Christmas Planning Made Easy

1 Nov 2017

I've patiently waited until November 1st to start sharing my exciting Christmas features with you all - I'm a complete Christmas fanatic who plans months ahead and all of our Christmas shopping is already done! Presents are ready to be wrapped, our tree will be up by the end of the month, festive plans are made, but what about all the little things you have to remember when getting ready for Christmas? Here are 15 small and easy tasks to tick off of your list before Christmas comes around, to guarantee a stress-free and fun Christmas Day spent with loved ones.

Plan Christmas to make it easy

001. Get your cookbooks out, grab your meal planner and plan your festive meals. Whether you're going all out Christmas Day or enjoying lots of festive celebrations in the run-up to Christmas, planning your menus ahead and putting together a shopping list will make things less hectic when it comes to doing your food shops in December. You could even get your shopping basket ready online and order in advance to be really organised!

002. Dedicate half an hour to sit down with your diary and pop all the friends and family you want to see over the festive season a call, text or message. If you plan your free time now, you won't be rushing around to make sure you see everyone at the last minute and you can enjoy festive getaways without worrying about rushing to your next event.

003. If you haven't already started, now would be a good time to start on your Christmas present shopping. Write a list of everyone you want to gift this Christmas and a budget for each person; be realistic about what you can afford and stick to your budget as best you can, but if you find a perfect gift that's worth spending a little more on, don't be afraid to go off budget.

004. Got a fancy event over the festive season? November is a great time to bag a bargain deal on your perfect outfit (or two!), no rushing around the shops before any last minute event invites means more time with friends and loved ones.

005. Get cooking! Anything you can cook in advance and freeze until your festive meal will save you time on Christmas day when your to-do list in the kitchen is going to be long enough. Stuffing, pies, sides and desserts, you'll be glad to have less to do on the day.

006. If you have little ones, now is a great time to plan some festive themed activities. Painting, activity packs, making your own Christmas cards or Christmas baking. Stock up on sticker packs and sort yourself a Christmas movie list. Make a list of all the Christmas themed activities you can do together so you always have something to do when they need entertaining.

007. Avoid the inevitable rush and busy season with posting cards and gifts early. I like to make sure anyone I am sending a Christmas card has theirs posted out the last few days of November, making a nice festive arrival early in December and avoiding the usual two-three week period of slow mail and late deliveries.

008. November is always a great time for sales nationwide and Black Friday, although an American tradition, is super popular in the UK. Most department stores and shops will have sales, often with hugely reduced prices. This is a great chance to buy more pricey presents at much lower prices. I'll be sharing my favourite Black Friday deals and offers over on my Twitter @TattooedTealady, so make sure you can keep an eye out for a Christmas bargain.

009. Are you doing advent calendars this year? Whether buying one ready-made or making your own, make sure you don't leave it too late. Everyone loves opening up the first door of their advent calendar on December 1st, so this is definitely one to organise in November!

010. It's time to get in the attic. You don't have to put your tree up just yet (I like to have all the Christmas decorations up and ready by midnight on December 1st at the latest, personally!), but now is a good time to check everything is still OK after a year in boxes. Is your tree complete? Any decorations that need replacing? Or maybe you just want to go for a new theme altogether; now is the best time to get it sorted.


011. December is here and no matter how much you don't want it to, the next few weeks are going to whizz by and Christmas will be here before you know it. Now is the time to take advantage of supermarkets being less hectic and grab all the essentials for your Christmas meal that can be stored, in the fridge, freezer or cupboard, so you're not making any last minute shopping trips on Christmas Eve!

012. If you have plans to see friends or family over the festive season who you are gifting to, make sure to have their gifts wrapped and ready to go somewhere easy to find, so that you're not rushing around and arriving late because of last-minute present-wrapping!

013. If you're planning to buy your meat from a local butcher, make sure you get your orders in early. Good butchers are super busy in December and can have long wait lists with deposits needed when ordering. The same goes for meat from supermarkets, if you're not cooking your main meat from fresh and can pop it in the freezer to get out when needed, go out and get your meat early on to avoid any Christmas dinner disasters.


014. Are you the Christmas chef this year? It might be a good idea to sit down a week or so before Christmas and work out your timings for different courses, pick up any last ingredients and make sure you have a plan in place that gets your meal ready at just the right time. Christmas dinner doesn't have to be stressful and everything can run smoothly with some nifty pre-planning.

015. Set the table the night before. Laying out your Christmas tablecloth and getting plates, cuterly, glasses and napkins all set out will give you that extra bit of time when you're getting dinner done. Every little helps and this is one easy task you can get done the night before for a smooth dinner service.

It's easy for your Christmas to-do list to build up, but if you stay organised, Christmas doesn't have to be stressful.

Plan Christmas to make it easy