Once again, the year has gone by much faster than planned, it’s December and Christmas is just around the corner. Even if there are just a couple of weeks left until Christmas Eve, you shouldn’t start to panic. Here’s some advice on what you should absolutely still do before the holidays, and how you can manage to have a stress-free Christmas-time as an entrepreneur or freelancer – and start getting excited about Christmas!
Start planning now
First of all, you should plan your work for the next few weeks. Start by writing down a detailed list of things you still have to do before Christmas. A large dose of pragmatism will help you with this: there are actually very few things that really have to be done before the holidays and can’t be postponed until next year. Once you’ve got an overview of everything, you should write a plan for every week, or maybe even every day, and then also stick to it.
Just quickly say hello (per email)
Personal greetings for Christmas are a great way of letting your customers know you care about them at the end of the year. The easiest way to do this is a Christmas mail – this saves you the hassle of manually writing cards, stamping them and taking everything to the post office.
Ideally, you’ll prepare your Christmas mailing list already at the beginning of December: create an address list, write the email text and find a suitable image (if you decide to use one). If you prepare everything well enough, you can then send out the actual emails with just a few clicks.
Small gifts for good customers
If you decide to get your customers something for Christmas this year, you should also plan ahead. To avoid unnecessary stress, it’s totally okay to only get something for your regular customers, or those you still see in person in December.
The idea is not to give big or expensive things, but to surprise them with a little something that shows how much you value their custom. Decide on the same thing for all and buy/order a sufficient number as early as possible. Instead of wrapping everything by yourself, you can just as well put a sticker with your logo on it, add a small bow or use gift bags.
I’m on a holiday…
Even if there are still a couple of working days left, the beginning of December is absolutely the right time to think about Christmas, your holidays and maybe even a winter trip. To make sure that you can enjoy your holiday, you should announce it in advance. You can do this in your email signature, a small poster in your shop or simply in face-to-face while speaking to your customers. This way, you can be sure that everyone is aware when you’re away and they can plan accordingly.
Gift shopping – don’t leave it until the last moment
Christmas always seems to come as a surprise each year, and quite often the big stress begins just a couple of days before the holidays – especially if you haven’t bought all presents yet! The good news is, you can easily avoid this stress: do the gift shopping in the first week of December, especially if shopping is more of a duty than a pleasure for you. Once you’ve got all the gifts, you can be much more relaxed. And a tiny pro-tip: the best time to go on a shopping spree are weekday mornings, as most people are at work then. So, if your schedule allows it, you should hit the stores at this time.
Plan your holidays
If you also want to avoid stress during your holidays, you should make sure to plan them a bit ahead. Create a rough schedule when you should be where with whom. When are you getting groceries? When will the tree be decorated? Who will help with the cooking? Where do you meet aunt Annie? When do you have time to wrap the gifts?
Of course, you don’t have to make a super-detailed-by-the-minute schedule, but an approximate plan will help you to stay on top of things.
Get into the Christmas mood
Don’t forget to include “Getting into Christmas mood” to your to-do list. It might sound a bit funny, but quite often you forget to have some quality Christmas time in between gift shopping and the checking of lists. Take your time and do something Christmassy: go to a Christmas market over lunchtime, meet some friends for a nice Christmas dinner or simply have some mulled wine on the sofa while watching a corny Christmas movie. This does not only give you short breaks from stressful days, but puts you in the right holiday mood bit-by-bit.
We wish you a wonderful and stress-free Christmas time!