Every year in the lead up to Christmas I commit to doing things differently. I commit to ironing out the creases from the year before and vow not to make the same mistakes. Only, I usually do. Much like Christmas, this seems to be a tradition that's staying for good.
Here's what I mean.
1. The vow – I won't panic buy
This year I won't head to the shops without a plan. I won't buy ALL the things because I'm worried that I haven't already brought enough. I won't worry that on Christmas day the boy's stashes will look too small. I won't purchase things because they look popular and/or are 'limited edition'.
The reality – I panic buy
Heading to the shops I frantically fill an already overflowing trolley with things that the boys don't want or need. I pretty much wrestle other parents to grab last items off the shelves and buy an insane amount of what turns out to be useless crap. I will likely return to the shops to do this another three times.
2. The vow – I won't go overboard with food
I'll methodically plan out what we'll eat over Christmas and only buy what we need. I'll remember that there are only 4 of us to feed, not 40, and we can only eat so much. I'll remember that we won't eat from dusk to dawn and going overboard will just mean more waste.
The reality – I will get way TOO much food
I'll quickly divert from my list and get sucked into 'special deal' offerings. I'll fill my trolley with ALL the things and spend a month's mortgage on food. I'll throw in extras 'just in case', act like the shops will never reopen and basically buy enough to feed a small country.
3. The vow – I won't leave shopping until the last minute
This year I'll start my shopping early. I'll be organised with both my budget and my time. In the weeks leading up to Christmas I'll smugly confess that all my shopping is done. I'll relax with a wine.
The reality – I shop at the last minute
I'll start my shopping a week before Christmas resulting in panic buying (see above), stress and credit card reliance. I'll road rage trying to get a car park and will curse my way around the shops because 'it's so bloody busy'. I'll be shopping on Christmas eve for those 'last minute' things that I definitely don't need.
4. The vow – I won't hide gifts in places I won't remember
This year I'll hide gifts in easy to remember places. I'll make a note of where everything is and keep a list of what I've brought. I won't cause myself stress by forgetting. Christmas Eve will be relaxed and not like a treasure hunt.
The reality – I will forget where (and what) everything is
I'll hide gifts without noting down where they are. Christmas eve will resemble the amazing race. The challenge is to quietly empty out and replace all the contents of cupboards and hidey holes before heading to the pit stop – being the tree. They'll likely be a present double up.
5. The vow – Christmas day will be relaxed
This year we'll enjoy coffee and breakfast before opening our gifts. We'll listen to Christmas music, enjoy each other's company and cherish what we're about to receive. We will linger to appreciate each gift we open and spread the opening of gifts throughout the day. No one will fight.