The Night Before Christmas – Tips for the Frazzled

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…. Apart from a middle-aged woman covered in sellotape, necking her third glass of red wine whilst she desperately tried to finish wrapping the last minute Amazon delivery with one eye on a ‘To Do’ list that still stretched a mile long. It was 11:45pm and that cosy, relaxing Christmas Eve she had planned for herself was a distant memory. This was me last year.

No matter how much planning you do in advance, we can guarantee that come Christmas Eve you’ll either suddenly find yourself encapsulated in mild pre-Christmas panic (like me) or you’ll suddenly find that there are about 5 key things you’ve forgotten to do. We feel you. No matter how much we try and prepare ourselves in advance, there’s always something more to do for the unsung warriors of Christmas.

So, in today’s blog, we’re going to provide you with a few key tips on how to get the majority of your last-minute Christmas jobs done before 6pm on Christmas Eve so that you can crack open a decent glass of wine (rather than the cheap plonk you force-fed yourself last year to make the panic stop), put your feet up and start getting jolly!

  • Christmas Wrapping – If, like me, you tend to put off this horrendous job until the very last minute, don’t panic. The important thing with wrapping-up is that it always takes longer than you think it will. So, on Christmas Eve, wrapping up takes first priority of the day. Get it all done in the morning. Don’t worry about fancy wrapping methods as it’s just going to get torn apart anyway – get it wrapped and the card written and move on to the next one. Once you’ve finished, that’s it. If a last minute parcel turns up then just stick a bow on it add it to the ones under the tree. You’re done.
  • Panic Buying – You know that point of Christmas day where you root around looking for the goose fat for the potatoes only to find that you never bloody bought it in the end? We’ve all been there before and dealt with the tears and recriminations so let’s try and avoid it. After you’ve done your wrapping, get a notepad out and write down everything you think you’re going to need for Christmas and Boxing Day. Then, check your fridge, your freezer and most importantly and, I really can’t stress this enough, your alcohol. Always check your alcohol. Once you’ve ascertained that you really did finish the Baileys earlier in the week and you might need a few extra bits, like a turkey, then grab your car keys and get down that supermarket lickity-split. You’ll be tempted to send the husband or the wife or a random passer-by to go and do it for you. DON’T. If you send someone else, THEY WILL NOT GET THE RIGHT THINGS.
  • Christmas Food Prep – When you get back from the supermarket, sweating and exasperated and weighed down by far too many bags as there was a sale and you panicked that you hadn’t brought enough toys for the kids (again, just stick a bow on it), it’s time to start our Christmas food prep. Go through all the things you have to cook tomorrow and write down the timings and what needs to go in the oven when. If there’s some bits that you can do in advance, like peeling the potatoes, then do it. Try to make your Christmas day as easy as possible. Most importantly – don’t forget to take everything out of the freezer that needs to defrost. The last thing you want to end up doing on Christmas morning is crying over a bath full of frozen turkey with a hairdryer.
  • Entertaining the Kids – If you have kids, you’ll understand that exhausting phrase, ‘Mummy I’m bored’. It’s the death knell of your productivity. Let’s not get to that. Instead, make sure you’ve got a pile of Christmas movies wracked up on the planner or their favourite DVD’s easily accessible. Get the old board games out and set your little ones free. Give your teenager back his XBox 360 even though he’s been a miserable, little shit. Keep them entertained and occupied and away from you.
  • Christmas Table – Whilst your little darlings are busy playing, you can crack on with laying the table the way you like it. Make sure you’ve got everyone sitting next to the right person (or away from them, we know what families are like). Check that there are no stains on the table cloth or napkins from last year. If there are, then a quick bit of vanish or fairy liquid will take care of that. If you can’t get the stain out, well then you’ve just found an ideal place to put a tureen. Get the crackers out and place them lovingly at each setting, knowing that they’ll be full of plastic rubbish but still relishing the bangs to come.

And that’s it, you’ve covered all of the important bases. You’re done. Time to put your feet up, crack open the wine and put on your favourite Christmas movie. If you’ve missed anything, it no longer matters. The kids are happy, you’re happy and no matter what you’ve forgotten you’ll still have a lovely Christmas!

From all of us at So Just Be, we wish you a very merry, stress-free Christmas Day. Enjoy it Christmas warrior, you deserve it!


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