How to have a stress-free Christmas
Tis the season to be jolly, not stressed up to the eyeballs. Lidl asked Mumsnetters
share their cunning, budget tips for festive food, gifts and traditions to make this
Christmas more merry
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1. Start with a massive clearout
"My biggest tip is to do a big pre-Christmas declutter. Clear out the kids'
old clothes and toys, old decorations, and make room in the fridge, freezer
and cupboards. It means there's a lot more order and less mess and cleaning
to be done during the crazy build-up weeks of December."
2. Plot your present strategy
"I write ideas down for presents all year round. If anyone mentions
anything they need or like I have a note, so I at least have some
inspiration by the time November/December comes."
3. Lists are your friends. Employ them for EVERYTHING
"Make a spreadsheet! When you buy a gift, record the cost and the
"Years ago I typed my address labels for Christmas cards into a word
document so they could be printed as labels every year. Maybe slightly more
time consuming the first year but you save HOURS thereafter."
4. DIY can save time as well as money
"Get your berries picked in autumn, ready to put into your Lidl gin ready for Christmas."
"I make homemade gifts for the grown-ups such as bathbombs/soap/candles. I
work out what will be cheapest to make and take inspiration from Pinterest.
And then I pair them with a nice bottle of wine or Prosecco."
5. Team up to bag bargains
"If you have friends with children who all like similar things club
together for anything on a 3-for-2 offer. This maximises saving and stops
you buying things you don't need just to get the saving."
6. Ask if it brings joy to the world (or at least your loved ones?)
"Buy little and often. Think about whether you really NEED or want it,
whether it's good value, and whether it will really
bring joy. Spend within your means, and you won't have to face any
post-Christmas financial stress."
7. Balance spending with spreading goodwill
"Do a 'Random Act of Kindness' Advent Calendar over the Christmas period -
it will help keep you grounded and merry and it's a good counter balance
for the kids and all the stuff they get."
8. Spread the
"I always start shopping fairly early. The first few months I spread the
cost of the gifts and then in December I pick up extra groceries each week
when they are on special offer. This saves me from having a really
expensive shop at the end."
9. It's called the party season for a reason
"I get big sharing packs of frozen party foods, such as spring rolls, mini
pizzas, mozzarella sticks, chicken goujons etc. I can split these and leave
some in the freezer for Boxing Day or New Year."
10. Shortcuts can be better in the long run
"I never make the pudding now - I used to, but it took such a lot of
mixing, preparing and then six hours steaming that I gave up on it, and now buy one instead!"
11. Last minute isn't always a bad thing
"Don't buy kids' presents too far in advance. They could be 'absolutely desperate' for something a few weeks before
Christmas that they haven't ever mentioned before and suddenly it's the
only thing they want."
12. Little touches can make a big difference
"For gift wrapping, I use rolls of plain paper and jazz
them up with real ribbons that I buy cheaply in bulk. It makes my bargain
presents look way more expensive."
13. Resist the urge to DIAY - Do It All Yourself
"If someone wants to bring the pudding, peel the vegetables or make cups of
tea show them where things are and let them get on with it. Far better to
accept help than become the Christmas martyr that does everything and has a
14. Throw out the rule book
"We do a buffet style breakfast so everyone can have what they want, skip
dinner then have our Christmas dinner in the evening. This takes away the
time pressure and means I can enjoy the day with the children."
15. And... relax
"I've spent many a festive season too stressed to enjoy it as I was trying
to create the perfect Christmas. I realise now that it doesn't matter if
the wrapping paper doesn't match or if the bread sauce is homemade as long
as the main elements are there."
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