nice things for ME in run up to Christmas... help me less stressed by time big day arrives!

(27 Posts)
SecretSaffron Sun 16-Oct-16 17:31:42

OK, I have 6 aged 18,16,14,12,10 and 8. Christmas always falls to me and I am always a frazzeled wreck by dec 25th. This year I want things to be different. I have saved through the year so I could start shopping early and have almost finished shopping for dh and dc presents. Only a few bits to get for other family members.
Therefor I want to ensure that during December I plan some nice little treats for me so that I am feeling slightly less run ragged by the time the big day comes!
so far I have thought of:

Downloading some nice Christmassy/atmospheric books on my kindle
Treating myself to a couple of Lush bath bombs for some nice long soaks!
A few nice yankee candle samples
Trip to the cinema to see grown up film with older 2 dds
Hot chocolate in nice cafe
Baking some nice yummy Christmas treats. (still effort but I enjoy baking!)
Buying myself some nice new christmas pjs

so...who can suggest some other things to do in December to be nice to myself for a change this year?!?

SecretSaffron Sun 16-Oct-16 17:32:18

sorry... should read 6dc!

wonderingsoul Sun 16-Oct-16 17:38:11

Spa day if you can afford it... wowcher have some food deals

Also local collage offer haircuts / treatments at a quater of the price of salons. You could get nails pedicure eyebrows done for round 25 quid

Making salt dough decorations?

SecretSaffron Sun 16-Oct-16 17:46:48

thanks wondering
Spa day is a lovely idea if I can find a cheap deal...
and yes salt dough decorations is a nice idea . Haven't done that for a few years with dc .My oldest dc has gone off to uni this year which really makes me appreciate the time doing these sort of things with dc...

Lilicat1013 Sun 16-Oct-16 18:40:31

How about a grown up advent calendar? Both LUSH and Yankee Candles do one, that would be a little thing to look forward to each day.

SecretSaffron Sun 16-Oct-16 20:02:30

that does sound nice lilli off to look at prices....

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 16-Oct-16 21:43:37

I bought the Aldi Advent Calender, but I'm going to cheat and start a week early to get my face ready .
(I'm 50 with 2 teens so a lot of miles on the clock for my face )

Things I'd do for me:

Buy some nice bath smellies (Boots have some travel/trial sized).
Bath soak, body scrub (I'd buy L'Occitane Almond Oil)
Intensive hair conditioner
Face mask
Spray on body oil (I'm far to lazy to rub in lotion)

Something quick but nice for dinner
Settle down with wine if that's your thing and a couple of Christmas magazines, just marking things off with a pen.

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 06:45:40

70isa what is in the Aldi advent calendar? More great ideas, thanks. Forgot about Christmas magazines, will definitely get a couple to flip though.

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 06:47:14

I am also going to try to do just few minutes mindfulness/relaxation/meditation each day....I've been trying for years to get to grips with mindfulness but never really manage it hmm

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 07:57:31

ooh, I have just ordered some nice flavoured coffees. Pecan nut, white chocolate and Christmas pudding. Yummy! Going to space them out over Nov/Dec when I feel the need for a little pick me up! grin

flapjackfairy Mon 17-Oct-16 08:07:25

We have a few garden centres locally that do lovely displays. I can spend whole days lost in there! I take a friend or a dd or 2( i have 5 kids) and browse all the beautiful decs and twinkly things and have long tea breaks with clotted cream scones. Aah perfect! What a day and cheap as well(always handy with lots of children to buy for) .

flapjackfairy Mon 17-Oct-16 08:11:48

Oh and also do you have any stately homes which decorate for christmas local to you? I go to chatsworth myself but lots around. Not too expensive and dds love it as well. You can go early and enjoy gardens and house for about 20 quid. I always like to do something special with my older girls and this is perfect.

Emeralda Mon 17-Oct-16 08:18:58

I was going to suggest face mask/hair treatment - I got "sugar and spice" masks as advent gifts for friends last year.
Any museums or parks near you that might have creative stuff on? One of our local NT places does wreath-making workshops. It's worth going for the smell alone.
That sounds like a lot if wrapping . Can you enlist the help of a friend who's good at wrapping even for an hour, followed by a seasonal drink? I love wrapping and have helped friends who have more to wrap than me. It's a nice way to catch up.

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 11:13:02

flapjack we do go to local garden center usually on Dec 23rd. DC get to choose one new decoration each , we have a wander around and then have hot chocs in the cafe. I love that little family tradition! We live not far from Chatsworth - never thought of going at Christmas (!) will look into that, thanks.
emeralda love the idea of a wreath making workshop - will have a look what is on locally.

