Planning a Magical Christmas

One of the biggest stressors when it comes to Christmas is that many people leave it until the last minute. Not only is that more expensive, but it puts pressure on us to have everything ready in a short amount of time. 

For those on a budget, doing this over the months in the run-up to Christmas is one of the best ways to save money and have the Christmas that you want (and deserve!). 

Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

Not everything that is magical about Christmas comes down to how much you spend; a lot of it is about the feeling that is created. And we know much of the magic of Christmas is created by mums and those who just really love the festive period. So, without further ado, here are some tips to help you have the best Christmas. 


Every family and person will have an idea of what a magical Christmas looks like for them. For some, it is about having a big, bright Christmas light installation and a garden filled with ornaments. For others, it is about swapping books they love and hot cocoa. Or a combination of those things. 

When you think about the festive period, what is it that stands out to you as the things that make it magic? 


Some families have traditions that stretch back many years, while others are in the middle of shedding those traditions and looking at how they can make their own. 

Traditions can be things that take a while to create – but when you find one that resonates with your family or just yourself – they are worth holding on to. Much of what we describe as magic is a feeling of contentment, happiness and joy. 

Here are some suggestions for traditions 

  • Always heading to the same store for a particular type of cake
  • Starting your festive period with a movie and some snacks
  • Setting up a cocoa station in the kitchen
  • Baking together
  • Going on a trip to see family
  • Taking a walk in the evening to see all of the twinkling lights
  • Playing the same board game every year

Traditions are personal, and while many families might do the same thing, what surrounds it, and the little details will make it something that is just yours. 


For those that love hosting meals and parties, Christmas and New Year offer some of the best times. Many people are off work for a few days, the children are free from school, and it means the evenings can run on a little longer – or start earlier. 

For those who are lucky enough to have just the right amount of snow, snowball fights and outdoor fun can be great for the children. Warming up after with hot food and warm drinks are memories that will never leave. 


Almost everywhere you go during these few weeks, you will smell spices and biscuits; the smell hangs in the air and really makes people think about Christmas. Having that fragrance in your home can make it feel more homely than ever. 

There are a few ways that you can get the smell of Christmas in your home, one is to make the items, and the other is to buy the candles. They tend to rise in price and become more scarce the closer it is to Christmas – so buying them early can prevent overpaying or missing out. 

Some of the most common scents are: 

  • Spiced apples
  • Christmas Cookie
  • Warm Vanilla
  • Winter berries
  • Plums
  • Pine 
  • Cinnamon and brown sugars

If you are lucky and have the room in your budget and home (and no pets), then a real tree can bring the scent of pine for weeks! 

Photo by Denise Johnson on Unsplash

Excitement Building 

When will the tree come up? How many days until Santa is here? How many days until we see our cousins/uncles/aunty? So many questions! The advent calendar filled with little bite-sized chocolates is something that many people have to count down the days. 

But you can set other dates in the month of December to do specific things. Putting the tree up, decorating baubles, card writing, gift buying, visits and maybe even a surprise or two. 

Adding little dates throughout the month keeps the excitement building up, and none of it has to be big things. You could set a date to make cookies or to clean the house ready for visitors or a movie night. 


The last few years have seen a significant increase in people making gifts for others. One of the most enjoyable things is sitting together and making things! Soaps, candles, cards, and jewellery are great places to start. They don’t need to be perfect because they are made with a lot of care and thought – and the children can have so much making them too. 

Older Children

Young children tend to have a sense of wonder and will marvel at the lights and the gifts under the tree. Over time though, sometimes older children become less dazzled with lights and biscuits. But if they have younger siblings, they can become part of the magic-making. Let them choose something for everyone to do together. 

It is important that you too find your inner child too! Take part in everything silly and fun, and the older children are more likely to do it too. 


Christmas can be a time of way too much and over-the-top, but it gives space to teach something more important because all of the gifts in the world can’t make up for time spent. Spending time together with the people you love is time that is always well spent. 

For those who are lucky enough to have an okay relationship with their family, this can be a good time of year to catch up, share happy memories and some good food too. 

Talking about spending time and being together as one of the most important things shifts the focus from the gifts to being around. 


What makes Christmas magic? Most of the time, it is making memories. Playing cards at the table late into the evening – until the unlikely winner wins with an outstanding hand. Rolling dice on Monopoly, and someone is turning the game around in their favour. 

Quietly sitting watching a movie and all falling asleep under blankets. Or a surprise visit from a family member who lives far away. Telling stories of family members that not everyone got a chance to meet or remember those that are no longer with you. 

Talking about the best things and achievements over the year – and sharing what you are proud of. Filling up all those good feelings for everyone in the room. 

No Rushing 

Almost without fail, the countless adverts and other people being stressed and rushing around will make you want to do the same. Instead, plan early, and have very few things left to do in the weeks before the big day. Doing this means you won’t be standing sweating in line to pay for last-minute gifts. Instead, you’ll be at home, relaxing with everyone else. 

Make a deal with yourself that everything important will be done by the end of the first week in December, and set aside at least one day a week when it is just family time – no parties, no going to the store, doing as little as possible unless it fits with getting some much-needed relaxation. 

When it comes to decoration, you can go with the modern or the very traditional, like these 4 Unique German Wood Decorations. A combination is what most people have if they don’t have a set theme! 

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Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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  1. Shirley O
    July 27, 2023 / 10:36 am

    Great options for Holiday decorating and how to get prepared early for the Christmas season. I will make use of this checklist for sure. I like to buy gifts early as well to avoid the hectic shopping days leading up to the Holidays.

  2. Edward
    July 27, 2023 / 7:22 pm

    The scents of the seasons are awesome to me!

  3. Kari B
    July 30, 2023 / 9:10 am

    I’m definitely all about the coziness of Christmas.