We know that October isn’t over yet and for many of us, it seems way too early to start thinking about Christmas. Despite our denial, there is no getting away from the fact that the earlier we begin, the more we can achieve the better prepared we’ll be.
As organisation is the key to a stress-free Christmas we’ve worked out a ten week Christmas Countdown covering everything you’ll need to do before the big day. When it finally comes around you’ll be fresh-faced and relaxed. Well, as fresh-faced and relaxed as parenting in general leaves you!
We kick off our preparations this week so with no further ado, let’s get organised!
Week 1 (w/c 21/10):
Start your organisational preparations the way you mean to go on. Begin by creating a diary, calendar or notebook specifically to work through the next few weeks. A binder is a good idea, allowing you to insert loose pages of notes or print-outs as you make them.
Prepare your lists. You’ll need one for gifts, one for cards, one for groceries and one for any recipes you’re planning to use. Work out an overall budget for each.
- Gift list: Create a category listing each person you need to buy for, gift preferences/ideas, whether you’ve bought them, whether you’ve wrapped them and don’t forget to include a maximum budget for each.
- Card list: Create your list of who you’ll be sending cards to this year. Don’t forget to include cards that your children want to send so that you know how many to buy.
- Recipe list: Planning on baking or creating your own edible masterpieces this Christmas? Keep a list of recipes, noting how much in advance they can be made and what ingredients are needed for each. You can then plan to make one or two a week in the run-up, preventing a last-minute rush. Some recipes can be made and frozen weeks before, whilst others can be left to mature. Once you’ve worked out what can be made when you can insert a corresponding page for each into the relevant week of your binder.
- Grocery list: Start planning your grocery list for Christmas. What will you be buying for the day? Leave a space to add items as you think of them (or as they are requested!) and leave an extra space for notes. Shopping online is a great way to get organised and many supermarkets start opening their Christmas delivery slots during November but they fill up fast. You can book and reserve your delivery space without having to finalise your shopping list straight away. Add the main things you know you’ll need first (potatoes, veg, milk, bread) in order to reach the minimum price to book your slot, then go back and add to it later on.
Sort through your decorations. Try out the lights and get rid of any broken and damaged decorations. If you like to work to a theme or colour scheme each year plan yours now and order your new Christmas decorations in plenty of time.
Beating the rush of the last-minute buyers means you stand more chance of items being in stock. You can also take advantage of deals and sale items, making significant savings along the way. Now that you’ve worked out your gift list start scouring stores, both online and off, to get what you want – possibly on offer. We will be regularly updating our Discount Codes forum with new deals and offers so make sure you keep an eye on that for some fab moneysaving bargains. I know, it’s still only October – but remember, the aim is to get organised, save money, stay within budget and to stay stress-free. The earlier you start, the better you’ll feel come December.
We have created a printable PDF copy of Christmas Countdown: Your week-by-week guide to getting organised for Christmas – Week 1 for you to print off and keep.
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