Christmas comes just once a year, and it’s time we started thinking about it. Summer is officially winding down. The first signs of Christmas are appearing in retailers & everyone you know falls into one of two groups: the haters or the embracers. Whether you’re a pre-planner who thinks about Christmas all year long, or you’re one of those do-your-shopping-on-Christmas-Eve types, there’s no denying the appeal of preparation and reaping the benefits come December 25th.
From setting out a budget in October to Christmas Eve must-dos, follow this step by step guide and get ready for a stress-free Christmas…
The stores may be screaming Halloween, but October is the perfect time to start preparing for Christmas festivities…
- Consider your Christmas Decor
With 12 weeks to go, it’s time to start considering your 2018 Christmas decor. Get in the festive spirit by taking some time out to browse different festive trends and styles. Embracing this season’s must-have leopard print? You’ll adore the Wilderness trend. Prefer a traditional look? Winter Bloom is for you. However you style Christmas, have fun with decorations this year.
- Organize Family Plans
Are you hosting this year or going to your in-laws? It may seem a long way off, but organizing Christmas day plans now will help you to prepare accordingly.
- Make Travel Arrangements
Decided who is going where this year? Great. Now you’ll need to make travel arrangements. Sort hotels, train and plane tickets now before they get booked up.
- Make a List
Unfortunately, we don’t mean your list to Santa. Now is the time to write a list of everyone you will buy for, as well as a list of people you may be hosting for this year. This will help you to determine costs and budget for the next three months.
- Set a Budget
Once you have a list of people to buy for and how many you’re hosting for, set a Christmas budget. And stick to it.
Between the decorations, gifts and guests, your home will be packed this festive season. Make space where you can by decluttering key areas, remembering the simple 6 month rule: if it hasn’t been used or appreciated in 6 months, you don’t need it.
- Bake Ahead
Give yourself time outside of the kitchen by preparing festive bakes in November. Gingerbread, un-iced cakes and cookies can call be baked ahead and stored in the freezer until Christmas arrives.
- Start Christmas Shopping
Many people wait to start their Christmas shopping on Black Friday, and for good reason. Whether it’s 20%, 50% or 70% off the retail price, getting those big gifts checked off in the sales means more money to treat yourself. It’s a win-win.
- Write & Send Holiday Cards
‘Tis the season to embrace tradition, so try not to fall into the habit of wishing your loved ones a Merry Christmas on social media. Letter writing is a dying art, surprise family and friends with a thoughtful card and embrace the festive season this year.
- Deck the Halls
You chose your Christmas decor back in October, now it’s time to turn your home into a winter wonderland. You could even make an evening of it with hot chocolate and a festive film. See how simple it is when you plan ahead?
- Create a Cozy Guest Bedroom
If you’re hosting this year, make sure your guest bedroom is ready for visitors. Extra blankets, slippers, a festive scented candle and a hot water bottle will make your guests feel like it’s a home away from home.
- Wrap Presents
Finalise your shopping and get gifts wrapped in the first week of December. This will free up time in the week leading up to Christmas, and will stop present-hunters from ‘accidentally’ finding their unwrapped gifts.
- Organize Your Kitchen
As the host, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Make it as pleasant as an experience as possible by sorting through unnecessary clutter, cleaning your oven and ensuring you have enough pots and pans in advance. You’ll thank yourself come Christmas day.
- Take Inventory of Plates & Flatware
Are you a few plates short? Have more forks than knives? Now is the time to update your dinnerware and flatware sets in time for the big event.
The Week Before
It’s almost here! Time to tick off those final finishing touches…
- Deep Clean Your Home
Those baubles will shine even brighter next to clean floors. Take some time to deep clean your entire home ready for festive guests to arrive.
- Finalize Family Plans
Although it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little family drama, you want to avoid it if you can. Make sure everyone is aware of Christmas day plans, including the time of lunch & who is sleeping where.
- Buy Fresh Produce
Your mind may be preoccupied with Christmas lunch, but remember you’ll need to shop for Christmas morning breakfast as well. Go shopping for fresh produce a couple of days before the 25th, keeping an eye on the best before dates. Better yet, avoid the rush and have it delivered to your home instead. Genius.
- Prepare Christmas Dinner
Chop the vegetables, prepare the dessert, make the gravy. Do as much as you can now so you can spend Christmas day with your loved ones, away from the kitchen.
- Set the Table
If you have the room, set the table now so Christmas morning can be spent opening gifts with a glass of Champagne. Pull out your finest crystal glassware and the flatware you save for special occasions. Christmas comes only once a year after all.
- Wrap Last-Minute Gifts
Couldn’t resist that last gift you know they’d love? It happens. Once you’ve prepped the dinner and set the table, wrap any last-minute gifts you’ve bought and place them under the tree.
You’ve done it! With everything pre-prepared, it’s time to pour your favorite drink, put your feet up and look forward to a stress-free day with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!