Christmas Countdown -planning for Christmas
It’s that time again where we’re counting down to Christmas…hopefully your Christmas Countdown planning isn’t accompanied with a feeling of dread! If you feel more fedup than festive, read on to see how you can make life easier at this busy time of year.
If you’re only reading this close to Christmas, don’t worry- see what you can use from the tips below and come back for 2019!
1 Plan ahead-
This is key to keeping on top of everything for Christmas. A good notebook where you can make a number of lists will be your best friend from October onwards- you can make a gift list for each member of the family and cross off what you’re bought already so you don’t double up. Another good idea is to list everything you’ll need in your Christmas grocery shop, from non-perishables to the turkey and cross off as you buy.A general Christmas to do list is useful as well. If you prefer a digital list, then Evernote, Cozi or even a simple Excel spreadsheet will do.
2 Decide on your budget early-
Another thing that Christmas planning ahead will help with is not overspending. If you set a budget early and stick to it, it will make your life less stressful as you head towards the big day. Use the planning lists mentioned above to help you stay on track.
3 Buy non-perishables early-
Use October/November to buy great deals on non-perishables when you see them, using BOGOF or 2 for 1. Store away and remember to tick them off your Christmas planning list so you don’t double buy. Do the same with freezer items too.
4 Book your grocery delivery slot now-
Get your online food shopping delivery booked early so that you know it’s done and you’re not scrabbling around for a slot for the turkey and perishables to be delivered when the only available one is midnight! In the UK the supermarkets generally open their Christmas booking slots from mid to end November so you can tick that off your to-do list.
5 Declutter the kids’ rooms/playrooms-
Have a clear out of the kids’ rooms and/or playrooms and get rid of old toys that they’re outgrown to make way for the new presents on their way. (Read my guide on how to declutter kids’ rooms.)
6 Sell old toys and clothes-
Any toys you’ve cleared out from the step above, if in good condition, can be sold to make some money towards the cost of Christmas. Have a clearout of wardrobes and closets too and any clothes that have been outgrown and in good condition can be sold on too- try eBay or Gumtree.
7 Shop online for gifts-
Use online shopping as much as you can as it beats standing in queues in a overheated shop with half of your town’s population! If you shop online you can also take advantage of any voucher codes you find online to save you money. In the UK, popular voucher code websites are www.myvouchercodes.co.uk and www.hotukdeals.com.
8 Wrap as you go-
Wrap as you buy, this way you’re not left with loads of presents to wrap on Christmas Eve.
9 Use your ironing board to wrap presents-
Pretty much what it says on the tin, you’ll save your back and cause less back pain if you wrap at the correct height for you so you’re not leaning over. Wrapping as you go will also lessen the risk of seizing up.
10 Start writing Christmas cards early-
Start on your Christmas card list early so you are sure to make the last posting date and won’t have to write them all in one go ( and save yourself from hand cramp as well). If you want, you could send an e-card to friends and relatives, or even a festive email?
11 Print address labels-
If you do write cards, then make and save address labels on your computer so you can print out and stick on your envelopes rather than have to write out hundreds of addresses.
12 Hit the January sales-
Obviously it’s too late for this year, but get really ahead in January by buying crackers and gift wrap in the January sales. Make sure you remember you’ve bought them by ticking them off your Christmas to-do list for next year.
13 Make guest rooms up early-
If you’ve spare rooms, make the beds up early and leave guest towels etc out so you know it’s done.
14 Prep easy meals-
Christmas planning and the big day itself can be hard work! Make it easy on yourself by prepping some meals early ( or if you want, buy ready meals instead) and use them as easy dinners once the Christmas rush is over.
15 Check prescriptions-
Make sure all prescriptions for the family are up to date and you’ve enough to see you through the holidays. Also stock up on painkillers ( paracetamol etc) and cough sweets in case anyone is unlucky enough to fall ill over the holidays.
I hope these tips help! If you have any tips you want to share, let us know in the comments below!