With the holiday season fast approaching it’s time to get organised! No need to panic, you still have time to get those last minute gifts, a turkey for ten and maybe some time to enjoy Christmas too!
Each year, the countdown comes quicker, and with parents taking extraordinary measures to make sure gifts and children are all wrapped up, one nursery in Middlesbrough decided to provide a ‘Drop ‘n Shop’ service allowing parents to drop off their children in order to accomplish some Christmas errands. Good news, there is still hope for all parents outside of Middlesbrough. 
Liz Fraser, Modern Family Expert for Care.com, says, “Every family can relate to the stresses of the build up to Christmas, with the school holidays arriving sooner every year and the turkey’s selling out faster than expected! But Christmas is all about spending quality time with the family, so make sure that amidst the wrapping and in-law entertaining, you find time for you, even if it means enlisting some extra help.”
The run up to Christmas can be stressful but Care.com has created a list of top tips to survive the holidays:
- I’m all ears!; Take notes on your phone when people mention what they want for Christmas so that you can add it to your shopping list. You can also create an online order with your local supermarket to get your food shopping sent directly to your door – just one more thing ticked off the list!
- Involve the whole family; Decorating the house for the impending arrival of extended family, friends and Father Christmas is great chance for quality family time and most importantly time to get excited about the holidays
- Bag a bargain; The holidays tend to be the most expensive time of year buying Christmas presents for all. Remember the best deals are earlier in the month, so don’t leave it till the last minute. Also do not to buy gifts just for the sake of buying a gift; select thoughtfully and shop around for the best deal before jumping the ship
- Plan, plan, plan; Cooking the Christmas dinner can be chaotic, so make yourself a timetable that is down to minute on when the turkey has to go in the oven, when the spuds need to come out and when the sprouts need to start boiling! Or if you’re already super organised, do a practice run of your Christmas day meal a few nights before with friends to make sure everything will go perfectly
- Don’t forget your furry friends; A tidy house and childcare rank high on a majority of parents’ pre-Christmas wish list, to allow for some extra secret Santa shopping time, but an often forgotten about stress is pet care. Care.com sees a rise in the number of last minute pet care jobs posted in the run up to Christmas each year, so make sure to arrange your pet care early if you are travelling or will be away from home this Christmas
- Most important: Enjoy yourself; After all the hard work is done, it’s time to relax around the fire with a glass of eggnog, a tin of Quality Street and the Queen’s speech with the family
 The Gazette Live, 2016