Now that Christmas is not approaching, but more of galloping at high-speed towards us, it is time to finish up with the things that make Christmas: get the gifts, wrap them, plan the meal, shop for food and prepare it.
Since you need to shop both for food and for gifts, why not do it all in one go? Saves you the second trip to the mall, and also provides more opportunities for disorganisation, which is what we are elegantly aiming for.
So, you have an idea of who you need gifts for, you also have some hints on what they would like to get and the image of a perfect table, set for the party and loaded with delicacies, all in your mind. Make sure that this mental image stays clear in your head, because we are not making any lists. Just hit the shops and start searching. If you are amongst the lucky people who do not get affected by the insanity of Christmas shop crowds, just lean on the cart and enjoy the ride. If you are not that lucky, you will soon become a complete nervous wreck with only one mission: let’s get over with it fast and I don’t care if we forgot something. You can use this moment of weakness to succumb to the mean impulse of buying your mother-in-law something appallingly kitschy and useless. It’s ok. That’s what she is expecting anyway, and that’s what she will think of any gift you chose in any case. On with the mission.
After you are finally done with the shopping, it is only a matter of paying the goods, so you are waiting at the cashier. This is the time when the annoying bug in your head starts listing all of the good and useful (albeit unasked for) advice you got about the Christmas that you promised to yourself you will implement next time. Fight it, because it means going back to the battle line in the shop.Think of wrapping the gifts instead, which is the next task after getting home. Oh dear, did you get the gift wrap paper and bows? Well, too late now, you will figure something out at home.
If you are playing the “pot luck” gift game (everybody buys a gift and you just pick one randomly out of a bag) just buy something you’d like to receive. If you don’t, I guarantee you will get your own crappy gift, (this is experience speaking).
Once you’ve arrived home, it is time to plan the preparations. Immediately the dilemma: wrap the gifts or start with baking first? If you want to be a true disorganiser, then you should aim at doing both at the same time – nothing sparks disorganisation as efficiently as multitasking. Add in some help from the kids, and you will not only be cooking and wrapping the gifts at the same time, but also cleaning up after them and fixing anything that goes wrong along the way.
As you probably did not buy all of the gift wrapping supplies, it is time to recycle – look around you and try to find an original way to wrap the gifts. I am pretty sure that some of the best DIY blogs were born from a similar situation. While the kids are tinkering with bows, pop by the kitchen and compare the recipes for Christmas goodies that you are planning to make against what you actually now have in the pantry and the fridge. Something missing? Of course, the answer is yes, but frown not – just use your imagination to replace the missing ingredients, or, browse through your recipe books to find alternatives. Even if you don’t find them, you will get inspired to invent a couple of things that may turn into family classics. I do not guarantee that those will be successes – some family classics are famous for being traditionally disasters. But – if not tasty, they will bring a laugh or two to your Christmas table.
Rush back to the gift packing station and check on the kids. By now, there are drawings on the packages, scotch tape on the chairs and irregular looking confetti all over – your scene is almost set. Place the gifts under the tree and return to the kitchen. At this point, you are exhausted and there is still work left. Finish only the things you must and give up on those you know you will not manage to do without reaching Christmas in a state of utter exhaustion and irritability. After all – there is always next year. Also, the season is about being together, not pretending to be catalogue-perfect.
As you can see, with the disorganised method, you save time and money, you recycle and you reduce stress. But above all, you create a personal and more memorable experience. Nobody remembers Christmases when everything went smoothly. It is the unusual, chaotic and fun events that carry on to become the most loved memories. Do let me know how it worked for you.