It seems crazy to be talking about Christmas when we’re still in the middle of summer, but when you consider how quickly the first part of this year has flown past, it’s easy to see how the holiday season can sneak up on us. Before you know it, the supermarkets will be filled with Christmas food and the rising panic about Christmas preparation will be setting in. If you take a little time now to think ahead, you’ll save yourself a great deal of pain when December rolls around!
Two months before Christmas
- Start thinking about your Christmas budget. Plan to spend an amount that you can reasonably afford – after all, none of your friends or family would like to think of you going into debt just to get them a gift.
- Decide whether or not you want gift-giving to be a part of Christmas this year. More and more people are finding the sheer number of gifts they receive and give out overwhelming and expensive, so it’s OK to say that you’d rather not do gifts. If you are going to give and receive gifts, decide who you will be giving to and set expectations with anyone who you will not be giving to early.
- If you are giving gifts, start thinking about what you would like to get. Making these decisions early means that you won’t end up panic-buying something overpriced at the last minute!
- If you are hand-making gifts, start planning out what you are going to make so that you can plan in enough time and not feel rushed.
- Make your Christmas pudding so that it has plenty of time to sit before the big day.
- Sign up to brands newsletters for secret discounts, brands such as GANT have been known to do friends and family discount days as well as free luxury gifts to customers signed up with them.
Six weeks before Christmas
- Start ordering any gifts that you would like to buy online. If items are shipping from overseas, they can take a while to get to you, especially with the increased demand on the postal service around Christmas time.
- Think about the day itself. Will you be hosting, or will you be travelling to visit friends or relatives? If you will be hosting, think about who you will be inviting and things like where they will sleep and if you have enough chairs. If you’re travelling, book any tickets you need, or get your car serviced if you’re driving.
Four weeks before Christmas
- Take advantage of Black Friday sales on the 27th of November to pick up gifts and supplies at a discounted price. Don’t worry, you don’t have to queue up outside a shop at 5am! Black Friday Vouchers offers deals and vouchers online, so you can shop from your living room.
- Mail gifts to any relatives who live overseas.
- Get your Christmas tree and decorate the house. Include the kids in this ritual and it will be a really special activity for the family.
- Make sure you have a supply of wrapping paper. You can make your own to add a personal touch, and to ensure that your wrapping paper is environmentally friendly and recyclable – a lot of shop-bought paper is coated in plastic, meaning it can’t be recycled.
Two weeks before Christmas
- Plan your Christmas-day menus and run them by your guests to make sure you have any allergies or preferences covered.
- Plan out your cooking so that you can make as much as possible ahead of time and freeze it rather than rushing around to do everything on the day.
- Book in an online grocery shop so that you can avoid the horror that is supermarkets in December.
- Buy in any last-minute food items that you couldn’t get in your online shop (in December, there are nearly always substitutions!)
- Start wrapping your presents – it’s always a bigger job than you expect.
- You’re all prepared, so enjoy the evening with family! Maybe start a new Christmas Eve tradition or curl up together in front of a Christmas movie with a hot chocolate. Bliss!