christmas party venue belfast city centre

Christmas – It’s all in the preparation

It’s nearly that time of year again where the big man is preparing to travel all the way from Lapland to each and every house throughout the world delivering delight to expectant little faces. Now, if you’re anything like the majority of people, you’re likely to delay the onslaught of Christmas shopping, leaving it to a few days before Christmas. Running around in an utter state of panic only coming up for breath when stopping for the occasional mulled wine.

So, here’s some of our hints and tips for a stress-free, credit-free Christmas….

Start early
Many people groan at the October displays in supermarkets across the country, however, use this as a little reminder that Christmas is just around the corner and the sooner you start planning, the less stress you’ll ultimately inflict upon yourself.

Lists, lists, and more lists
As simple as it sounds, who do you need to buy for? Write a list and as you buy each item, cross them off. Everyone loves a visual to show them what they’ve achieved and if you have a forgetful nature, you’re safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to forget to buy for Great Aunt Edith.

Do you really need to buy for 30 people?
More often than not, we buy for the sake of buying. Yes, it’s a festive time of the year and as a symbol, we give presents to those we love. However, don’t you think it can get a bit out of hand? Have the conversation. You’ll probably find they’re thinking exactly the same thing and so perhaps you decide that you no longer buy for one another and instead just concentrate on the kids. We like to get together with people instead of buying presents and so will spend our hard-earned cash on a family gathering rather than presents which will soon be forgotten about.

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Ask them what they want
Have you actually asked your friends and family what they want? We don’t know how many times we’ve been bought something that either we already have or that is of no use to us whatsoever and if there’s no receipt in the bag, it’s devastating!

Secret Santa
Secret Santa’s a well-known concept in office environments, whereby you pick a name from a hat and buy only for that particular person, with a budget of say ten pounds. However, there’s no reason this can’t be done within a family setting as well. Set your budget, for example £50, write a list of what you’d like and where they can buy it and that means everyone gets what they want and it hasn’t cost the earth.

Team up
In the same vein as kids birthday parties, we’d much rather our children have a couple of really decent presents as opposed to 30 x £5 presents which take up heaps of space and are forgotten about within minutes of opening. Instead, family members or friends can team-up and buy some bigger gifts to go down a storm.

Please don’t think we’re being scrooge-like setting out the above. For us, Christmas is a time for celebrating and spending time with the people you love. All too often, this sentiment gets swallowed-up and is overtaken by the stress of buying for one another.

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