The Christmas period has been very relaxed in our house this year. Years of catering for the extended family has taught us how to prepare and plan the few days to be as enjoyable, hospitable and hassle-free as possible.
We order our turkey, for the meat-eaters, well ahead of the day but other than that the food shop is done close to the holiday, with a detailed list. Whatever routine you select, just be conscious about it and decide what day you do what to reduce what can manifest as last-minute stress. Share out responsibilities.
Reducing the excess
We consciously aim not to overbuy and factor in that our visitors are often armed with chocolate treats and similar. We have definitely reduced the excess of previous years which had been known to lead to a whole month of unnecessary gorging. We buy less gifts and try to gift our time and experiences where possible.
In more recent years we have become more conscious of trying to reduce the packaging around our products, choosing organic and free-range where we can. Where possible, we buy gifts without packaging and try to use recyclable paper or gift bags. In addition, we try not to overcook to avoid food waste, one of my biggest bugbears.
Relaxing old traditions
On Christmas Day, we gave our guests the option of choosing how many courses of Christmas dinner they wanted and everyone opted for the main meal only. This was the first Christmas lunch in my 40 plus years that we had not had a soup, prawn or pate starter but one of the most enjoyable as a result. No elasticated waist clothing required!
What this created has been a far more organised and relaxing holiday period. It is so easy to spend so much time faffing, that is, spending time doing things that really aren’t useful and reducing doing the important activities with family and friends.
You can take the same approach in your business to get more organised:
(1) spend adequate time planning, setting timelines and creating the right focus
(2) remove or reduce activities which are superfluous,
(3) question some of your traditions, consider why you have always done them to see if they can be simplified
(4) become more sustainable throughout your business practices.