Heading Away for the Holidays? 10 Things to Remember
The festive season has well and truly begun. The weather is heating up here in Australia, tinsel twinkling in the glaring sun, fairy lights houses, and a nativity scene can be seen in front of your local church.
The roads are jam-packed with traffic as people scramble to tie up those loose ends before the year closes, buy those Christmas gifts, and make their way to family barbeques and work breakup parties. Children are chattering in excitement at the impending visit of Santa Claus, their end of year Christmas concert, and the prospect of choosing out a new pencil case for school next year, and even a key ring to hang off their backpack.
Your kitchen may be thick with the scent of Christmas cooking, boiling eggs and potatoes for the barbeque at your in-laws, perhaps a Pavlova in the oven. Your lounge-room floor is probably covered in a smattering of wrapping paper, stray pieces of sticky tape, and a dusting of glitter.
To top it all off, you may be thinking of heading off for a relaxing getaway; camping out bush, heading up to the caravan, Gran and Poppy’s beach house, or even simply home. But before you head off there’s a few things you may like to make note of to help you enjoy this time of year all the more:
First things first. Amongst all this holiday mayhem it is quite easy to become flustered at just the thought of everything you need to get done. Take a moment to stand back and take a breath… Just relax! Stressing won’t help.
2. Make a list
So you’ve had a little breather. Cleared your head (a little), and now you can think. Now would be a good time to make a list – even if it’s a mental list, it’s a great start! Write down all those important dates on your calendar, in your diary, on sticky notes covering a pin board, however you best keep track of things. Now think about all those little details you may need to take care of before each event. Visiting Aunty Sue? Remember to take back her Tupperware container, the green one you’ve had hiding under the sink. Make sure you grab Uncle Rob’s marquee you borrowed for Laura’s Birthday, and don’t forget the packet of sausages and the slab of lemonade you got on special at Coles, and so on.
3. Give online shopping a go
If you’re well and truly short on time, or simply want to avoid the chaotic roads and shopping centres at all costs, perhaps think about giving online shopping a go for all those extra gifts. Not only do you not have to get out of your pyjamas, you can run back and forth between the kitchen, the backyard, the arguing children, or wherever you need to be at home, and your computer screen, and still be shopping away. Plus, you can get your goodies delivered straight to your doorstep!
4. Remember those family values
Try and keep all your family and friends ‘in the good books’, yours and theirs. If somebody says something that annoys you, try and keep tight lipped. Furthermore, don’t bring up the topic of how much money your sister owes you, just think happy thoughts. There’s nothing worse than a blow up between friends or family at what is supposed to be a happy get-together to put a damper on good times – After-all, ’tis the season to be jolly!
5. Don’t forget your pets!
Are you going away somewhere that the family pet can come? Make sure you pack things like a lead, food bowl, bedding, a favourite toy, and have plenty of water available for the car ride. What if your pets can’t come along? Book them into a cattery or a kennel. If they’re staying home, make sure you have organised for someone reliable to provide them with food, water, and a bit of care every single day that you’re away. Home for New Years? With New Year’s come fireworks, which can often be a terrifying experience for many pets, make sure your pet is kept in a secure space before New Year’s celebrations begin. Often in a state of panic your pet may do all it can to escape the loud noises that surround it. Also provide a sufficient supply of water in their secure space, animals, particularly dogs, can become overheated when stressed.
6. Try and have work finished
Time permitting of course, try and churn out as much ‘holiday’ work you had planned as possible. Organise as much ‘post’ holiday stuff as possible, that way you well and truly can forget your troubles whilst taking a break, that break will feel very much needed and deserved, and finally, once you’re back you won’t immediately spoil your holiday high.
7. Empty out your fridge
If you’re off and away from home for a while, make sure you get rid of all perishable items. Coming home to milk that’s turned to something resembling cottage cheese, but smelling a lot worse, probably isn’t the best way to be greeted back home. Don’t leave that bowl of fruit on the bench either, mould and funny little hovering bugs are never fun. If you don’t want to throw all your food out, pass it off to nearby family, friends and neighbours. Or for that fruit, take it with you to use as snacks during the car ride to wherever you need to go.
8. Don’t waste electricity
Before you lock up and head off to your destination make sure all your electronic equipment is turned off, especially things such as televisions, air-conditioning and heating. After having all those Christmas lights twinkling for all that time, and paying for all those gifts, you could probably do with saving a bit of money. Make sure your electronic equipment is not merely on standby. Turn switches off at the wall, or even completely un-plug them if you have to. You don’t want to come home to a massive power bill; it’s a good way to put a damper on what was a bit of holiday cheer.
9. Lock up properly
Make sure all windows, doors, and gates are properly and securely locked up. If you’re still worried about your household goods, ask somebody completely trustworthy to house-sit, a neighbour to keep watch, or even make sure your house and contents insurance is up to a standard you’re happy with.
10. Avoid the ‘Naughty List’
Last but not least, is to always remember that Santa knows if you’re being naughty or nice. So, of course, follow a few simple steps and don’t get caught up in the holiday mayhem and take it out on friends and family. Who knows, a certain Mr. Claus may reward you for all your hard work with a marvellous holiday season!
From all of us here at Wridgways, we wish you the most stress free, fun, and of course joyous holiday season possible!