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How To Make Next Christmas Even Better Than This One
by Colleen Moulding
With the decorations still up and the Christmas successes or disasters fresh in your mind this can be the perfect time to make plans for next Christmas.

Make a note now of what worked out as well or better than you had planned and note too ideas that didnít quite gel as you had hoped or jobs or activities that you just didnít get time for.

Did your Christmas menus work out well? What could you have prepared in advance? Did you have something to offer an unexpected vegetarian guest? What did you have for the children who wouldnít eat vegetables? Did you forget to warm the plates to help keep the food hot or chill the wine? Jot these things down now for an easier time next year.

When itís time to take down your cards take a few minutes to make a Christmas card list in the back of your new diary or address book, this will make writing out your cards much easier next year as you wonít be worried about forgetting anyone.

Take a good look at your tree and room decorations. Are some of them looking past their best? Would you love to start again with a new theme or colour scheme or add just a few new items to give the whole look a lift. Did a friendís decorating scheme inspire you or did you see a wonderful decorating idea in a department store or craft shop?

Now is the time to hit the sales for cards, decorations and wrapping paper as all these items can be found at half their usual price or less. Donít forget to stock up on clear or coloured cellophane and tissue paper to wrap all those gifts or gift baskets that you intend to make yourself.

Treat yourself to a couple of crates or storage boxes to pack away your decorations neatly and label them so that they are easy to find, or even more cheaply, cover some cardboard boxes with gift wrapping paper and you will always be able to spot them in your closets.

Resolve to spread the financial load next year by making a list of everyone that you want to give gifts to and make or buy one or two each month throughout the year, this works well except for children as who knows what the latest must have will be by next Christmas!

Spend a few minutes to think about what gave you pleasure this Christmas. Who did you really enjoy spending time with? Who did you hate spending time with?

Would you have enjoyed something a little more spiritual? Make a note to attend a midnight mass or a carol service or get yourself an invite to the local nativity play.

Would you have liked to stay at home with your partner, a bottle of wine, a large box of chocs and the tv guide? Schedule a day doing just that.

Did your kids enjoy making cookies with you, or paper decorations? Did you spend some time with the tv off just talking about Santa coming soon, reading Christmas stories or poems or gathering greenery and berries to decorate the house? Perhaps these will become family traditions that they will remember forever.

It will only take a few minutes to note down these things now, yet once you are back into your regular routines they are easily forgotten. Once you have them in your Christmas note book or the back of your diary you have everything you need to make next Christmas even better than this one!

Colleen Moulding
Copyright 2000

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