I love Christmas! With two little cherubs in my life who ‘still believe’, we do Christmas (and some!) at our house. From watching the ‘SS’ fly by in the skies on Christmas Eve, to scattering reindeer food in the garden, hiding their stocking gifts and making sure all my loved ones have their Liz Earle favourites, it’s fair to say that I have to be one organised Mummy. To save you frazzling, I thought I’d share some of my own tried and tested quick tips to help you stay ahead of the game too.
1. Clear out a bottom drawer
Fill with gifts as and when you see them – not just in the run-up to Christmas, but throughout the year. From National Trust shops on holiday days out, to local finds on my Isle of Wight day lunch hours, I buy little and often, when I see the right gift for the right loved one. Just use ‘post it’ notes with a quick handwritten scribble (recipient and price), and pop in the empty drawer. Spreads the cost, stops the December panic!
2. Start a Christmas action list
Get writing either in a special Christmas book that you pull out each year, or simply using your smart phone. An action list always makes you feel more in control. If you use a book, you can check back on last year’s gifts and actions so you don’t miss anything vital. Having your list on your phone (I use my iPhone ‘notes’ app) also means that you can quickly access it on-the-go. I update mine on the train commute, in my lunch break, or even in the bath – just don’t drop it in!
3. Gift book
When my girls were small, I could hardly keep up with the generous stream of gifts they were given, so I started a handwritten gift book for them. It makes ‘thank you card’ writing so much easier, and acts as a lovely memory book too. I use it for birthdays and Christmas, and now they’re a little older, I love looking back at previous baby years too.
4. Shop local
From local meat for the Christmas Day table to my Christmas tree, I buy local to support local businesses. I live in Kent and I love the annual trip to our local farm where the trees are grown and replaced sustainably.
5. Be happy
Try to schedule in one happy Christmas treat per week in December. This year, for instance, I’m treating my boyfriend to a one-off, pop-up cinema showing of (Christmas film essential) ‘Love Actually’ in East London as a surprise. I always take my little ones ice-skating and to visit Santa in the last week before the big day too.
Also pencil in your local carol service – reconnecting with your local community through church is a very special thing, in this age of disconnection, I find. I’m also taking the time to send Christmas boxes (via a charity) to the poor refugee children who have had such an awful year. Find a charitable cause that means something to you and get involved – it is so rewarding to think that we can do something demonstrable to help others at this time of love and family.
6. Transform your mood
I love our new Botanical Essence™ Fragrance Layering Collection this year, which features three of our best-selling Botanical Essence™ fine fragrances. Fragrance is an excellent mood booster, mood changer, mood lifter. I’m reliably told by customers each year that a quick spritz of No. 15 can transform you into the belle of the ball.
7. Liz Earle quick fixes
I would insist you try our pre-party essentials to be a real-life Cinderella. Use Superskin™ Overnight Mask the night before, and Brightening Treatment Mask* on the day of the party, for glowing skin. Keep Instant Boost™ Skin Tonic spritzer in the fridge, along with Eyebright™ Soothing Eye Lotion (and the obligatory champagne!) to revive flagging spirits and hot, sticky ‘cooking’ complexions if you’re entertaining.
Above all, take a moment to breathe and know that somehow, it does all come together each year. Remember – if it all feels too much you can always book a lovely local gastro pub lunch instead. Christmas is about creating your own new memories, after all!
Please share your top tips here too – I’d love to steal some of yours! Wishing you and your loved ones a truly magical Christmas.
*Not suitable for sensitive skin.