Decorating and Preparing for the Festive Season

The festive season is fast approaching and households all over the world are getting prepared for the big day. There is so much to think about-presents, decorations, food… and that’s just the start! Here are a few tips on how to make the festive season less stressful and expensive…

Make your own decorations

Home-made Christmas DecorationsEach year as December approaches you will no doubt notice the huge arrays of Christmas decoration displays in most supermarkets, home wear stores and department stores.  It can be impossible to decide on a colour scheme and which angle to decorate your house, whether you go for a more traditional feel with reds and gold’s, or to go for a modern feel with blues, blacks and silvers. 

However, buying decorations can be an expensive business. You can cut the cost by at least 50% if you spend the time making your own.  Try to make your own wreaths, Christmas tree decorations and even your own Christmas cards.  By buying some colourful card, glue and glitter you can transform your home into a winter wonderland. You could even make some fake snow by using some cotton wool and silver glitter.  This is also a great activity for you to indulge in with the kids- they'll love being a part of making the house all Christmassy.   

Make Space

Not only do you have to consider how to decorate your house, you'll also need to think about space.  If you have relatives that come over to stay, think about where they'll be sleeping before you decorate the house with Christmas decorations.  You may find that your hard decorating work will need to be undone if you have to move beds, tables and sofas around to accommodate loved ones. 

Also think about where your TV will be situated, as that is usually a focal point around the holidays.  If you're buying games consoles as gifts you should also make space for those in your entertainment system before hand, to avoid the stress of it on Christmas morning (discreetly of course!).

Think about the layout of your dining room in advance too, as Christmas dinner is the most important meal of the day.  If you organise your spacing in advance it will make it easier when Christmas gets nearer.

Don't Over Do It

Christmas is of course a time to over indulge and be merry, however if you're hosting the Christmas festivities this year you will no doubt be worried about what effect it will have on your credit card statement. Instead of putting the burden all on yourself ask each member of your family contribute something small to the festivities, whether it is a course for dinner, a bottle of wine or a homemade desert.  Not only will this save you a lot of money, but you will also save yourself a lot of stress and time. It may also be worth creating a meal planner for around the Christmas period.  You can then go shopping before Christmas and not have to worry about what you're going to make for the next meal.  Sticking to a list also helps you to save on your shopping bills.

Presents under the Christmas tree

Consider Safety

Before decorating your home, consider these safety aspects, especially if you have children:

-Plugs/electrical sockets.  You're more than likely going to be using a lot more plug sockets that normal due to Christmas lights and electrical gifts being opened.  Make sure that these extra sockets are stored out of reach of children to avoid electrocution and accidents.

- Candles.  Candles can give your home a warm, Christmassy feel but can also be dangerous as well.  Always keep lit candles well out of reach of children and where animals could knock them over to prevent fire.  Also be aware that you're more likely to have flammable materials around at Christmas, such as any hanging decorations and Christmas wrap.  Before placing a candle always make sure none of these materials are anywhere near the flame.

-Lock away any alcohol, spirits and liqueurs.  Christmas time is synonymous with letting your hair down and having a good time.  When you’re having a few festive drinks, always be aware of what the kids are doing.  If children get their hands on alcohol it could potentially be dangerous, so always make sure you store it out of reach of children.