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Yesterday I calmly posted 99 days until Xmas on twitter with 99 problems but Xmas is not one. Last year I was due with our 2nd child on 16th December, but strangely it taught me the recipe for a calm Xmas.
- Limit your Xmas gift list to those you really want to give to, and can afford to. I give to my immediate family, and best friends. Friends and family are not based on you giving or how much you give. With a lot of my friends it is just beautiful to just catch up on Skype, or for dinner or a drink rather than a gift. A lot of my friends now live in different countries and even continents.
- Define a budget. I still give to my best friends but it is often small. It can vary from Stilla lip gloss, but definitely something I know they will use.
- Ask for wish lists now. It is easier to get people what they would love for Xmas, and they always put big and small budget items in. If you ask for the wish list now, you can budget for enough money being there, purchase early and look out for offers.
- Order presents online. If you physically go shopping you have to deal with crowded shops, and the postage and packaging is often included. The cost of posting can be extortionate, especially internationally. Note some online sites only allow you to set a delivery date so far into the future. Gifts can still be personal online photo books, or items they have said they really want. There are amazing sites http://www.notonthehighstreet.com www.etsy.com, and I can find anything on Amazon.
- Don't do too much travelling. Previously we travelled to Denmark for the 24th and then England for the 25th. Luckily they celebrate Xmas on different days. Our first Xmas in switzerland last year was so relaxing not doing too much travelling.
- Cards this is often tradition but should not be obligatory. My sister hand makes and sends cards and that's great. I have broken away from the tradition and I just catch up with my friends on email, skype of social networks to say happy Xmas. If I get time, then I will get a few cards and send them, but I do not put myself under any pressure to do so.
- Cook your favourite meal. I grew up having so many different dishes at Xmas. Xmas was all about food, but not Turkey. Keep the Xmas dinner manageable and to what you love, maybe experiment with some fresh and innovative takes on a recipe. There are so many food recipe sources for inspiration.