sad.

2) Never do Christmas at my parents again. Neither DS or I can cope well with sitting on the sofa exchanging platitudes 12 hours a day for 3 days straight. I'm surprised I haven't developed pressure sores on my bum, tbf.

ChristmasJumperWearer Fri 27-Dec-13 22:14:40

Don't agree to help lots of other people with stuff the week before Christmas. Leave lots of spare time to get stuff done.
Start wrapping earlier.
Get DD to start writing cards for classmates earlier.
Plan better so the DCs don't end up seeing five different Santas in the run-up (why does every pre-Christmas event now have a Santa anyway?!).
Book a taxi, don't drive, sober Christmas (not even pregnant) was no fun.
Don't buy any presents. The 'bargains' thread has sorted out the DCs for next year too. blush
Do book two Ocado deliveries in the immediate run-up to Christmas. Much easier than fighting to the shops.

Dilidali Fri 27-Dec-13 22:24:32

Next year only do 3 presents eachgrinne you need, one you want and a surprise.

Do one little thoughtful present for friends' children and deliver with cards.

Set aside time for washing and ironing guest bedding/table cloth/table mats/napkins.

Taffeta Fri 27-Dec-13 22:30:18

1. Get 10 sprouts, 1 parsnip for 6 people. Buy Waitrose turkey crown cook in bag, red cabbage, bread sauce, stuffing again. No hassle.
2. Waitrose online are much better at Christmas deliveries than Sainsburys.
3. Cull more people from cards list
4. Space family visits right over the holidays, seeing sister and family weekend of 4th, only just bought presents in sale

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