There is no denying that Christmas can be stressful. So much to do in so little time.
Now we are not advocating you become one of those strange people who do all their shopping in the January sales nor do we want you to be the smug pants who grams a pile of wrapped Christmas presents in September. We are talking here about NORMAL getting ahead. Being a little organised and dare we say strategic about it. It is December now so it is time.
By simply completing a few things a week and putting our little tips in place you may even find yourself lazing around eating mince pies in front of Elf (naming no names) in the run up to the big day. Now wouldn’t that be nice…
Make a List
We don’t go anywhere without a list.
Before you start ANY Christmas shopping you need to jot down all the people you need to buy for with any fabulous present ideas you already have.
If you’re really organised (anal) you can do this on your computer and build on it year by year so that you don’t have any repeat purchases. No ones wants a jewellery roll or a smelly candle 3 years on the trot now do they?
Personally, which may be considered marginally OCD, we then bold the item when it has been purchased so that we can see at a glance what we already have and what we still need to get . A Rookie error is to squirrel things away without writing them down only to find a whole heap of lovely presents in a cupboard come January.
Shop As You Go
The worse possible thing you can do is procrastinate. If you see something you think someone will like within your budget – BUY IT immediately. Otherwise, you will go home, write it on your list and have to make a new journey to buy it.
Giving yourself a budget, either in total or per person is imperative. If you don’t, you will splurge unnecessarily and will have a long, poor January. Budgeting is a way or organising your brain. If you don’t have to budget then we don’t feel sorry for you and would expect you to be organised because you can buy anything, anytime.
Use Your Online Basket As A Shopping List
An online shopping basket is super handy as a virtual list. We add things to our AMAZON, MARKS & SPENCERS, BODEN and NOT ON THE HIGH STREET baskets with a view to going back later. You can then purchase, delete or price check as necessary. What did we ever do without internet shopping?
Plan Plan Plan
It is impossible to remember everything in the silly season so grab a calendar and write all your dates down for December. Try and remember every last thing including Christmas dinners, table reservations, taxi bookings, babysitters, RSVP dates etc.
Organise your Menus
If you are not hosting then you will only need basics plus some special Festive Fare. If you are hosting it is a good idea to have an idea of menus in advance so that you can take advantage of promotions and order anything necessary in plenty of time. PLEASE NOTE: currently there is not a war on. The shops are actually only shut for 2 days so you are not going to starve. You do not have to buy the whole of the Supermarket aisle just in case.
Get Party Ready
It is a good idea to set through a couple of ideas to pull a couple of party outfits together or have a vague idea what you’re going to wear for key events, Christmas Day and drinks parties. There is nothing worse then pulling out the favourite top and finding it needs dry cleaning a couple of days before. You may even have time to accessorise – could we BE any more organised?
Give Up the Guilt and CHEAT!
If you love cooking then Christmas is a great excuse for creating some delicious treats to share but if you don’t then cheat. Buy your Christmas Cake or be alternative and have a Carluccio’s Pantetone. Buy your mince pies, brandy butter, bread sauce. In fact, if you want to give up the guilt and buy EVERYTHING and enjoy Christmas.
Use Your Freezer
Remember to freeze up any elements to a Christmas dinner that you can get sorted in advance and throw in a few easy casseroles for the following days which can easily be pulled out at the last minute. Check out our Easy Chicken Casserole for Cosy Days or our Warming Beef Stew.
Without being trite and as busy as we are, how very lucky we are that we are people to buy presents for, food to buy and a house to decorate.
Happy Christmas to you all.x