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How to plan for busy holidays

When sleigh bells start playing in supermarkets and red, white and green covers everything around you, it is likely everyone is hunkering down and preparing for Christmas.

Key points:

  • Plan early when it comes to buying gifts, otherwise, it can be a rush to find the perfect present

  • Put time aside to make any decorations or crafts for the holiday season

  • Your health should always be a priority, don't let the busyness of the holidays stop you from seeing your doctor

Older couple with their grandkids
Spending time with your loved ones during the holidays is amazing for all, including older Australians. [Source: iStock]

The end of the year can be incredibly busy and stressful, so you need to be well prepared for any events you have planned, including food and travel.

It's important to keep in touch with all your loved ones so they are aware of your movements over the holidays.

​ Top nine tips to prepare for Christmas

  1. Do your Christmas shopping early, there is nothing worse than going to a shopping centre or busy shopping precinct and being overwhelmed by the crowds. If you do your shopping early, then you don't have to worry about low stock, paying full price, or being unable to find the perfect gift.
  2. Pre-organise anything you need to bring to Christmas gatherings. Depending on what you are bringing food-wise, it could have a long cook time and you need to plan for that. Make sure you check with the host that you are bringing the correct food and any other things you promised to bring, like games or drinks. There is nothing worse than doubling up on coleslaw or having your cob loaf overlooked for a more tantalising cob loaf brought by your brother!
  3. The free time during Christmas is a great opportunity to declutter your home and get your house ready for any big Christmas events you may be hosting. This includes sorting out the garden, cleaning any plates or Christmas decorations, and making sure there is enough room to accommodate everyone.
  4. Prepare all of your travel plans before Christmas gets too close. Sometimes, flights can increase in price the closer you get to a public holiday or it can be really difficult to get a spot on a flight. You should also be aware of where you will be staying, whether you are staying at a relatives house for the holidays or stopping in a hotel for a couple of days.
  5. If you are into crafts, spend time over the week organising any crafting gifts or home decorations. This could include handmade Christmas crackers, a display gingerbread house that can be broken into on Christmas, or self-made personalised Christmas baubles for the tree. To to make this even better, invite the grandkids over for a Christmas crafting day!
  6. Keep in regular contact with your loved ones, as it can be helpful for them to know where you are over this busy period. Especially if you have multiple Christmas events to attend. You may need to organise where you will be on Christmas day. For example, you might be making an appearance at your son's house for breakfast, but need to head over to your daughter's house for dinner.
  7. Christmas is not only the busiest time of the year, it is also the most expensive! It can be a great idea to create a budget of your spending for the season, including food for events, presents and gifts, and any other Christmas shenanigans you are getting up to. Once you know how much you are thinking of spending over Christmas, you can work around whether that is within your budget without impacting your essentials.
  8. Keep on top of your health and medications over this period. It is really important to make sure you are in tip-top shape to deal with the busyness of the holiday season. You don't want to be misplacing important medication or documents during this time. Additionally, you may want to visit your doctor before go on holiday, which is likely around the Christmas season.
  9. Don't forget to relax and breathe! You have made it to Christmas day; enjoy the time with your family and all the accompanying Christmas festivities.

While Christmas can be busy, if you have a good plan in place, the time won't run away from you.

Spending time with your loved ones during the holidays is amazing for all, including older Australians.

Hold your loved ones close, keep safe, and make many more happy holiday memories together!

What do you need to plan before Christmas arrives? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Making Christmas more dementia-friendly

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