A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about ‘an organised Christmas’, and I thought that this year I’d re-write it with a 2020 twist, to help with some basic Christmas-related admin and try to rouse some festive jolliness a little earlier this year, because who doesn’t need a bit of festive cheer (especially in lockdown number 2)?!

1.)   Consider ditching the Christmas Cards… usually, I’m a big fan of post that isn’t bills, but with some people still being a little wary about what comes through their front door, why not opt for a virtual card and/or a telephone call this year? There are so many great e-card options out there, like https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ (which donates what you would have spent on physical cards to a wide range of fabulous charities!).  As well as being germ free, you’re also helping the environment by saving trees, and potentially not sending a ‘glitter bomb’ to a friend or family member that they’ll still be finding pieces of in the Spring… There’s a lot of positives to an e-card, particularly if you follow it up with a check-in call – you never really need an excuse to catch up with a friend or family member (or colleague), but a festive call is always welcome and a great way to make sure that the people you care about are okay.

2.)   Get that shopping order in soon! Slots for Christmas deliveries are filling up quickly (even faster than usual, with fewer people wanting to brave the shops in person when they are busy around Christmas), but with more and more businesses going ‘online’ for food deliveries, there’s more choice than ever before when it comes to ordering your Christmas feast online.  If you can’t book a slot with one of the big supermarket chains, get in touch with local farm shops to find out if they can help.  Put a call out on your local Facebook group if you’re struggling to find somewhere, there’s always someone out there with a great local food contact.

3.)   Shop local – if you can! As a small business owner, I can confirm that this year has been tough.  Other business owners I know have gone out of business, or had to put staff on furlough as they have struggled to keep the business going.  As a result, if you can get your gifts from local suppliers, I’m certain that they’ll appreciate it – and you can rest happy in the knowledge that you’ve got great gifts for loved ones AND helped a small business owner a little during a tough year!

4.)   Learn to delegate! In your business, you probably find it relatively simple to hand the tasks you don’t enjoy to other members of your team, or to outsource them entirely – why not do the same at Christmas? You don’t need to be a martyr to the cause and insist on carrying out everything yourself – this year has been a tough one, and if it all feels a little bit too much then you are perfectly within your rights to ask for help. Whether it’s a big family event (dependent on local lockdown restrictions – unannounced at the time of writing) or a small gathering, make the most of sharing your festive season with the people you like, as when you’re enjoying yourself, even peeling vegetables and wrapping presents can be an enjoyable and festive experience, particularly if you’ve got Christmas hits blaring in the background, and some mulled wine (or non-alcoholic punch) on the go for that extra Christmas pzazz.

5.)   Make sure that you take time to relax and refresh – I regularly talk about the importance of self-care for business owners and entrepreneurs, and it’s never seemed quite so important as it has this year!  It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping, the festive events (socially distanced, of course), and the general rushing about, but take some time to pause and enjoy yourself; watch a film you like, have a glass of mulled wine (or two) and open that box of extra special M & S truffles that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. The special occasion is now – enjoy it!

Take care this festive season, whatever form it takes!

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