Have an Organised Christmas!

Holly

Have an Organised Christmas! Now doesn’t that sound fun? Doesn’t that sound like just the kind of lazy, eat-everything-you-can-find-and-never-leave-your-duvet festive season you’ve been dreaming of?

I mean, probably not, but I’m the kind of person who can’t really enjoy a thing until I have organised it quite to death. If you’re interested in sorting out your prezzies and sending out your Christmas cards in time for The Great Postal Rush, I may be the half-crazed blogger of your dreams.

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Srsly. I’ve been writing lists for thirty eight hours. Send help before I gnaw off my own arm.

I actually started preparation two weeks ago in the middle of November, but I figured I would receive some form of internet abuse if I even mentioned the C-word before the first advent calendar door had been opened. I picked up the November/December edition of Boots’ Health and Beauty magazine and it is packed with festive favourites, gift ideas and sparkly things! It definitely got me in the mood for the first step of Christmas planning: Lists. Lots and lots of them.

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List #1. Who you are going to buy presents for, and who you are going to send cards to.

I am a strong believer in the power of a good list, and listing who you need to get presents and cards for is a good start. I went ahead and also made a ‘to do’ list, and a ‘to blog’ list and even a ‘to buy’ list, but do whatever makes you feel like you’re in control of the situation.

List #2. What you will be making or buying for your gift recipients.

While I knew exactly who I wanted to buy for, I always struggle to come up with ideas for what, especially because Christmas is expensive and I’m a student.

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To this end, I began taking inspiration from some of my favourite DIY blogs (such as A Beautiful Mess who post awesome DIY projects all year round) and also checking out gift websites such as notonthehighstreet to come up with ideas that I can copy! (Last Valentine’s day, I combined the idea of this artwork and these huge letters to make a gift for Rob, and it turned out great!)

Health and Beauty actually had a questionnaire (pictured below) to help you figure out the kind of gifts people will really appreciate. I tried it out on a few people and although I was mostly met with deep suspicion and cries of ‘this better not be for you blog’, it definitely helped. It’s designed to pinpoint the things that the recipient cares the most about; cooking, clothes, work, family etc.. and then you can buy them a gift which would be genuinely useful to them in the pursuit of their goals. I know, I know, socks are always useful, because everyone has feet, but maybe branch out a bit? (Having said that, I am stubbornly sticking to my Christmas epiphany of 2012, namely, Cushions are easy and cheap to make and everyone could do with a cushion. Also, no one can be ungrateful for a present which you worked your fingers to the bone on a sewing machine like a Victorian orphan to lovingly stitch for them… But this year I am only making two cushions, which I feel is progress.)

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I’ve collected together a few specific ideas, lots of possibles and also some ‘general’ prezzies, including an easy peasy way to personalise photo frames. These are great as they can be given to almost anyone and I love giving my friends photos of my face. No really, it’s a cool way to say “I really cherish these memories”, and they’re inexpensive to make. DIY coming up soon!

List #3. Christmas shopping list!

Finally, you need to work out any specific materials you need (if you are making presents) or shops to visit (if you are buying presents). This is a good idea to get done early; so you can go shopping without being trampled to death, you have time to complete longer projects, and you have time to come up with present adjustments. If your cousin suddenly abandons his life long dream of becoming a celebrity chef and decides to become an eco-warrior/organic-subsistence-farmer, you have time to ditch the expensive chopping boards and truffle oil and quickly fashion some clothing out of hessian sacks and bird seed.

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(More Health and Beauty inspiration. I love the passive agressive side notes… “Who knew?” *narrows eyes and hisses* “We did.” )

List #4. The Panic List. (Optional)

One of the girls on my course (and my co-star in The Blue Room woop woop!) carries around a Panic List in her coat pocket so that she can whip it out any time one of us starts a sentence like ‘I don’t have much to do this weekend’ or ‘I might get an early night’. It consists of all of our upcoming deadlines, reading assignments and participation modules, and it certainly incites panic. For Christmas, I have toned this down a little into a simple ‘To Do’ list, essentially to remind me to get to work on projects in a timely manner, and to remember all the little bits and bobs I might forget. For example; get photos printed, buy wrapping paper, and think of something to get Rob!! (underlined twice) are all things that I should already have done. (Argh!)

Right, the panic has set in, I better go. Do you think Rob would enjoy a cushion or a pair of socks?!

PV x

Holly

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