I’m typing up this post as the rain hammers against the window. My cat is curled up in my ‘in’ tray, and I’ve accumulated several empty mugs as I make coffee after coffee in a bid to stay warm.
Yesterday, I realised we only have a few weeks until Christmas, and I haven’t even started to think about buying gifts, sending cards, or arranging various seasonal events. My regular gym sessions have also dwindled to an ‘hmm, I’ll go tomorrow,' and my healthy eating regime now involves far too many Jaffa cakes (they’re orange, so technically they count as your five a day, don’t they?).
When it’s cold and wet, our motivation to get even the most basic tasks done isn’t as powerful as it was in the warmer months. Looking out of the window this morning I knew I’d be staying in the comfort of my writing cave for the day.
However, Christmas looms, and if I want to prepare that delicious turkey dinner, eat copious amounts of mince pies, and delight my family with thoughtful gifts, then I need to get organised. So, how am I going to do it when my motivation has shrivelled up in the cold?
1. Make your own advent calendar, crackers, or festive wreath to get you in the mood. I recently found a beautiful blog where the author, Suzy, shares crafty, DIY projects for you to try throughout the year. She posted her DIY Bauble Wreath last week, and you can read all about it HERE.
2. Dedicate one weekend/week in December to watch as many Christmas movies as you can – call it the ‘Christmas Family Film Festival!’ Grab a bag of popcorn and snuggle down for a movie bonanza. You could even draw up a voting sheet and announce the winning film at the end.
3. See if your local school/community centre are holding a carol service and pop along for a sing-a-long.
4. Most high streets have now switched on their Christmas lights. Wrap up warm and go for a walk through your local town. Don’t go shopping, just enjoy the lights, the crisp air, and maybe grab a cinnamon latte from the local coffee shop as you go.
5. Hand deliver as many of your Christmas cards as possible and boost your festive fitness!
6. Book tickets to the pantomime. Take the family for a fun night out and support your local amateur dramatic society. Nothing says Christmas like shouting ‘he’s behind you’ at the top of your lungs in a packed theatre.
7. If you have younger children or grandchildren, then it might be time to make room for any new toys by de-cluttering the old. Fill a shoe box with good quality toys and books and donate them to charity. The Mustard Seed Relief Mission accept donations which they send out to 40,000 underprivileged children in Eastern Europe every year.
8. Most towns now host a Christmas market of some description. Embrace the festive season with a mug of Gluhwein or a steaming hot chocolate with whipped cream.
9. If you need a cheap and cheerful way to motivate yourself into feeling festive, then take a trip to your local garden centre. Most of them have a winter wonderland of Christmas decorations and gift ideas. Plus, there could be the bonus of spotting Santa!
10. Grab a notebook and get list writing! My favourite way to stay organised at any time of year is to write down everything I need to do and then take great pleasure in ticking it off when it’s done. You can dedicate one page for each of the following:
· Food to buy (jot down all the food you’ll need that isn’t on your usual ‘big shop’).
· Recipes to cook (make a note of any special recipes you want to try, including the website/magazine/book you’ve seen it in).
· Cards to send (write a list of who you regularly send cards to, add a couple of columns with ‘Sent’ and ‘Received’ so you can keep track of who keeps in touch).
· Presents to buy (I write down what I want to get my kids, family, friends and then add a tick with a green pen when I’ve bought it and a tick with a red pen when I’ve wrapped it).
There’s still time to pull an organisational strategy out of the bag, or should that be ‘sack,' and enjoy the build up to the festive season. Do you have a top tip you can share with us for keeping motivated at this time of year, or perhaps you’ve already finished your shopping, got everything wrapped, and can sit back and relax? Whatever your situation, I’d love to hear about it, so please leave a comment in the box below.