It’s time to get ready for Christmas! Bonnie and Lily chat about getting organised for Christmas by prioritising tasks, delegating and intentional gift giving to keep the holiday season merry and bright! If you’re needing a sign that Christmas is just around the corner, consider this your reminder!
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BONNIE: Hello and welcome! I am Bonnie
LILY: and I am Lily, and this is Little Home Organised, the podcast dedicated to helping you declutter, get organised and reclaim time for the things you love.
BONNIE: Hello and welcome, this week we are talking about getting ready for Christmas, we will chat about what Christmas tasks to prioritise, how to work together as a team and how to start a conversation about intentional gift giving with your loved ones and this episode is Santa friendly.
LILY: Christmas … what an exciting time of the year and I know that it can get super commercialised but some of the sweetest and most simple joys about Christmas are what make me love it so much and I am very excited for today’s episode.
BONNIE: I don’t know if I love Christmas so much because of the fact that it is Christmas or the fact that is also my birthday in December.
LILY: More important things
BONNIE: We it is like a birthday month
LILY: Oh gosh, I was going to say you don’t do a birthday month do you, how narcissistic have we got in our society.
BONNIE: We it is not like I feel like it is all about me but everybody is just so happy around Christmas time and so it feels like a perpetual birthday because everybody is joyful and I like it
LILY: Oh I can understand that, I feel like the thing about December that is so lovely is you are finally reaching the end destination of the year. Like there is, you know the way we segment time and it is like oh you know this year, next year and you are finally getting towards the end goal and it is like a chance for you to just kind of go ahhhhh
BONNIE: Yeah I love Christmas time, especially because here in Australia um Christmas for us is summer and so that means swimming and prawns on the Barbie and oh my goodness seafood, I love seafood.
LILY: It is so interesting isn’t it, it is like so much different here and what we eat and how we do things compared to in the Northern Hemisphere where they are enjoying the beautiful winter and they are having everything that is hot and keeping them warm and like the hot drinks and the egg nog and the hot meat and in Australia it is so hot that the idea of eating anything hot, like your body is like especially in Queensland everything, every part of you is stuck together and you just want to have cold things and eat and swim and then like you know you lie on your couch in the afternoon and have a nap so you can eat again later, what a day of gluttony
BONNIE: Yes it is um an awesome day, it is a great day to have nap and I still remember as a teenager just everybody completely gorging themselves and then everybody goes and has a nap for an hour or so and it is just like my ultimate day. Good food,
LILY: And a big sleep
BONNIE: And a big sleep, like ohh especially now that I am a mother
LILY: Yeah well that’s true isn’t it, and I also find it interesting when I think back to Christmas’s and like the joy that they give you as a child and you get older and it just changes but then now that this is going to be my first Christmas with my son I am so excited and I have been buying things months in advance but also still trying keep it quality, intentional small because he you know he is going to be one, he is not even going to know, he is going to find the wrapping paper and cardboard box far more exciting. So the presents technically are for me, but you know it is like it really sparks the joy and I think getting back to the simple things, what Christmas can be and the way it can bring people together is super important and if we are really not very organised or we have a lot of expectations put on us from our like family, it can become a really stressful time of year and I think that is why we felt this episode would be a good thing to do.
BONNIE: Yeah because I wanted to use this episode as a reminder, a sign for people if you haven’t started planning your gifts, planning your menu, planning what you are doing, delegating, you know working together as a family, like it is time to start doing that now because you do not want to get to December 23rd and have to go to one of those shopping centres that is open for 24 hours and do a big mad rush of all your presents and all your food because you just don’t need that stress, like Christmas should be a relaxing time and I find that when we are more prepared in advance we have more opportunity to actually connect with people rather than just survive Christmas.
LILY: Yeah really flying by the seat of your pants to try and get everything done, trying to get the photos in the shopping centre, trying to get all the presents, making sure that you know you have got the ham or whatever the turkey organised, I definitely see the side of it where people don’t want to think about Christmas months in advanced because in the shops since August or September depending on where you live,
BONNIE: Oh it is really fast
LILY: There is already Christmas stuff everywhere
LILY: And so everyone is like ohh I don’t even want to think about it yet, that is ridiculous why are you telling me to like starting thinking about it now and it is like well if you have a game plan in place ahead of time you can make the lead up to Christmas a lot less stressful.
BONNIE: It is about breaking it down into those bite size chunks and I think that that is what I really like about Christmas preparations starting early is that you just do little bits here and there and so it means that as Christmas gets closer you don’t have to do this big intensive shop and planning and all that sort of stuff all in one go and it is a bit like when we say sometimes that one minute rule, you know if it takes you less than a minute, just do it now, because otherwise those minutes build up and then you have to do them all in one go and it is much more draining
LILY: We are actually along those lines of like trying to make a plan ahead of time, I don’t even know how it came about but like a couple of months ago we actually casually in conversation with the family said oh are we going to do secret Santa gifts this year or are we going to do you know a gift for everybody, and that question I think maybe it stemmed from me because I have been away for couple of years and I was like okay we are back, we are officially back, what is the system, tell us how it works
BONNIE: Okay so I might be having a bit of brain fart right now but um what did we decide on that
LILY: We it wasn’t with your family
BONNIE: Or it was your husband’s side
LILY: My husbands’ side of the family
BONNIE: Oh good because I was thinking
LILY: I do not remember that conversation
BONNIE: What, and that has happened a few times in the last few weeks and I just don’t know if it is because my brain is on overload or whether I am starting to go senile at 33.
LILY: Your brain can’t be on overload Bonnie you are so organised and zen right, aren’t you the image of perfection
BONNIE: Yes, everybody should follow me, no you really shouldn’t
LILY: NO guys even professional organisers are humans
BONNIE: I am totally human and totally failing at a lot of things from time to time
LILY: You are not failing you are just setting really high expectations of yourself.
BONNIE: Yeah that’s true, that is actually a really um really dangerous thing to do and I am working on that
LILY: Good on you
BONNIE: I will just add it to my list
LILY: So proud of you Bonnie
LILY: Anyway back to secret Santa, so yes we decided to do it and we did it last year as like I think it was like a trial run and I was like is this what is happening going forward and we really loved the idea of it because instead of just being like oh what does this person want, what does this person want, it was like okay for adults we are going to do a secret Santa draw, we are going to put a little bit more money that we would have normally spent on their one present in but obviously spend less money on all the adults so that we can buy something that is really nice that they are really going to like and we are just going to focus on that one person instead of all the other people but still buy a present for each child
LILY: And it worked really well, everybody’s gifts were really intentional, it wasn’t you know cheap or poor quality
BONNIE: Or joke presents
LILY: Joke presents or even just like things that you know when you know someone but they are hard to buy for and so you kind of just buy them something and you think they will like it and I like that I have bought it but I don’t love it and I don’t know that they will love it and you know
BONNIE: And then you second guess yourself and it just becomes this whole thing and you kind of think oh I wish I just didn’t have to buy a present in the first place and it takes that whole joy out of gift giving and especially if you are person who loves giving gifts that is not a great feeling is it.
LILY: No you know especially if it is your love language
LILY: Oh we should totally do an episode on love languages
BONNIE: Yes we definitely should
LILY: For anyone who hasn’t checked out, there is this great book and it is called the 5 Love Languages and it is a great way to identify the love you like to receive from other and the love you like to give to others, is it Gary Chapman?
LILY: Oh good on you Gary
BONNIE: Great book
LILY: Gazza, so
BONNIE: He is probably not a
LILY: not a Gazza
BONNIE: Not a Gazza,
LILY: is he American?
LILY: Oh okay, he is like what I have never heard that, if you are in Australia mate you would have, um yeah so I would say like if you are going into Christmas this year and you haven’t made a plan yet about how you are going to do presents consider doing a secret Santa, it truly is a way to be intentional with the gift giving and make it more affordable as well
BONNIE: Saves you so much time and just effort
LILY: We don’t need so much stuff
BONNIE: Trying to think about oh what does that person want, and the other thing that I would say upon that gift giving idea is don’t be ashamed to ask your family ok what are 2 or 3 things that you would be happy to receive for Christmas this year cause then you still get an idea of what they might like or need, they still get the surprise of not knowing exactly what it is that you have bought.
