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“Are you overwhelmed with the thought of the coming holiday season and all the preparations involved?”

Every family celebrates holidays in different ways. Plan to make yours the most enjoyable and memorable experience with as little fuss, stress and excess as possible.

In our changing lives it is no longer important to follow the customs and traditions of our parents and grandparents. It is important that we have time for our loved ones without ending up exhausted and overwhelmed. Get the family involved and find out what is important to them, it is no use you preparing a hot Christmas pudding, if the rest of the family hates it, just because granny used to make it. Listen to suggestions, incorporate ideas, compromise. Talk about food, decorations, things that the family likes to do and any new traditions that you would like to add. Get everyone to buy into the plan but remember to keep some secret surprises. Remember that memories are created in all of your senses: sight, sound, feel, taste and smell.

Plan to have most of the preparations done by the second week of December. Make a list of what needs to be done and who takes responsibility for it. Check things off as you get them done. Put plans into actions and prepare to have a lot of fun!


  • A recent survey found that at least a third of all Christmas presents have no value at all for the recipient.
  • It is all about giving and receiving in love. Spend some careful thought on the gifts you are giving, keeping the person and their personality in mind!
  • Think clutter free, quality over quantity. It needs to be something that the person loves, needs and wants – not just another unwanted present bought on the spur of the moment.
  • Make an overall budget, agree on a maximum amount to be spent per person and do not exceed it.
  • Ask people what they would like. Make sure of the make and model for more expensive purchases.
  • If you don’t know what to get, buy something consumable – interesting beers, unusual magazine, something exotic to eat, a gift voucher from their outlet.
  • Club together to get someone what they really want – a trip in a hot air balloon, or a day at a Health Spa.

Purchase gifts throughout the year, pack them immediately and write the card. This is a good way of impressing on yourself that their present is complete.

Keep some generic gifts in your cupboard for unexpected guests.

Accept a gift graciously in the spirit in which it was given. If it is something you will never use, give it away to charity or to someone who will enjoy it. Much better than cluttering up your home.

Why not give your loved ones an unusual gift this Christmas?

Decluttering & organising gift vouchers are available from Cloud 9 organised for the person who has everything. (Gauteng only)

  • A three hour gift voucher for sorting out your desk or wardrobe.
  • A four hour gift voucher for tackling a spare room, kitchen or living room.
  • Or the weekend blitz for someone who needs to clear clutter fast.

Heidi Meyer

Professional Organiser

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