Today marks just over a month until Jingle Bells echo through the morning air and the final Christmas advent calendar door is opened. Yup, Christmas is around the corner. It’s the time of year that I’m normally popping in and out of markets and malls doing my normal present shopping.
Enter: The Maternity Leave.
In South Africa you’re lucky if you get any pay over the obligatory four months we’re entitled to by law; luckily my company generously gives me a percentage of my salary over this time. But once the bond, monthly groceries and a bunch of other things disappear into the ether, well there’s not a whole lot left for Christmas presents.
BUT, I’m planning on being as creative as possible this year, going for home-made where I can, thoughtful where it counts and making sure I don’t overspend in a frantic Saturday morning Cavendish shop with baby in tow.
That’s the shopping update – I hope to share some of my DIYs in the next few weeks (secretly though; don’t want the recipients to find out what they are getting!).
I’m also super glad that we’re nearly in December: my husband is almost at the end of the school term which means holidays are around the corner and a blessed few days away are planned for shortly after that. People say to me, ‘but you’re on maternity leave, you must have so much free time!’. Cue the ‘grr’ emoji. I’m certainly at home, but I don’t escape laundry, cooking, tidying and children-wrangling. SO, I’m happy to be getting away for a few days.
This really is the wind-down time of the year for me, and luckily baby boy is now waking up either never or only once during the night, so I can finally enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings without worrying about the breastfeeding issue. *casually sipping on a glass of blanc de noir blush*
So if you’re wondering how to cope with the December madness, here are a few tips:
- Online shopping (Takealot is a winner)
- Plan your Christmas menu and get shopping for your meat cuts now (freeze)
- If you want to do a beach day or visit a busy spot like the V&A, GO EARLY
- Try get away for a few days and let the chores sleep for a while
- Spend time with the people who matter the most to you
Here’s to surviving till the new year!