LILY: Yeah and ultimately if you ask and they are like I don’t want to know, just surprise me, then you are like okay sweet, but if they are really particular and they are like cool, and they unroll their scroll that runs along the floor and down the hallway and they say pick one of these 101 things then at least you like okay I have got a ballpark now to know that you really want these things for Christmas and I could maybe go with that instead of the generic item that I was going to probably get
BONNIE: And I am a really practical person so I love getting practical gifts for Christmas so like and I think mum is very practical to so she is I have probably gotten this from her but when she was doing her Bra selling it would be like a bra every Christmas and you know there would be undies for my husband
LILY: Yeah my husband was so sad when she retired cause he was like you know what undies are Christmas
BONNIE: Yes and I remember the first year they brought out these hot pink undies and at first my husband was like oh my goodness no way and then he started wearing them and he said these are the most
LILY: so soft
BONNIE: So comfortable and yeah he is a bit devastated that she no longer does it but now she does the skin care regime and I get that and that is like so awesome, I just love a practical gift that I am going to use all year long.
LILY: Yeah practicality is important. I think if you are still in that mindset where you are like oh no I really the love the surprise, I really love buying for lots of people, have a think and try and jump into your own mentality of why that is so, why that is so important to you, is that a love language that is coming from you, is that the love language of the people you are giving it to and just like have a think about you know maybe whether you can approach the way you do gifts a little bit differently this year in a way that saves you a bit of money, great to receive a candle, it is great to receive a gorgeous throw, it is great to receive these like beautiful things that we can pamper ourselves with but a practical gift I think you just you can’t go wrong with it so I don’t want people to come away from hearing this and think oh you can only get a practical gift, or that is what they were saying or blah blah blah, I think they are a great idea because they, when the Christmas vibe is gone and real life happens, that
BONNIE: they are still something you are going to use
LILY: They are still standing however there is still a place for those toys
BONNIE: Like they are toys
LILY: Fufu gifts
BONNIE: What’s fufu
LILY: I don’t know
BONNIE: Oh my goodness I feel
LILY: Those fluffy gifts, I am trying to find you know like just those almost like a stocking filler gift,
BONNIE: Yeah I know what you mean and I think about like when my husband is requesting gifts or saying like this is the sort of stuff that I want, his is always toys related like fun stuff, stuff that is hobby related or things that he likes to do, toys
LILY: See I feel like that is different again right, that is not like an ornamental thing that is going to, like a joke gift or anything
BONNIE: No but I don’t know if that is what you were trying to say
LILY: I don’t even know what I was trying to say
BONNIE: I don’t even know what you were try to say either, but what I am trying to say is that a fun gift versus a practical gift, it doesn’t have to be one or the other and I think in our family, my husband is very fun gift orientated and I am very practical gift orientated and so we have to kind of compromise and find a happy medium when it comes to buying gifts for our kids and stuff because he is like yeah lets buy all these toys and I am like oh yeah but they need a new rashie and stuff like that
LILY: Yeah there has to be a balance and I think with children as well, like I remember getting to an age where I was really conscious with Christmas presents and when you are opening something from mum and dad and you have a look at it and it is like oh…
BONNIE: An iron, thank you so much
LILY: For all my uniform ironing. No I think it is nice to have balance of the fun things that they can play with as well as the practical as well and of course this all comes down to budget which of course comes back to be reasonable with your expectations for what you can afford for Christmas and when you are getting organised for Christmas having a plan for what you are going to spend, having a budget in place
BONNIE: A budget is important
LILY: Oh it is so important, it is so easy to overspend, the spirit of Christmas is real people, it is real, the jingles that you hear in the shops when you are walking around and when you walk into the stores and the bright colours and you see oh my gosh don’t get me started on Instagram,
BONNIE: I feel like I really need to reel you back in right now because I think otherwise you are going to be adrift forever.
LILY: But the problem is Bon, people can be, it is so easy for us to over indulge because like we have talked about this before, you know that dopamine release it feels so good but a budget can be a really good tool to use to set up a reasonable expectation for what you are going to spend for Christmas but as well as reign yourself in lassie.
BONNIE: You know there is a really interesting stat that came out a couple of years ago about what we actually spend on Christmas gifts and it was the gumtree second hand economy report and they said that we basically spend on average $963 on gifts and $693 of those gifts that we receive are unwanted or unneeded so that is basically two thirds of the gifts that you will give and the gifts that you will receive are not really wanted or needed.
