At this time of year, we hear it nearly every day…SONY DSC

“Are you all sorted for Christmas? Have you got all your presents yet? Have you got your cards sent? Your parcels posted?” Blah blah blah…

Even though I’m usually “Mrs Organised”; most years, I feel totally inadequate, hearing about my colleagues and friends who’ve been prepared since October, presents all packed and lists all ticked, knowing I still have lots to do before the big day rolls around.

But this year, for once….I’m organised. I’m on the ball, I’m Kirsty-Allsopp-meets-Monica-Geller-meets-Anneka-Rice. I actually have ALL my Christmas gifts bought, wrapped and labelled.

How is this possible, I hear you cry?

Two words.

Maternity Leave.

Plus its Amelia’s first Christmas, and although she has no idea what Christmas even is, there is something about enjoying it through a child’s eyes that makes it more exciting. So, before the madness of December hit, I planned ahead from June, and bought a couple each month. I’ve decided though, that no matter what happens next year, I’m going to be just as organised, even though the daytime bliss of maternity leave will be long forgotten.

If you’ve read some of my posts before, you will know that I relish any opportunity to write a list – and check it twice – sorry I couldn’t resist!! And, generally, if I get the opportunity to get creative with ribbons, wrapping paper and glitter, then no-one is going to stop me. So with that in mind, here are some things I’ve learned about getting into that Christmas Gifting Groove…

1. I choose a gift/present for each person and stick to it. I don’t dither/waver/change my mind. My family won’t know what other options I had in mind for them, and they will be grateful just to get a present. So, I stick to the idea I have for that person, as I don’t want to end up like Amelia’s Nana, who at the moment has 3 separate gifts for one person and can’t choose between them!

2. This year I decided to set a budget and look for offers. If you are buying similar presents for say; your Dad and your brother, then see if you can get a 2 for 1, or a discount of some sort – some shops have some brilliant winter sales, you don’t always have to wait until Boxing Day! My Dad and brother love using the same shaving system, so they don’t mind getting the same gift sometimes.

3. When I’m posting gifts or cards, I do this first, and I check the deadline dates for international postageIt’s the one task everyone leaves until the last minute, and then, before you know it, you’ve missed the last airmail to send that jolly card to Aunt Marie in San Francisco, or that pretty notebook to your sister in France. I have relatives in Singapore and good friends who’ve emigrated to Australia, and using a company like Parcelforce will definitely help make sure my special card or gift will get to them safely and in time. No, you guys, I’m not telling you what you’re getting!

4. I admit it, I’m a stationery and crafting freak, so I like to get some gorgeous wrapping paper for those small, special gifts on my list. Of course, I get the ‘cheapy’ stuff for those bigger presents, I’m not made of money; but I like to get some really lovely stuff for some gifts, as it makes the wrapping and giving a little bit more special.

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I found this beautiful paper in the Crowes Nest in Crossgar, a lovely little Homeware and gift shop.

5. The final thing I’ve learned, just for those people who are reading this and thinking; ‘Are you for real? Who is that organised for Christmas???’ – is to just enjoy the process of gift giving and receiving, Christmas is about more than presents, it’s about family and being thankful and appreciating what you have; I can’t believe it was this time last year we were saying ‘Won’t Christmas be so different with a little baby in the house?’ How much can change in a year…for the better of course. 😉

Merry Christmas Everyone

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