Ok, so I am going to get a little box/basket and put in it:
Face mask
body scrub
hair conditioning treatment
nice nail varnish
2 or 3 Lush bath bombs
2 or 3 little Yankee candles
some Christmas magazines
some really nice good quality chocolate
flavoured coffee
Extra nice hot chocolate with new mug

Then I will also:
download some Christmas books to kindle
look for local festive craft type workshop
plan visit to christmassy stately home
make salt dough decs with dc
download some nice music to listen to (I never listen to music anymore and I used to love listening to music)
Plan an extra special dinner one night
make fudge/mince pies/florentines/christmassy cookies etc
Find a good local Christmas market to go to WITHOUT the younger dc (memories of a disastrous attempt last year!)

I am getting excited already grin and I normally hate this time of year. Determined to beat my usual winter depression and Christmas stress and anxiety!

flapjackfairy Mon 17-Oct-16 14:41:10

Really secret chatsworth well worth a visit. It is nutcracker theme this yr !

flapjackfairy Mon 17-Oct-16 14:44:45

I think your christmas build up sounds fab! A bit jealous actually! Not sure you will fit it all in but you will have lots of fun trying! Enjoy!

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 17:10:36

Thanks flapjack have had look at Chatsworth and it looks awesome I didn't even know they did a Christmas thing! What age dc do you bring? trying to decide whether to just bring 16 and 14 yr old, or maybe 12 and 10 yr old as well...(but gets a bit pricey then!)

SecretSaffron Mon 17-Oct-16 17:11:45

I think I may need to start my treats very soon to fit it all in LOL

flapjackfairy Mon 17-Oct-16 17:59:51

I would say younger ones would also enjoy it esp girls. There were children there when we went but my girls are 24 and 17 and they loved it. Some days they also do xmas market but not done that tho been told it gets v busy. There werent many food options in the eve just one cafe so take snacks and drinks is my advice.

confuugled1 Mon 17-Oct-16 18:02:28

Have you got a nectar card or tesco card or similar that has discounts on?

Sign up to mailing lists for your favourite restaurants and shops so you get offers sent through (my DC are fussy eaters but like Bella Italia and they seem to send things through quite a number of offers - things like 40% off food or free kids meals) - which makes eating out more affordable.

Also check out local discount sites like wowcher and groupon for any good local deals.

I saw a site mentioned elsewhere on MN that was something like funzing that seemed to have lots of interesting things to do on it, albeit lots were London based.

Last year channel 5 had trashy xmas films on every afternoon in the run up to xmas. I recorded a load then was able to play them when the DC weren't around to feel festive - whether I was cleaning or tidying, wrapping presents, or just being lazy.

Have you got any Christmas cook books around that you could dig out and try a couple of new festive recipes - it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. Or treat yourself to a new cook book or foodie mag Xmas issue or an xmas mag and try some of the things out.

Get ahead with the wrapping - plan it in advance so you have good TVs or music, mince pies or stollen bites or whatever X as snacks you like, plenty of sellotape (in a heavy duty dispenser), paper and sharpies to name the presents. And labels to if you use them - but if still write on them if using labels in case they come off so you don't need to unwrap to find out what it is.

SecretSaffron Tue 18-Oct-16 07:48:24

confuugled yes, I had forgotten about cheesy Christmas film! Last year I did a lot of the wrapping watching a selection of lovely trashy films!
I have a Christmas baking book that comes out about this tie each year....
Will look on groupon/wowcher etc
Thanksfapjack might make it a family day ...but not totally sure that ds2 (a whirlwind , aged 8!) would appreciate it....so then maybe me and 4 girls.....I dont think I'd be able to drag 18 yr old ds1 there who doesn't really see th epoint in Christmas decoration hmm

flapjackfairy Tue 18-Oct-16 08:48:01

No definitely leave 18 yr old ds at home. They dont get it do they. By the way secret i saw one of your posts on another thread and i am doubly jealous now! Finished already ? You are mega organised !

SymphonyofShadows Tue 18-Oct-16 19:37:03

I always like to enjoy the run up as Christmas itself is usually 3 days of cooking/entertaining. I got the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar last year and really enjoyed opening a little treat each morning. It's £35 this year with a £35 spend, which is a £10 hike for each but the spend includes clothes and I think also homeware as well as beauty, so I'm still intending to get it when I get some clothing/beauty gifts for my sis. I hope the contents reflects the price jump!

Makemineacabsauv Tue 18-Oct-16 23:08:25

Just remember not to store your food/drink treats away from your lush bath bombs.... I have learned from experience! Get the DC to team up in pairs and assign each pair a cooking night during the most stressful time. Your older ones should be able to help the younger ones. That's 3 nights of no cooking. You could do it as a come dine with me thing to make them try harder! And they must clear up after!! Winning pair get a prize.
Have a look on FB etc for spa/massage deals. I found one on FB and she is amazing - cost £30 for a 2 hour massage. Other local places were charging more than that for 30 mins but she's just starting out.

SecretSaffron Wed 19-Oct-16 09:26:39

Yes, good point about not storing bath bombs with my food treats! Thanks.
Love the idea if a come dine with me style cooking competition with the kids. The 18,16 and 14 yr old can all cook and could definitely be paired with a younger sibling.

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