Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Top 10 Tips to Get Motivated for Christmas

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?

I’ve got a few tips to help motivate you at this time of year:

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.


  1. Oh Shelley, you are an example to us all! *Lurches back to bed*

    1. Should I be worried that I've driven you back to bed, Carol?!! Hope you feel better soon :-)

  2. I get buying early before too many of the over-priced Christmas packaged items are all you can see, but I don't enjoy wrapping, I get the kids to wrap all except their own or I use Christmas bags and seal up the top.

    Writing all those Christmas cards is something I would dearly like to give up, I always write a ditty about what we've been upto in the year (I print it out and everyone gets the same inside their card) cards coming in with just our names and theirs from people you never see year after year, seems entirely pointless - oh but the pressure of guilt if I got off the treadmill and no longer sent cards!!

    1. I love the idea of getting in early with buying gifts, I'm going to try that next year.

      I read an interesting story around the card guilt recently and it put everything into perspective for me. A lady had sent cards out from her and her husband for fifty years and then her husband passed away. She didn't send cards that year. Only a small handful of people got in touch to find out why they hadn't heard from her. So from that year on she didn't bother sending cards again, except to those who actually cared enough to stay in touch. I thought that was interesting - we give and receive cards but do we really take that much notice? Definitely something to ponder.

  3. I love that you have different-coloured ticks for bought and wrapped! You are so organised! I have all of the kids' presents bought and one or two others and I started that declutter, but it's very much a WIP. Top tip - start early and don't do any present shopping in December, particularly in towns and cities!! I can't face the meltdown which is the general public in shops in December! I love Rosie's idea about printing off a ditty and popping it in each card. And every year I check out "how to wrap presents well" websites and it never works!

    1. Oh My! I didn't even know such websites existed, Susan!! *rushes off to google how to wrap* ;-)

      Yes, I agree with the 'avoid all public areas in December' advice. I went into town yesterday and only lasted an hour - it was bedlam! Thank goodness for online shopping.

  4. I love Christmas but I don't start really thinking about it until 1st December!! Says she having just bought a gorgeous fibreoptic little tree from the local charity shop to replace the silver tree that is positively falling apart that goes in our Den. Main big tree goes in the lounge. I have a Christmas Card Book (proper printed one, with sent and receive) I've run for years to keep track of cards, (and labels so I don't have to write all the addresses, far too much like hard work!!) and I have a Christmas Present book I bought yonks ago to keep track of presents. Many may not agree but lots of family members and friends mutually opted out of Christmas Present giving also yonks ago which suits me fine as the things I adore about Christmas are the cards, the Christmas music, and being with family - and that's what it's all about really isn't it. Happy Christmas everyone especially you, Shelley, and thank you for all your inspirational posts, and and a healthy, happy 2017 one and all :-) xx

    1. OMG you are my organisational poster girl, Sue! Thank you so much for your lovely message and HUGE Happy Christmas hugs to you and your family too xxx