Get ready to take time off to relax!

November is a strange time of the year.

School is coming to an end. For little kids, that means absolute exhaustion, tough going in the mornings and the start of concert season! For tweens and teenagers, add in assignments, exams, formals, an ever increasing number of social events, sport and general all round fever-pitch activity.

Which can make for a crazy stressful time of the year for everyone.

So I thought it was a timely to share some tips and tricks for making your end of year memorable for all the right reasons!

Be prepared early!
Take stock this month and try and write down all of the social gatherings and events in one place. Whatever you chose – old school paper calendar, App, or Outlook/calendar on your phone, just decide on the ‘one source of truth’ and get everyone in the family onto it. As new invitations come in, take note and decide as a family if you will go. Which brings me to the next one…

Say no!
There is so much going on, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to invitations or requests without checking what else you have going on. Take a breath and check if you have time (and the patience and energy) before saying yes or no. Remember you don’t have to justify your decision, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.

Get organized!
Once you have your one source of truth (your event calendar), get cracking on getting organized. Work out with your family if anyone wants to give out cards/presents and buy in bulk if you can. Start thinking about gifts (if that’s part of your tradition) and then try and plan early. That way you can save your hard earned cash and avoid the Christmas rush!

Get creative!
Think outside the box when it comes to gifts and cards. Perhaps set up a Secret Santa with your family? Agree with your family that instead of gifts you will all get together for a picnic and then take some great family pics of the day which everyone can share. Create photo books as presents. There are some great options including the gorgeous Momento, Milk and Papier – who all offer high quality reasonably priced photo books . Get crafty and create your own cards – check out the fab Frankie magazine, the talented Dawn Tan , Beci Orpin and Pip at Meet Me at Mikes for inspiration.

Hopefully that will set you off on a calmer path to the Christmas break! With everything sorted you’ll be able to sit back, relax and have fun with all of your friends and family.

Enjoy xx

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