Christmas time can be super stressful emotionally, physically and financially.
It’s now that time of year to get thinking about Christmas again! Last year, we asked our fans what their best Christmas tips were for a stress-free Christmas and we got a fantastic response. Here are some of the best tips to enjoy the big day:
1. “Use last year’s Christmas cards and cut these into shapes for gift tags. Saves money and gives the kids something to do!” — Anne M.
2. “Start a Christmas savings account in January. Put aside $1 for the first week of the year, $2 in the second week etc, you will have over $1000 come the weeks before Christmas.” — Clancy B.
3. “Go to someone else’s house for lunch.” — Stacey C.
4. “Don’t leave wrapping Christmas presents until Christmas eve.” — Kirraleigh
5. “Buy gradually throughout the year and invest in Chrisco hampers.” — Amy P.
6. “Make a list, go shopping alone and try to do it all in one store. Try online shopping and keep an eye out for sales throughout the year.” — Donna N.
7. “Wrap things as you get them home, it saves being overwhelmed on Christmas Eve.” — Vikki W.
8. “Make a plan. Stick to it. Do something every month for the first nine months then every week until Christmas. Menu plan for all catering you are doing. Then write out every dishes’ ingredients so that you can start shopping for non-perishables early.” — Karen
9. “For toys that need batteries, put them in or charge them up the night before. Kids won’t care if they are out of the box if they can play with them straight away instead of waiting.” — Karen P.
10. “Cook your Christmas treat like caramel slice, rocky road, white Christmas and rum balls a couple of weeks in advance. Once you’ve made them, cut them into pieces and freeze them. On Christmas Day, take a plate full out of the freezer when needed. Leftover goodies last months in the freezer.” — Tiffany E.
11. “We do date nights with our brothers and sisters in place of Christmas gifts. Too hard to buy for otherwise and a good excuse to go out with them all later on.” — Jessica W.
12. “Always take food on disposable trays, plates etc to avoid bringing leftovers home, loss of containers and washing up.” — Kaye H.
13. “Bake biscuits for your co-workers. It’s a great mood booster for the work place and it’s cheap! Can also do it for extra unexpected friends and family that show up last minute.” — Sarah R.
14. “Getting all the kids’ presents at the July toy sales and doing the Christmas layby has saved me a lot of pressure over the years. Also, Secret Santa for all adults, so you don’t have to buy everyone a gift but everyone still gets something and put a limit on what is to be spent.” — Erin S.
15. “If you need to buy food on Xmas eve, do it when the shops open; the earlier the better. Ours open at 6am and that’s when I do our last minute stuff.” — Jess C.
16. “Keep all Christmas receipts in an envelope marked ‘Christmas Receipts.’ Makes things a lot easier if anything needs to be returned.” — Bree L.
17. “Everyone has to buy each person a useful gift worth not more than $2! It’s more fun and interesting than the big expensive gifts. Everyone has a laugh and teases and jokes about who got what!” — Carolyn S.
18. “Online shopping for EVERYTHING!” — Tess P.
19. “Use credit card points (or similar) to purchase gift cards.” — Amber F.
20. “Mid-year Christmas laybys at all the major department stores.” — Emily K.
21. “Encourage kids to slow down when unwrapping presents and give them a tub/basket/box each to put their unwrapped gifts in. Kids usually race through to open everything as fast as possible, so keep them separate to avoid confusion.” — Karen K.
22. “Take all the twisty ties off the toys then put them back in the box before you wrap them so you don’t have that terrible long problem on Christmas morning when the kids just want to play straight away.” — Chloe B.
23. “If you’re hosting – don’t COOK anything. Seriously, it’s too hot to have the oven on and it’s too much hassle. Make platters of cold meat/seafood, cheese, salads and fruit. Bring out some ice cream and a dessert made in advance (or bought from the shop!). Ask other people to bring drinks and nibbles.” — Janine L.
24. “Don’t try to do both sides of the family in one day, the travel and stress can be exhausting and it is hard to fit in two big meals on one day. My side, about 25 of us, get together prior to Christmas Day, usually the Saturday before, and then spend the actual day with our spouse’s family.” — Linda T.
25. “Buy gift vouchers through the year and then use them to buy gifts and food – you won’t notice the $10, $20, $50 a week but you will be glad you did come December when you have all the vouchers you need to cover all the last minute items AND if you have any leftover, you can use them as last minute unexpected gifts.” — Karen P.
26. “Whenever someone in my family mentions something they have seen and liked through the year, I write it down and keep an eye on the catalogues through July to November. If it goes on special, I then go and buy. Have saved a lot doing this!” — Judy E.
27. “Kids have designated wrapping paper colours for presents, so the ones that can’t read, don’t open someone else’s by accident.” — Sharon W.
28. “I keep the kids (aged 2 &5) busy with craft – card-making, painting canvases for Nanna, drawing on calico aprons, baking biscuits, making photo frames – saves heaps of “I’m bored” moments and saves on other pre-Christmas holiday activities which cost a fortune. I’m thinking of putting the Christmas tree and presents inside the old playpen to stop peeking and the younger one pulling at the decorations.” — Clare T.
29. “I like to get presents wrapped at those gift wrapping stalls run by charity – one less thing for me to worry about, and I’m supporting a good cause at a time of year when many need the extra help.” — Mellissa D.
Do you have other Christmas tips you would like to share?