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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

Top Tips To Make Help Christmas Preparations Easier

gifts wrapped in Christmas seasonal wrapping | Top Tips To Make Help Christmas Preparations Easier



Christmas is just around the corner and there is a lot to prepare for - decorations, seating plans for the Christmas dinner (including all the different height spare chairs) and, of course, the presents for family and friends. 

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of stress leading up to the festive period by using custom Christmas cards to send seasonal greetings to friends, family and loved ones. By using an online platform you are able to get offers on Christmas cards while also being able to choose exactly what you want to send and who you want to send it to.

With a great range to choose from, this has been an option that I’ve been taking advantage of for a while. Also, I like to bookmark websites that offer other printable services such as wedding stationery, banners, flyers, et al. Personalised stationery is not just for Christmas... it is perfect to lower your stress levels when searching for that unique card and not being able to find one that sums up exactly what I want to say.  Does the generic card store know my family and friends better than me? Absolutely not! 

In the past, sending a card used to be a tiresome process of going to the store and choosing the cards that you didn’t really want, having to pick up some stamps, go home, write them, and either post them or hand-deliver them.  Now you can cut out a great chunk of time by sitting in front of your favourite TV programme with your laptop open, deciding on a card to send out – something which can take as little as 10 minutes.

I thought I'd share some tips I've collated over the years to help make your Christmas preparations a little easier. 

TOP TIPS TO MAKE CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS A BIT EASIER


🎄 After 20 years, I have realised that personalised gift tags are appreciated by adults but are a waste of time on the children's presents. They see their name, rip the paper off, exclaim with joy and move on to the next present. Black permanent marker is the way to go, scrawled across the back of the gift. We don't rescue and neatly fold the paper. We use it to keep the fire going. Also, there is less chance of any gift tag being ripped off and wondering who the present belongs to.

❄️ If a bargain was to be had, the cheaper price tag will be removed and the more expensive price tag will accidently-on-purpose will be left on.

🎄 A spare room is a present-hiding godsend. Especially if it has a padlock on the door.

❄️ A 19-year old's pile of presents is a lot smaller than a 17-year old's pile of presents which, in turn, is a lot smaller than a 11-year old's pile of presents, even though you have spent the same amount of money on them.

🎄 The present that cost the least will be the best present in the whole of the world.

❄️ When your online order promises 'free gifts' you can guarantee they will be bargain bin tat that can't normally be sold like a mug with the company logo on or a calendar that displays a 30p price tag.

🎄 I used my ironing board as a gift-wrapping station. It was a god-send as it was the perfect height and prevented all that unnecessary backache! 

❄️ When wrapping track-suits, make sure you don't include the spare roll of sellotape in with one of them. (Yes, this did happen to me one year.  My son was most bewildered.).

🎄 Your Christmas booze stash can always be replaced the next day.

❄️ When booking a few extra days off work so that you can have a full fortnight off with your family, make sure you check the weather report in advance to see if you can get away with "Snow Days" (free holidays) instead of "Annual Leave Days".

Let me know if you have any tips or recommendations to add to my list of Christmas preparations tips. 




Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash