Monday, 8 July 2019

A Very Snowy Christmas - 25 Weeks For An Organised Christmas Week 2

Welcome back to A Very Snowy Christmas!! 

This week we are going to go over last week's lists and brace yourselves because we are going to be strict and thorough! So, pull out your lists and a pen and make yourself comfy for week 2 of A Very Snowy Christmas!

Christmas tree and gifts in the background with 'week 2' written across the middle

Week 2

Just like Santa, we've made our lists and we're checking them twice!

Let's make a start with your Christmas card list. Last week I said to make a list of all the people that you send cards too and to mark the ones you send special cards to with a star or an S.

Now, go through that list and as you do consider if you really need to send them a card this year. Take into consideration if you've seen or heard from them in the last year apart from last year's Christmas card. Did they even send you a card last year? If not, it might be worth crossing them off the list. Initially this will seem a little harsh but you've got to try and think passed this and to the time and money you'll save instead. Quite a few of my friends have stopped sending cards altogether as they thing it's old fashioned and if you're not getting a card back your friends might feel the same but have just failed to tell you.

I would add though that if you have elderly friends or family members that you don't see much you might not want to be as brutal with the crossing off! The card they get from you maybe one of the few they get and is a kind remember that you've not forgot them.

Next, go over those that you have marked with a star or S for a special card. Again, it's time to be strict! Do they really need an individual card with 'To my Aunt at Christmas' or 'Dear Cousin at Christmas'? No, they probably don't.  A card from the usual packet with do. If, again, this makes you feel a little uneasy than like before, think about the saving you could make. Whatever you spend on special cards, try to at least half that and if you've still got a lot on your list buy them from somewhere like Card Factory, where their prices are much more reasonable.

Flatlay showing a tablet that shows Christmas planner template, surrounded by stars and a pen

Now, let's move on to your gift list. Last week I said to make a list for absolutely everyone that you buy gifts for and just like the card list, it's time to get brutal! 

Do you have people that you only see to exchange Christmas gifts with? It's time to ask if those gifts are really necessary. I appreciate that taking people off your list can be difficult and may leave you feeling anxious, but if you don't have much of an ongoing relationship with the person or you're on a budget you have a decision to make. Obviously, you'll need to have a conversion with the recipient so you don't end up in an awkward situation where they've bought you a gift and you're empty handed! I've done this on a couple of occasions, having already put it off for years! In the end I was pushed to reduce our list when we moved house a couple of weeks before Christmas. As we packed up our old house I realised how stretched we'd be and decided now was the time to reach out to those people on my list. I was a bit of a wuss and text them all as I worried about phoning! Each was fine with it and said 'I've wanted to say this for so long but didn't want to cause upset' and just like that my list was shorter and I'd saved over £50! 

On the note of saving money, this week is also the time to set your budget for each person on your list. If you're looking to reduce your Christmas spending then carefully consider what you can afford to spend on each person and if and where possible try and reduce the budget for each by a third. If that seems a bit much try a quarter instead.  

For those that you would normally give a monetary gift to, consider a lower cost gift alternative. If you tip the bin collectors £20, maybe a saving could be made by buying a tin of biscuits or a crate of beer instead. 

It may take you a little while to work through your lists, so those are the only tasks to do this week. Cutting down on your lists may make you a little anxious but reducing them will not only save you money but it will also reduce the amount of time you spend writing cards, wrapping and distributing presents. 

Next week at A Very Snowy Christmas, I'll go into how we can control our Christmas spending when you have children to buy for!

See you next week!

Mummy Snowy Owl

My Random Musings


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