The Fool-Proof Festive Guide to A Fun Christmas
Christmas is coming! And we’ve got the guide to make sure its going to go smoothly in the year that really didn’t go so smoothly at all.
There are a lot of F words we could scream about 2020, but the biggest one we can shout right now is family. Christmas unites the world. It’s not like those nation-exclusive events like Thanksgiving or Halloween where they’re only celebrated in certain countries, and not so much in others. Christmas is a HUGE deal all around the globe, which sounds a bit overwhelming sometimes. But this is your reminder to cherish the core of Christmas (hint: it’s not the lavish decorations or extravagant food) – it’s family.
So, you can still go crazy (we sure will be) decking the halls in xmas décor and cooking up a Christmas storm – but just make sure that family comes first. If they’re living abroad from you, it’s the perfect opportunity to reach out with a phone call or Zoom meeting because - lets be honest - we’ve all mastered Zoom thanks to COVID. And with the friends and family who you are lucky enough to be close to, you can drop presents off, enjoy dinner together or a throw a small (and safe) party. Even if your religion doesn’t celebrate Christmas, it’s still a great opportunity to catch up with those you love most. It’s also the main reason why it’s regarded as the most wonderful time of the year!
When your list of gifts must cover everyone like the parents, a significant other, little kids, several pets, mature aunts and uncles plus all seventeen distant cousins you haven’t seen since last Xmas – gift-giving can get hectic. Follow a few of these easy tips to avoid the stress.
No Guesswork Allowed
A simple tip to start with is this: don’t guess.
If you’re unsure of someone’s shoe size, don’t buy them shoes. It makes it a huge hassle (and a waste of your money), where you’ll probably need to print a gift receipt from the place of purchase. Then it’s just a whole load of unnecessary stress for everyone, including the recipient who has to go back into the store for an exchange or refund, plus the poor retail worker who has to deal with it on Boxing Day.
If you are 110% sure that they fit a size 10 in tops but a size 8 in pants, then go for it! And if you’re absolutely certain that their favourite candle scent is anything fruity, pick up those fresh citrus scents or berry-orientated numbers. Just be sure, so that you don’t have to pull the ‘it’s the thought that counts’ card, and you’ll be right.
Get in Early With a Game Plan
Another tip to follow is to start early. There’s nothing worse than rocking up to your favourite shopping centre on December 23rd, with absolutely no parking and with all the retail stores packed to the brim with other desperate shoppers. Shop as early as possible to avoid the crowds and to make retail workers’ lives a whole lot easier! If you’re ordering anything online via post, ensure that you leave plenty of time for it to arrive before Christmas Day. Keep in mind that international orders can take anywhere between 2 days and 2 months, so its best to shop small and shop Australian.
An organised Christmas is a happy Christmas. Make a list of every recipient you are wanting to give a gift to, then brainstorm gift ideas. Just make sure that you’re not heading to the shops with no guide to follow, and that you spend unnecessary hours browsing for something you’re not even sure you’re looking for. Bring the list with you while you shop so you can tweak it along the way and tick each person off so you know where you’re at.
A Few Hot Ideas
If you’re following the two tips above, but still struggling to pinpoint specific gifts, here are a few ideas that might get you thinking. A lot of these are one-size-fits-all like accessories and makeup, which minimises the chance of getting anything wrong!
- Non-perishables like jams, preserves, chocolates and sweets
- Food delivered fresh (i.e. grazing boards and platters, chocolate-coated strawberries, cookies, personalised biscuits, cupcakes)
- Scrunchies, jewellery (necklaces, earrings, rings), sunglasses
- Socks, loungewear, sleepwear, bags. Try to avoid items like pants or fitting shirts in case you get the size wrong.
- False lashes, mascara, eyeliners, highlighters, eyeshadow palettes. It’s best to avoid risky gifts like foundation, BB cream, bronzers and contour.
- Chargers, new year planners, diaries, cute erasers/pens/notebooks, gift cards
- Knicks and knacks from SMALL BUSINESSES!
- Nicola Cosmetics believes in supporting the big dreams of small businesses – and you should too! Buying from huge corporate companies is so out of fashion, and small businesses (likes ours) put heart and soul into their products.
- You can find anything from candles, knitwear, labels, grazing boxes, accessories and more from small businesses
Decorating Like A Boss
Okay, so we’ve got gift-giving and family time sorted – yes! Now you can focus on making your humble home into a Christmas wonderland.
Tip #1 that you have to follow is use what you already have. If you have enough baubles for your tree, and plenty of wrapping paper from last year – there’s no need to buy more! Re-use your old decorations and only invest in new things when old ones are faulty.
You’re obviously welcome to update things like advent calendars or anything that is exclusive to a specific year.
If you’re hosting a gathering, keep it simple. It will be better for your time and your bank account. What’s great for decorating is having a simple colour scheme of 2-3 colours max. That way, everything is easier to co-ordinate, and it also looks amazing. Some go-to colour combos might include dark green and white, gold and red, white and red, gold and silver or anything around those colours.
Garlands and bunting are inexpensive ways to cover large areas (such as a large wall, across the balcony or the kitchen counter). And if there aren’t any from the stores, it’s actually a great way to get your DIY hat on. All you’ll really need is a good amount of strong twine, alongside a hole-puncher and a few designs you can print yourself. String them all up and you’ve got yourself a handy-dandy garland that you’ve made yourself AND one that can be used over and over again.
Instead of buying multiple little things to go here and there, it’s a good time to think about investing in one large centrepiece that you can pop in the middle of the dining table. Think a large flower arrangement (preferably something that matches your chosen colour theme), or a unique work of art. It’s an excellent way to get people talking, and could actually save a lot of time, effort and money as opposed to buying lots of little things that can very quickly add up.
Christmas is a huge holiday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a huge hassle. We hope some of these tips will help make this silly season simple!