Getting ready for Christmas - part 2

How are you going with your Christmas preparation? I talked in my previous Christmas post about making a real effort to tackle the lead-up to the big day in stages, to try to reduce the stress of a hectic month. After all, especially with kids, Christmas is meant to be a time of fun, laughter and joy!

Over the past week, I've been able to tick a few presents off my list (love online shopping!), finish putting together my Christmas binder that will help me stay on track, and spend some time making cards with the kids.

Here are some other things I'm starting to think about...

1 | Advent Calendar

As a child, I used to love opening my Advent calendar each day - it built that excited feeling that Christmas Day was fast approaching. My Grandma used to buy us the ones with the little windows that you popped open to find a picture or chocolate inside... Does this bring back memories for anyone else?

Now it is nearly 1st December, and I am a little unprepared with my advent calendar for my kids this year! Where did November go?? Last year I was feeling crafty and made this from a piece of scrap-wood, some ribbon, decorative pegs and basic wrapping supplies, with little wrapped chocolates.

My son loved opening those treats each day! #sugaroverload. This year I'm wanting to do something based on fun Christmas activities and experiences rather than sugar! (click here for my list of 70 Advent Calendar activity ideas). I'm taking inspiration from the idea below, as I already have the perfect frame for this Christmas project. I'll be sure to share with you in an upcoming post what I come up with!

                                                                        Advent Calendar Cards

                                                                      Advent Calendar Cards

Here are some other crafty Advent ideas...

2 | Shopping

If you're prepared with your gift list and recipients, then now is a great time to start your Christmas shopping. The shops are not too crazy yet, and I read a great tip that if you arrive at the shops half an hour before they open, you can easily find a park then just relax or even grab a coffee while you wait for the doors to open!

(Excuse the blurring - just don't want any family members to find out what they're getting!)

You may like to undertake 'rounds' of Christmas shopping, or do it all in one big trip, or do everything online. I will be doing a mixture of online shopping, then hoping to get everything else at the shops in one big hit.

Whatever your preference, make sure you block out time on your calendar so that it isn't all left to the last minute. You can even accomplish a lot on a quick half hour after work or on your lunch break, if you're prepared. I've printed off a copy of the month of December, as there are so many things happening with our work, party prep and planning for Christmas. This way I can plan in advance as much as possible.

3 | Gift wrapping

This year I am definitely going to wrap as I buy. Last year I left it all to do the day before Christmas, and completely underestimated how long it would take! I'm planning on keeping the wrapping fairly simple with brown paper and some cute embellishments. We don't ever spend a lot of money on wrapping paper, but it is nice when you get presented with a beautifully wrapped gift, and they also look good under the Christmas tree!

Here are some nice and fairly simple ideas:

   Washi Tape Wrapping  {source unknown}

  Washi Tape Wrapping {source unknown}

4 | Decorating

The final thing I'm thinking about this week is the decorations for our tree (and house), as we will probably be putting up our tree this weekend. Are you a real or a fake tree person? I totally love the smell of a real Christmas tree, and the childhood memories it brings back, but I have to admit that the pine needles on the floor start to drive me crazy by the end of the month!

When decorating, you might find it easiest to stick to a colour scheme. Colour combos could include red and green, gold and silver, red and gold, blue and silver, black and white, green, gold and silver, red and white or multi-coloured (pink, blue, green).

However you decide to decorate, I think it's important to work with what you have - you don't want to be buying a whole new set of decorations every year, especially if you don't have a lot of storage space! You can always buy or make a few decorations to add to what you already have.

There are hundreds of DIY ideas on the Internet if you're feeling creative and have some spare time. I enjoy looking at inspiration pictures and getting a few ideas from each. We love to pump up the Chrissy tunes, and have a dance while we decorate!

So many gorgeous ideas that you could adapt for your own tree and and house decorating.

BONUS: Looking to create your own Advent Calender of kid-friendly Christmas activities? Click the button below to grab your copy of 70 fun activity cards!

advent-cards.jpg

Next week will be the final in this 'Getting Ready for Christmas' series. Hope you're feeling motivated!

Find more Christmas inspiration and ideas on my Pinterest board...