The Authentic Assistant

A photo of wrapped christmas present with a wooden calendar marked 25th December. A notepad and pencil ready for the list.

How is your Christmas planning going? 

Yes it is December. The year has just flown by and it seems to go quicker every year. Are we wishing our lives away and just looking forward to things and not even enjoying the moment.

We can’t change the fact that it is December and Christmas is around the corner. 

Have you got everything planned and organised for the holidays? 

Some people are so organised that they are already working on Christmas 2024. How do they do that? Wow! That is impressive (or is it scary?) Who knows what is going to happen next year. 

Without realising you have already done things for this year. 

Maybe you have bought some presents already or they are on their way. Have you planned to bake or make some gifts for people in your life? 

Keep calm and make a list

Yes, a list, or maybe a few. One for the people in your family or close friend circle and who you are going to organise presents for. 

If you do a work gift swap then make a list of the people there. 

Do you swap gifts with neighbours or acquaintances?

Sort it out how it helps you. 

If you have some gifts already for certain people, note them down. As you think of anything for other people, jot it down. If you think of that person and something springs to mind e.g. a hobby or interest such as knitting or gardening. 

Keep it simple

Do you send cards to family and friends? Sadly, this is a dying art but if you write letters then the cut off date for posting mail abroad is closely approaching. 

Have you made that list of names that you want to send cards / letters /emails to? Are the cards homemade or bought? 

Write the list of things you need to do to complete this task

  • Make or buy cards.
  • Have stamps you need.
  • Gather the addresses of the people 

Having everything there and ready to go makes it is easier to write the cards and notes in one go and address the envelopes.

Knowing you have that done is already a positive step. 

Oh piece of advice, always have spare cards as you will probably forget someone. 

Have you done some meal planning?

Are you the chosen one this year to host and cook the Christmas dinner? If you are, total respect to you. You have probably done it before and know what is involved. If not, do you have a list of the people coming for the meal

  • Any dietary restrictions or allergies. (so important)
  • Having recipes and food at home there is less stress for you, or the shopping list ready for your next grocery run.
  • Check if there is anything that you can make ahead of time. If you can, this will save you time and stress on the day. 
  • Are other people bringing dishes along? 
  • Anything you can do to be as organised as possible beforehand will help you relax and enjoy the company.

If you are having a quiet holiday season or are visiting others for that big meal. 

Ask the host if you can help beforehand. Bring a dish along or if they are finding it hard sourcing a food item. 

If you know what kind of meals you want to have with family and friends or if it is just you. A bit of meal planning is fun. Having the food items at home and being able to choose between one or two options is great. No need to rush out to get things. You have it there and can quickly prepare it at home. 

Maybe you have more leftovers than you thought and don’t need to eat that day. Reduce the stress levels and relax.

Think about Christmas 2024

Take a moment right now and think about how you are feeling? Yes, time for that list again. Jot down all the regrets you have right now of things that you have not done yet and wish you had. Did you forget something important? 

Having this list will help you prepare for next Christmas.

  • Did you want to make cards or decorations? Well you can do that months in advance and free up the time in December. 
  • Don’t forget the sales right after Christmas. 
  • The best time to buy wrapping paper or decorations is just after Christmas. Save money this year and be prepared for next Christmas.
  • If you realised, hey wait that would be a great gift for “x” then note it down on the gift list for next year.
  • Was there some meal or recipe idea that interested you and could be something to look forward to next year, note it down.
  • Of course there could be things that you did that you didn’t need to do, well that is easy to take care of. Note it down and don’t worry about it next year. 

We all have different lives and family situations and what works for others may not work for us. Make sure you write your list that suits your life and your needs. Find the ways to reduce the stress levels in your life. 

These are some small things that you can do for yourself now and help your future self. 

What you have done and can get done for this year is enough and there is still time before the big day. Christmas is the magical time of year. Don’t forget the important thing of making time for the important people in your life. It is also the simple things in life. 

If you talk with a fellow customer in a shop it could be the only human contact they have in their day. A smile or a nod goes a long way too.  

Christmas planning made easy.