By Colleen Moulding
With the decorations still up and the Christmas successes or
disasters fresh in your mind this can be the perfect time to make plans for next
Make a note now of what worked out as well or better than you
had planned and note too ideas that didn't quite gel as you had hoped or jobs or
activities that you just didn't get time for.
Did your Christmas menus work out well? What could you have
prepared in advance? Did you have something to offer an unexpected vegetarian
guest? What did you have for the children who wouldn't eat vegetables? Did you
forget to warm the plates to help keep the food hot or chill the wine? Jot these
things down now for an easier time next year.
When it's time to take down your cards take a few minutes to
make a Christmas card list in the back of your new diary or address book, this
will make writing out your cards much easier next year as you won't be worried
about forgetting anyone.
Take a good look at your tree and room decorations. Are some of
them looking past their best? Would you love to start again with a new theme or
colour scheme or add just a few new items to give the whole look a lift. Did a
friend's decorating scheme inspire you or did you see a wonderful decorating
idea in a department store or craft shop?
Now is the time to hit the sales for cards, decorations and
wrapping paper as all these items can be found at half their usual price or
less. Don't forget to stock up on clear or coloured cellophane and tissue paper
to wrap all those gifts or gift baskets that you intend to make yourself.
Treat yourself to a couple of crates or storage boxes to pack
away your decorations neatly and label them so that they are easy to find, or
even more cheaply, cover some cardboard boxes with gift wrapping paper and you
will always be able to spot them in your closets.
Resolve to spread the financial load next year by making a list
of everyone that you want to give gifts to and make or buy one or two each month
throughout the year, this works well except for children as who knows what the
latest must have will be by next Christmas!
Spend a few minutes to think about what gave you pleasure this
Christmas. Who did you really enjoy spending time with? Who did you hate
spending time with? Would you have enjoyed something a little more spiritual?
Make a note to attend a midnight mass or a carol service or get yourself an
invite to the local nativity play.
Would you have liked to stay at home with your partner, a bottle
of wine, a large box of chocs and the tv guide? Schedule a day doing just that.
Did your kids enjoy making cookies with you, or paper decorations? Did you spend
some time with the tv off just talking about Santa coming soon, reading
Christmas stories or poems or gathering greenery and berries to decorate the
house? Perhaps these will become family traditions that they will remember
It will only take a few minutes to note down these things now,
yet once you are back into your regular routines they are easily forgotten. Once
you have them in your Christmas note book or the back of your diary you have
everything you need to make next Christmas even better than this one! Have a
wonderful new year!