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December is a month that traditionally can have you feeling a little frazzled. Christmas is about to happen, the social calendar is filling up. You hit the busy shops in the hope of finding the ultimate gifts for friends and family. Dealing with children’s expectations and getting stressed over whether you have set up the “elf on the shelf” or got organised enough to actually enjoy the festivities. However, because you can be so distracted by what is going on in your life, you can often find that certain dramas can catch you off guard and send you over the edge.
No one needs additional stress in December, but yet often these things have no concept of time and what is currently going on in your life. Here are some of the December dramas you don’t want to face, but if you do, then there are some hacks to help you get through them.
The heating not working on the coldest day of the year
Picture the scene for a moment. You are at home, or you have just gotten in from work, and it is cold. The weather is awful outside, and you are hoping to be all warm and toasty in your home. But the boiler is failing to fire up. The radiators are cold, and there is no sign of the heating working. This can be one of the worst things to happen to you. Especially as December can be extremely cold.
A great hack is to get your heating system serviced each year. We forget that during the summer months it rarely gets fired up, which means that there may be underlying faults that could be fixed in advance. Enabling you to avoid situations like this. However, sometimes you can’t prevent the unpreventable and so having a decent engineer number on standby is a good idea to help you fix this issue as soon as you can.
Not being able to take a shower or wash the pots
December can often mean that you have unexpected and unannounced guests turning up. You may only get ten minutes’ notice before someone is ringing your doorbell expecting some festive cheer, a mince pie, and a hot beverage. So being able to spruce up your home and yourself at a moment’s notice is something you probably take for granted.
The water supply in your home is something we expect to work, but when you notice water trickling from your shower or your washing-up bowl is just not filling up, then there may be a problem. Most water issues have a lot to do with the main supply, so thankfully, this is likely to be resolved quite quickly.
Not budgeting for the extra Christmas spend
Many of us will have financial budgets that we try and follow. We will be aware of all the bills that go out, how much is coming in, and what is left as disposable income. You may even cost in that the fuel you put in your car and how much you spend on groceries, but do you budget differently for December? We can forget that this time of year means there can be a little extra spending going on. You want to buy gifts for your loved ones, you want to catch up with friends and family, and often that means that more money is spent.
This is why so many people rely on credit cards at this time of year and then dread the bills landing on the doormat in January. It may be too late to budget now, but next year plan in advance for December? You could put a little extra away each month, or be more aware that there could be less money left at that time of the year. You will thank yourself for it in January.
Double booking yourself and the family
We have all been there. You look at your diary, you cross-check your text messages and Whatsapp groups, and you realize that you have double booked yourself when it comes to social gatherings and commitments you have. It is easily done at this time of year. It may sound obvious, but before agreeing to anything, you may want to take the time to think about getting some sort of diary and plan in place for this month. Something you can easily glance at.
A great idea would be to use the calendar on your phone as the likelihood you will always have it around to check dates and ensure that you don’t end up disappointing anyone or yourself.
Leaving it to the last minute for school activities
If you have children, then you will know that the schools often don’t always give you a lot of notice when it comes to the things your child might need for December activities. The nativity costumes, the festive Christmas jumper, the donations for the school fair, and the things they need to ensure that your child has a festive time throughout the month of December. Sometimes a quick conversation with the teacher ahead of the month could give you some insight into what is to come. Communicate with other parents regularly so that you can all help each other out when things are left to the last minute.
The food shop of doom
Finally, the food shop is always going to be a tough thing in December. You somehow need more of everything, more drinks in the house, more festive treats for visitors, that it can all spiral out of control. A great idea is to shop online throughout this month. You get to avoid the mad dash and have your items delivered to you no matter what the weather is like. Never be out of mince pies and festive drinks again.
Let’s hope to share potential dramas and the hacks to get them through will have you enjoying the next few weeks of festive fun without a glitch. After all, we all want the opportunity to enjoy the December festivities.