LILY: Isn’t that wild,
BONNIE: That is crazy
LILY: I wonder if you and I sound like the Christmas grinches right now being with out reality check
BONNIE: We probably do, sorry
LILY: We love Christmas you guys.
BONNIE: We do it is just that we don’t like consumerism, that is the thing
LILY: I think it is about being mindful of it, you know we are a part of it, this is the society that we live in but if we can be mindful and really intentional about being aware of it then we can make steps, take the steps put them in place to you know protect ourselves and our family from getting completely suckered into this.
LILY: So yeah, budget guys, budget and of course that budget comes across in to what you plan for your food as well because I have found that I am like it is Christmas, I am going to buy this and this and this and this and I am going serve all these foods up because I just feel like suddenly my bank account is never ending
BONNIE: Yeah and you want to splurge because it is like oh hey is Christmas, it is a holiday, like lets just go a little wild and then all of a sudden you look back over your spending over Christmas and you think holy dooly how did I spend that much money on food which we always have way too much food after Christmas don’t we? We eat too much
LILY: But that’s the best part it is left overs
BONNIE: Oh yeah, mums potato salad is to die for.
LILY: So good, we have ham, we literally eat, we make enough ham so that we can eat it for weeks afterwards
BONNIE: Yes it is ham and potato salad every meal for like a week after Christmas and I love that, I really do, like you know how in that episode we did with Dr Randy Frost and he talked about this Madeline cookie that he had when he was a kid with his great Aunt and how the taste of it really brought back all of the memories and this potato salad is the exact same, like if I don’t have it for the next 50 years and then I have it again, it will just bring me back to our childhood Christmases because that potato salad is so pivotal.
LILY: It was a staple
BONNIE: It is such a staple and it is such a good recipe.
LILY: Lets take a quick break for a clutter confession
ANONYMOUS CALLER: My clutter confession is that I am hoarding a dead gecko. Um it is a bit creepy but when I was a kid I made book marks and I found this dead gecko squished in between my door once and I thought oh that is kind of cool I might put that on a bookmark, so I did and um laminated it and it is kind of creepy, it is also creepy that I still have it in my memory box and I found it while I was moving house recently and decided to keep it to show my kids about how creative I was.
LILY: That is very creative, I mean what a way to um up cycle at the end of that gecko’s tragic life as it got jammed between a door, it how now got a second life as a bookmark.
BONNIE: DO you know there have been so many geckos that I have found their poor little dead bodies jammed between the door or a window frame and I think oh you poor little thing and actually I remember years ago when I was still living at home it must have been you know late teens this poor gecko I found it on my window sill inside and I was like oh you can be my little pet and so like I let is stay there and kind of didn’t actually stop and think about actually taking care of it and feeding it food and that fact that we lived in a fully fly-screened house and it needed bugs and stuff to survive
LILY: Yeah it needed to get out
BONNIE: And a few days later I came and it was dead and I was like oh no, I killed it without even meaning too
LILY: Oh my goodness, so now I have to watch out for sociopathic tendencies right?
BONNIE: Yes, I felt so bad just let’s not talk about the guineapig from when I was in kindy either
LILY: Oh okay I do not want to know that story
BONNIE: Seriously traumatic
LILY: hee psycho
BONNIE: I didn’t mean it then either
LILY: That’s terrible, that a really cool clutter confession and if you have got something weird, wacky or wonderful in your house that you would love to share with us we would love to hear it so head to our Facebook page and send us a message as a voice message.
BONNIE: Ok so we are chatting about getting ready for Christmas and one thing that is really important especially now as we have got a few weeks to go, there is still a bit of time to do some planning is make sure if you haven’t already sit down and have a conversation with your spouse, your partner, your loved ones, your family
LILY: Your cat
BONNIE: Yep or your several cats or Wilson the volleyball, who ever it is
LILY: Hey everyone celebrates Christmas, oh actually that’s not true
BONNIE: That is so not true, like that was such a generalisation
LILY: Oh my gosh I just alienated half our audience.
