In many ways Christmas day is no different for us, but the festive season in general is and, like many others, we are missing seeing our family this year, and missing the usual gatherings and traditions. We’re at home, just our family of 4 (6 if you count the furries), on Christmas day, and you’ll not be surprised that the day is planned! I’m organised and love a list, so let me tell you about my Christmas plans, and there may be some ideas for anyone who isn’t a planner like me.
Yes, we are sending Christmas cards this year. There are the usual family members on the list, and this year a lot more of our neighbours are getting them as we have a Whatsapp group in our road, created shortly before Lockdown 1.0. A list of people, no one forgotten and written at the weekend with a Netflix series on. All that’s left is for Hubs to drop the local ones in. That’s on his todo list!
In the last couple of months I’ve been picking up bits and bobs for presents and stashing them away. It turns out I’d accumulated a little more than I realised, and an inventory was taken at the weekend. The present idea list was already in progress, jotting down ideas as they came to me. It has its own dedicated page in my BuJo. Cross referencing the ‘already got’ list and the ‘ideas’ list, I then had a shopping list for a Christmas shopping list. List in hand, a note of the shops to in, we were able to whizz around Centre:MK in a couple of hours and nail that list! I thought I’d track the walk, and I went over 3 miles round the shopping centre!
Also purchased – a TV guide. It’s the only time of the year that we bother with one, but I’ll be leafing through it later folding corners of pages over when there’s something I want to watch or record.
I managed to get a delivery slot – woohooo – so we’re stocking up for the next few weeks. I saw a slot, booked it by putting several bottles of vodka in the basket, ready to update later. I have a meal planner, with a tear off shopping list, on my fridge – we now have the next 2-3 weeks of meals planned which meant that I could plan the shop and hopefully only need to go shopping for a few fresh things a couple of days before Christmas.
We know what we’re having – it’s in the meal planner – and there will be a list on the day. We’re changing things up on the day and having a later lunch than usual; this is a total change with 2 young children you are used to an early lunch. There will still be the same prep and cooking, this will be on a list with timings to do it. We’ll be doing presents, chilling out and walking the dog in the morning, and then it’ll be knives at the ready in the kitchen.
Reflecting on my planning and lists habits, it’s made me conscious that I might actually sound really boring and rigid, and totally lacking in spontaneity. So let me address that point, because I can assure you I’m not! If I don’t plan, I don’t have a meltdown, but planning helps me feel in control at least to some degree. There are of course things that you can’t plan (Covid!!!), but in every situation there are things that you can control; if nothing else you can choose your mindset and choose how you let things affect you. If I forgot to get roast potatoes for Christmas dinner, it’s not the end of the world, but having them on the shopping list means that I probably won’t forget them and there won’t be complaints about it on the day. It’s not a life threatening situation to not get all the Christmas presents, but it makes life a little easier if there are no crying children on Christmas day. For me, planning is about making life easier. It’s not always life-changingly easier, but just a little easier. And when we have all the stresses and challenges around us, especially in 2020, why not make your life a little easier if you can.