How to Plan a Slower December



October - December is my busiest work period. It also happens to be the busiest time of year for parents and with three kids, my diary is packed out with events I need to keep track of - No Uniform Days, Movie Nights, Christmas performances, Church services, Christmas Parties, Panto Trips, Christmas Lunches, Shoebox Appeals, Early Finishes, Late Finishes, Book Fairs.......My head is spinning!

How to Plan a Slower December


Steve works 9am-7pm and as I work from home, I am naturally the default parent too so the meal planning, food shopping, pet care, cleaning, gift planning, budgeting, buying & wrapping tends to lie with me too. It is rather stressful!


This year is my 5th year of full-time self-employment and if history has taught me anything, it is that I need to slow down in December and take things easy otherwise I end up feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted which isn't good for anyone.

So this year, I will be winding down the blog from around the 10th December with my last post going out on 13th December (a review of A Viking Christmas which we can't wait for).

Then I will be taking a bit of a break and forcing myself to live a little slower, take things easier and actually enjoy the festive period.

I will still be active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Stories as that doesn't really feel like work to me but I don't think I will publish a new blog post after the 13th until the New Year (unless any lucrative brand deals fall my way but this is unlikely so close to Christmas).

Anyway, here are my plans for a slow December. Let me know if you are planning anything similar.


How to Plan a Slower December 



Christmas Movie Night 

How to Plan a Slower December


We LOVE a Christmas movie night. I have promised the kids that we can do this on Sunday 15 December.

We make our own hotdogs and nachos, snuggle up in Christmas blankets, switch our phones off and it is just bliss.

I think we are going to watch The Christmas Chronicles first of all.

Meal Plan & Shop Online 

The shops are already starting to feel a little frenzied and I swear I am always tempted to overspend on treats if I visit an actual supermarket this month.

 I am going to try and meal plan and shop online so I don't have to face the hassle of going to the shops every other day.

I am thinking lots of one pots, homemade soups, comfort food and dinners. Going to make the most of my slow cooker this month I think.

 After a few weeks of eating a little too much fast-food as we have tried to squeeze meal times around after school activities and panto visits, I am really looking forward to some home cooking again.

I will be braving Aldi a couple of days before Christmas for my big Christmas shop. I got there for it opening before taking the kids to school last year and it wasn't too bad - hoping for the same this year.


Walk to School 

If I order my food shopping online and have a more chilled diary, I won't need our car as much so Steve can use it for work.

 This will mean I have to walk to school to pick H & J up which isn't actually a bad thing.

As long as it isn't raining (or snowing), I actually really enjoy the school run and the hour or so walk really helps to clear my head.

Shop Local Online 

I know I will need to buy a few last minute gifts and rather than battling the crowds, I am going to stick with internet shopping this year. You can still shop local and support small businesses online.

Etsy is the place to be! The likes of For the Love of the North, Tribe, Mr Wolf, Geordie Gifts & Northumberland Cheese all have their own websites - make sure you check the last delivery dates though.

Hello Nigella

It wouldn't be Christmas for me if I didn't watch Nigellas Christmas on loop.

I have a little confession that I have never made one of her recipes but I find her so soothing to watch and just love her.

Sitting on the sofa with mug of mulled wine and Nigella on the TV is heaven to me.

Coastal Walks, Fish & Chips & Hot Chocolates by the Sea 

How to Plan a Slower December - coastal walks



I love being by the sea, regardless of the weather and the winter is no exception.

I am planning on making up a flask of hot chocolate and taking it to the beach with the kids to watch a sunset one night and another night we are heading out for a little walk and fish and chips.

Often the most low-key nights are the best I think.

Reading 

I never find the time to read and this makes me sad! So I am going to buy a book or two from my wishlist in December and actually read each day. It is a good habit to get into and I am determined not to wait until January to start good habits like this.

TV Binge-Watching

When does the Christmas TV Times come out? It must be soon!

We don't watch a huge amount of TV and much prefer Netflix but the run-up to Christmas is the exception to this.

I plan on indulging without feeling guilty and cannot wait to watch the Vicar of Dibley, The Snowman, E.T, Gavin & Stacey & all the usual Christmas TV. Bring it on.

Baking
How to Plan a Slower December  - baking


I never seem to prioritise baking anymore so I have promised the kids I will make time to do this in the run up to Christmas.

Jack wants to make my sausage rolls for our Boxing Day buffet and we will be making mince pies aplenty plus gingerbread decorations for our tree.

Cinema Nights

One of the only places I feel like I can fully switch off is the cinema and I am sure that is because I know I am not allowed to check my phone! Cinema is such an immersive experience and each time we see a film, we say we should do it more often. Frozen 2 and Star Wars are planned for this month and we cannot wait.

Calm Before Christmas at The Biscuit Factory 

Rather than a big Christmas night out, I am meeting a couple of friends at the Calm Before Christmas event at The Biscuit Factory. I may be getting old, but hot chocolates on the terrace whilst listening to a 20-strong choir singing carols and indulging in some delicious local street food sounds like a little piece of heaven and is just the kind of event I need to take some time out and catch up. This event is free and you don't need tickets. Find out more here. 


Christmas Day at Home 
How to Plan a Slower December  - Champagne


Finally, we are having a super-chilled Christmas Day at home this year with no Christmas dinner. We already eat multiple turkey dinners throughout December and all of us want to spend Christmas Day together without Steve being stuck in the kitchen all day and a huge pile of dishes.

We are planning on a lie-in, then staying in our PJs and grazing on buffet food, cheeseboards and chocolate all day, watching TV together and Steve and I will be on the Champagne too. No stressing about food timings or anything. A low-key Christmas Day is honestly bliss and I would highly recommend you give it a try if Christmas Day tends to leave you frazzled.

Let me know your ideas for a slower December too xx

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How to Plan a Slower December





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3 comments

  1. Ooooh Christmas TV Times! I'm on the look out for them too, when we were little my Mum used to take to them with a highlighter and highlights all the programmes she thought we would like then she'd put a little R next to the ones she wanted to tape for us to keep on video - going through that magazine always makes me think of childhood - love it!

    Loving all your ideas for a slow Christmas, it all sounds so blissful. I've tried very hard not to pack my diary out too much this month!

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  2. Sounds like a lovely month ahead! We have definitely got a lot less in the calendar this December and are having a nice chilled weekend away in Scarborough! We are also lucky that my parents take care of the Xmas food shop so we just have to rock up! 🤣

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  3. The Calm before Christmas at the biscuit factory sounds awesome actually!

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