BONNIE: I am so sorry for Lily
LILY: we are so sorry
BONNIE: We are trying to get help but you know
LILY: Hey look I have to put out there, you know I try to be a little bit woke but I am still
LILY: Oh Bonnie
BONNIE: What is that
LILY: I don’t. a classic really
BONNIE: You are the one that just alienated half of our audience and I am classic, mmm
LILY: Can’t you tell I am crawling back out of the hole
BONNIE: Like please love me
LILY: Help me, no, so the idea of being like awake and aware of like social issues
BONNIE: Yes which you clearly are not
LILY: The lay term is woke, well okay I digress for a really short second before we jump back into Christmas, growing up where we did had such little understanding of like for one example the Jewish culture, and then when I went to the States it was so heavily permeated there that is was completely so eye opening and interesting to me um
BONNIE: And that is why travel is so good because you get to see how so many people live in different parts of the world and like you realise how sheltered you are
LILY: To think that everybody celebrates Christmas.
BONNIE: Yeah in your own little world view oh dear
LILY: Yeah I am sorry, Hanukah or whatever you celebrate.
BONNIE: Or even if you don’t celebrate it all that’s cool. We will celebrate for you.
LILY: Yep absolutely just a happy time of holidays with your family and friends and I think I am out of the hole that I am sinking in.
BONNIE: Ok so make sure you have that family meeting, sit down with everybody, discuss what is going on in the coming weeks so that not only does your spouse or partner know what you are doing but so they know what they are doing cause honestly you don’t want to get to like out from Christmas or the day before Christmas and be like oh hey honey did you order that ham or that turkey and they are like um excuse me, what are you talking about.
LILY: What’s a ham.
BONNIE: I don’t remember that conversation, so it is really important to yeah be really intentional, have a family meeting, delegate some tasks, if you have got kids that are kind of upper primary school, high school, uni age they totally have the capability of helping out whether it is um preparing by cleaning the house, cooking some food, doing some shopping, if they are older like get your family involved this is a family affair and it is like the team relay for Olympics.
LILY: Oh absolutely the weight does not have to fall on one persons shoulders and I think culturally in some cases it does a little bit, you and I are a different generation to our parents generation and the generations before that like everybody has being cultured a little bit in a different way so
BONNIE: You’re so cultured
LILY: Oh I mean so work right um
BONNIE: So grammatically incorrect
LILY: I am going to be so cross I know and of course that is what you would be frustrated about I am frustrated that I said something so daft but I am going to be thinking about that tonight and now I am forgetting my point, anyway so help me out of here Bonnie
BONNIE: No, I am just watching with
BONNIE: watching with great enjoyment.
LILY: I cannot remember my point and guys it was going to be gold and it wasn’t to do with the work, it is not sequencing what is it symmetrical
BONNIE: Everybody is yelling at you right now.
LILY: Symmetrical they are like hurry Lily get to the point and I am like yeah I am trying, oh yeah that was what I was saying so like, so say your mum is classically the one who manages the whole shebang or it is your dad who classically manages the whole shebang just because that is the way it has always being doesn’t mean it is the way that it always has to be.
BONNIE: That’s true
LILY: With most things in life, so having a conversation with your family about delegating responsibility is like obviously if your kids have grown up at home and they use to the adults running the show but as they become young adults it is important to still be teaching our children and so helping our children understand hey you are a young adult now, maybe you still live at home or maybe you live out of home but you are a contributor to this household and I know that you are use to me running the show but it would be great if you could step up and take on board some responsibilities as well because Christmas is for everybody
LILY: It shouldn’t be one person running themself into the ground
BONNIE: When I think back I think that is the one thing that has really pivoted in our family Christmases over the last kind of 10 years is that as soon as we as kids started contributing it just made the day so much less stressful for our mum because she is someone who like us has really high standards and she puts on an amazing spread but she will work herself into the ground to do so and so it has been really nice to be part of the contributing rather than just the taking on the day
BONNIE: And you know what I have also been super impressed by our younger brother and his ability to cook
LILY: We have never named him, should we name him today
BONNIE: No, we shouldn’t name him, he is single though so if you are single and in your late 20’s
LILY: Bonnie he is going to kill you
BONNIE: Well he will have to listen to this episode first so we will know if he did
LILY: If we never hear anything we will know he is not listening
BONNIE: But seriously DM us we will hook you up.
