Love Christmas but hate the stress leading up to it? We feel you! If you’re not organised, Christmas can have people feeling more frazzled than festive.
Our guide for getting ready for Christmas early will cut the crazy out of Christmas planning and keep you from being swept up in the holiday madness. It will save you money too!
We’ve broken down one giant job into more manageable tasks, from tackling your Christmas card list to starting your Christmas shopping to food prep and all the rest. You can use it as your Christmas planning check-list! So when the big day arrives, you can actually enjoy it…
1. Start Your Christmas Cards Early
There’s no need to send your Xmas cards in July (unless you live in Australia!) but rushing things can lead to upsets. This year, set up a master Christmas card list in a spreadsheet with all your up-to-date names and addresses, then you can just edit it every year. Tackle your list gradually, writing cards when you can – a few in front of the TV, a couple on the train to work and so on. If you write them in small batches, you can enjoy and put effort into each one. Also remember to buy more cards than you think you will need. That way, if you do forget someone and receive theirs, you have time and spares to send one back one in time. Just remember to update your spreadsheet with their details ready for next year!
If you get started early, you’ll also have time to make your own Christmas cards on Zazzle – you can add names or even family photos to some stunning designs.
2. Create A Christmas Gift Master List
Plan your Xmas presents as far in advance as possible to avoid the surprise of that dream gift being sold out or you showing up on Boxing Day empty handed. Get started by creating your second spreadsheet, this time for Christmas gifts. Add everyone you need to buy gifts for with some initial ideas and a rough price for everyone.
Consider your list carefully! Reigning in on the Xmas present list will ease stress and save a few quid. We’re not suggesting you leave your kids off Santa’s list… but maybe it’s time to stop buying talc for your great Auntie Ethel or socks for that third cousin twice removed who’s name you can never remember!
Be a good listener and take note of any hints from friends and family and add all these ideas to your list too. Armed with your spreadsheet, you can pick up gifts when you see them and make time to search for something special (at the best price) you have thought of.
3. Do ALL Your Gift Shopping Online
Forget trawling through the High Street looking for bargains. Dragging shopping bags along the length of Oxford or Buchannan Street is a pain that can easily be avoided. Shop online, get them delivered and have a stress-free, bag-free shop. Once you have your Christmas gift list set up, it will be so much easier to tackle it from the comfort of your computer. Plus, there will be plenty of online coupon codes in emails or onsite in November you can use to save money. Just make sure to consider delivery times and order online early.
4. Create An Events Calendar
The Christmas season usually involves a lot of social gatherings, from school plays to work parties to the local carol service. Buy a calendar and mark in times, events and personal targets over the Xmas season. This will help you avoid clashes, missing anything by mistake and getting everything organised on time. But don’t feel you have to go to everything! Make sure you put aside time for simple family time.
5. Wrap Presents As You Buy
I’ve spent many a Xmas Eve wrapping for hours and though it sounds festive in theory, it isn’t fun. Wrapping your gifts as you buy them not only keeps presents away from curious little eyes, it lets you put effort into each and every one. You can even personalise your gift wrap on Zazzle, with custom wrapping paper, gift tags, tissue paper and gift bags! Custom Christmas stockings are also great way to organise gifts all the while adding an extra dose of Christmas cheer.
6. Take Stock Of Christmas Decorations
Get that big box down from the loft as early as possible and see what Christmas decorations you have. There’s nothing worse than having your tree in pride of place then the fairy lights don’t work or the angel for the top has gone missing. So check your lights, throw out any broken baubles and then have some fun restocking! This way you’ll have the time to find some stand-out new pieces. In fact, why not add a few personalised Christmas tree decorations this year from Zazzle.
7. Order Your Food Early
We’ve all seen the mad dash to the supermarket on Christmas Eve, with dozens of shoppers scrambling frantically in search of a Turkey. The reality is that these shoppers will be lucky to come out with a chicken in their trolley so order ahead to avoid this Christmas chaos!
Also, don’t feel you have to make a sit-down meal for every occasion. We’re not saying you should swap the turkey for sausage rolls… but save the feast for Christmas Day and for other gatherings, serve nibbles instead. It’s easier on the chef and kinder to the budget.
Follow these tips and by Christmas even you can sit back, relax and enjoy the festivities. How do you get organised for Christmas? Share any of your own Christmas planning tips in the comments!