Do you remember a time when Christmas was fun? All you had to do was race downstairs and open your presents, and wait for delicious meals to appear on the table?
Christmas when you’re an adult can be a stressful time, not least because of the average of 302 miles driven over the festive period. A survey found that the biggest drain on time, and one of the leading causes of stress, is the amount of time spent dealing with general household administration and other day to day chores. At Christmas time this burden increases dramatically, with present-buying, festive food shopping and card delivering all needing to be done on top of normal day to day tasks. If you have children, you’ll also have to find time for school concert attendance, possibly nativity costume sourcing as well, plus you don’t want to miss out on all the festive activities on offer at this time of year.
How to cope when the season’s getting all too much and you’re struggling to cope? Have you thought of outsourcing Christmas?
Outsourcing is a concept we mainly think of in terms of big business, but you’d be surprised how many personal tasks you can outsource to relieve the pressure: window cleaning, gardening and household cleaning can all be outsourced to a professional. It may take them less time than it would take you to perform the same task, as they are focused on just the one thing – how often is your mind on other things when you’re cleaning the bathroom? By outsourcing your repetitive tasks to a specialist you are freeing up time to devote to the things only you can do.
How about outsourcing your Christmas shopping?
Many department stores have personal shoppers who will guide you in your purchases which will save you time. There are also professional gift buying services to whom you can give your recipient list and they will source appropriate gifts. If you want to buy your own gifts, take advantage of stores who offer free gift wrapping services. If you buy online, try to buy as many gifts as possible from the same company, to reduce postage costs.
Outsource your Christmas cooking by ordering from one of the major supermarkets – there are plenty of ready-made delights which can go simply from fridge or freezer to oven. Get organised and book a delivery slot early to get a time close enough to Christmas so you don’t have to store things for too long.
Wrapping presents can be a time consuming chore
Did you know you can outsource this as well? Try searching for ‘gift wrapping services’ in your area (or asking your Pink Spaghetti PA of course). Card writing can likewise be given to your virtual PA, who can also create a spreadsheet of names and addresses to use in future years if you are currently using bits of paper and backs of envelopes to record them.
There are companies who will supply and deliver your Christmas tree – fully decorated if you wish! Try Pines and Needles who deliver nationwide.
If you don’t want to use outside help, try giving members of your family specific tasks in the run up to the festive season – children can be keen to take on responsibility and everyone loves receiving a card which has been obviously written by a child in their best handwriting, regardless of the spelling!