LILY: He is amazing but he is so wonderful like he makes such a huge contribution as the youngest even which shouldn’t matter but sometimes you do find it does, sometimes I feel like that they take a while to catch up, but yeah he makes a wonderful contribution to Christmas, everyone can help so delegating it is like a bit part of making Christmas more enjoyable.
BONNIE: And you know what I get my kids to do and they are only little, they are only 5,4 and 2, I get them to help with the wrapping and during the year when they bring home paintings I will actually store them up in our wrapping box and then I will use them at Christmas time.
LILY: That is another cool way to keep your children’s artworks and if you haven’t listened to that episode I think that was episode 6, Children’s Artwork that is another great way to honour their creations because I bet they love that seeing them come out
BONNIE: Oh they do and they get so excited
LILY: And I bet they don’t remember half of them
BONNIE: Oh no totally not and like if there is no name written on it is kind of like oh whose is this oh yep cool don’t know but yeah it is a great way for repurposing and not having to buy new wrapping paper as well so it makes it more special I think
LILY: For sure, so when you think about Christmas this year try and make a plan ahead of time, you are going to have a lot of commitments so potentially your gym group is going to have an end of Christmas party, your work place is going to have
BONNIE: Full of lots of really good food
LILY: Raw natural foods, and then they are going to force you into a work out afterwards maybe.
BONNIE: Actually I find all the gym groups that I have even been a part of go really gung-ho
LILY: Finally just splurge out
BONNIE: Lots of alcohol, lots of bad food and then the next day everybody is messaging each other going that was a bad idea
LILY We overindulge and that is the other thing you have to be careful about is not overindulging for an entire month but when you think about Christmas sometimes I think that we forget that we have a lot of like end of year obligations
BONNIE: Yes especially if you have got kids in school and you work
LILY: school wraps up
LILY: And you have like the end of year parties maybe through that, you have your work wrapping up so you might have a work party through that, so when you are making your plan heading into December really think about taking care of your time, like Bonnie and I we often talk about the balance of doing and being activities and Christmas can really become a month of Christmas and it can become a month of doing and you have to have time to fill that jug back up so think ahead of your commitments in December and be reasonable and be fair to yourself because it is a great time to celebrate, unwind, socialise but you still need to be able to take care of yourself and have something fuel in you to get you through to January.
BONNIE: Oh you do and you need to really make sure that when you are planning out all those end of year events that you actually schedule in some buffer time so a weekend, a couple of nights where you have got absolutely nothing planned because I can bet you they will fill up but if you are going to have that intentional being time where you recharge and refuel yourself you need to actually block that out in the calendar and go okay this is immovable, I need to have this time so that I can just recharge cause if you go crazy, end of school year stuff getting book lists ready for next year, end of year work parties and events and Christmas plays and all that kind of stuff which lets face it will be a little bit different this year because of COVID and then you get to Christmas day and it is like exhausting
BONNIE: It is that whole surviving thing but we don’t want that for you, we want you to thrive and love it
LILY: Yep you can have Christmas be an enjoyable time of year to look forward to each year
BONNIE: So your tidy task for this week is to sit down either by yourself, with your spouse or with your family and make a bit of a plan, plan your budget for gifts, are you going to do a secret Santa, plan your time, what events do you need to schedule in, what buffer time do you need to schedule in and then lastly do your meal planning and your décor planning, are there any particular colour themes that you are going to be using for Christmas, what sort of food are you going to be making, delegate the food to other people, so what we like to do in our family is say okay you are bringing a desert and a salad, you pick which ones and then let us know and we work around it and change things if we need to be and that just allows everybody to have that flexibility of bringing something that they want to make rather than being told what to make but everybody still contributes and makes something that everybody enjoys eating. SO that is your tidy task this week
LILY: Fantastic, we hope you have enjoyed today’s episode, it has been absolutely jammed pack and we are very excited for the Christmas spirit soon to come
BONNIE: We didn’t even sing though
LILY: I know how did we get through a whole episode and not sing
BONNIE: A Christmas episode
LILY: A Christmas Carol
BONNIE: Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas
LILY: And that’s all we have got time for
LILY: Thank you so much for tuning in, we really know how busy life can be especially at this time of year so thank you for lending us your ears.
BONNIE: And remember PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
LILY: See you later
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