7 TIME-SAVING TIPS TO AVOID LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AND STRESSAlert! Christmas puddings for sale in my local supermarket.

It’s only October – did someone say Christmas?

The time between the first Christmas puds for sale in the shops to serving up the Turkey on Christmas day seems to go in a blink. We all know its coming – the warning signs are there – snow-sprayed shop windows and tinsel on trees … so why do we procrastinate and get so stressed about that endless list of things to do, only to end up in a last-minute rush every year?

Now I am older and a little wiser, here’s my 7 tips to help you save time and stress.

1. Write a list

Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik Effect? There is scientific evidence that the act of planning activities through to-do lists reduces unnecessary stress produced from un-finished tasks. So writing your Christmas to-do-list will take some of the stress out of the season before its even started. Science says!

Make it fun and take a quiet evening when everyone’s in the land of nod, put on your favourite Christmas music and pour yourself a glass of wine. You’ve got this.


Do you know that feeling of nipping out to the Post Office to mail your gifts when you think no-one else will be there…only to be confronted with a line out the door and stretching down the pavement. By this stage, you’ve bought the present, paper and card. You’ve wrapped it, written on it and found the right box to send it in. You’re committed – what else is there to do but waste hours in the queue only to get to the counter and discover your postage cost is the same, if not more than the present inside!  What a stress and who has the time?

Avoid this by buying thoughtful gifts online. I find the best options are those where you can pre-order Christmas items now for delivery in December, and where beautiful wrapping, delivery and a card is all included in the one price. click here if this time saving solution is for you!

3. choose a colour theme

When I was younger, and a little less experienced in the Christmas game, I thought choosing a colour theme was ‘boring’. Yet when it came to wrapping gifts and the joy of finding cards I soon realised I had no idea what colour paper and ribbon to stick with; and had all sorts of mismatch trouble with the Christmas table settings and my Christmas tree.

All of this was made so much easier the first year I picked a colour theme and I’ve never looked back. Keep it simple and fresh – red and white is easy; as is just gold or just sea green for a coastal Christmas. You will save a lot of time once you’ve decided this as your choices of napkins, candles, wrapping, ribbon and decorations all become simple and stylish. Stress and time saved? Done!

4. Pre-order Christmas goodies

Whether it’s the Christmas ham, prawns, or turkey, you have it every year. Why do you leave it to the last minute to get it? Call your local butcher today and place your order. I guarantee they’ll be pleased to get your business and usually are quite happy to deliver. Another one off your list.

And while you’re at it – most supermarkets have an online service now. Why not plan and order your Christmas groceries for delivery in December?

5. Agree on gifting

Everyone is different – some families like to pull names out of a hat and give one gift each; others like to buy for everyone and put a price-limit on the gift, while others like to donate to charity instead of giving a gift.  Whatever your family does – being up front and agreeing on what you’re going to do now will avoid unnecessary shopping and stress later…as long as you stick to it!

6. write in those little moments

Buy some Christmas cards now – we love these ones at the RSPCA and the irresistible koala designs of Marini Ferlazzo who donates 20% of proceeds to the Australian Koala Foundation. Keep a few cards in your bag and write them in those little moments – waiting in the car to pick up the kids from school; or on the train to work. You are going to feel a lot less stressed about writing 1 small card at a time rather than 10-20 that need to get done overnight and you will feel good about not only giving to Charity, but connecting in a special way with your loved ones who I’m sure will appreciate it.

7.  Make your Christmas cake

Just like with your ‘to-do’ list, put on some Christmas music and enjoy taking the time now to make Christmas cake. You can make it for presents and it’s much more enjoyable and less stressful to have this one covered. If you’re not this way inclined, go to the supermarket and get one today – they’re in there and probably on sale! Zeigarnik eat your heart out.

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