Summer is barely over and the shops are already filling with Christmas garb. But even if you are not the biggest fan of the festive season, it pays to be prepared for it. We are here to show you how to prepare for Christmas early, without breaking a sweat. Preparation is more than half the battle in our opinion. If you know how to ready for Christmas early, like, well in advance, then by the time the big day rolls around, you will be more chilled than a turkey in January.
Why you should prepare early for Christmas
With October just a few days away, the festive season will be here before you know it. Planning ahead is the best way to save money, headaches, and even your sanity!
Have your family already started having the “Christmas Chat?” Who’s going to host? Where is it going to be? What time will lunch be made? Who is being invited? What are you getting for so-and-so? And so on. If you leave everything till the last minute, or even till just approaching Christmas, you could find yourself stressed out, unhappy, panicking and not even looking forward to the most wonderful time of the year.
Getting ready for Christmas
We can’t help it. We love Christmas. As such, knowing how to prepare for Christmas early is practically in our blood. The very simple way to start is to make a list. Once you have a list, everything is so much more manageable. Advance holiday planning truly puts you in charge, and can help alleviate all those unpleasant things that can come with Christmas if you don’t prepare early; stress, debt, and chaos!
What you need for preparing early for Christmas:
1. Work out a budget
Before you even start really thinking about getting ready for Christmas, you need to work out your budget so that you can prepare wisely. Remember to involve everything you will need. This includes; food, decorations, presents, outings, obligatory tacky jumpers…even postage stamps for Christmas cards and parking at the shopping centre. Work out what you will need to spend and where and write it all down. You can then get a better idea of how to manage your money, without any unnecessary splurges closer to the big day.
2. Start filling in your calendar
December and the lead up to Christmas is manic. Make sure you start filling in your calendar and diary with everything from parties, to school events, family gatherings, term times and anything else that might slip your mind. If you have kids at school, make sure to include when they break up and any festive plays that might be thrown. Planning on ordering a turkey? Make a note of when you can order and when you can pick it up. Don’t be scared of being pedantic. Go as far as jotting down the days to do the big Christmas food shop – the more organised you are now, the better it will be then.
3. Decide who is hosting Christmas Day
If you know you are going to be hosting, you have even more reason to prepare early. Have the conversation now so both you, and they, can be fully prepared. They might need to tell other friends and family members that they will be having Christmas Day at yours, so the more notice that can be given to all parties, the better.
Now you know you will oversee Christmas Day, you need to get on that guest list! Figuring out who and how many people will be attending will help you get organised. Make your list (check it twice) and start inviting people – the sooner the better. Will some guests need to stay over? If so, start planning what you and they will need. Things like extra toilet roll, spare beds, and bedding, deciding who will be sleeping where etc.
5. Send out the invitations
It’s never too early for sending out those invites. Let your nearest and dearest know now that you are hosting Christmas Day, and get numbers in. You don’t want to start preparing for 20 people, only to find out in a month’s time that half of the intended guests have already had another invitation. While you are extending the invite, find out if any of your guests have food allergies or preferences. If you have a family of vegetarians coming, you will need to ensure there is enough food available that they can eat – bonus, it could mean more turkey for you!
6. Start present shopping early
There’s no time like the present(!) for this one. Some very smart shoppers buy their gifts during the sales; either on Boxing Day from the previous year or in the summer. We can’t all be that organised though, and, to be honest, getting a head start now still makes you more organised than about 90% of the population. Remember that between now and Christmas are the infamous Black Friday sales. This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on a whole host of presents. Do your research thoroughly. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for (remember those such as the kid’s teachers, colleagues at work, and maybe even the dog). Taking your time will really help you choose presents wisely and carefully – and you won’t have to worry about delivery times!
7. Look up your recipes
Thanks to celebrity chefs, cooking programmes are in abundance, and seem to constantly be on TV. We love the Christmas specials, which are repeated year after year, and always have such great ideas for the big day. Record any Christmas specials that you like the look of, scour websites and food blogs for interesting recipes and ask friends and family for any special festive recipes of theirs that you have loved in previous years. Start stockpiling those recipe ideas now and listing the ingredients so you can be prepared well in advance.
8. Prepare food early where you can
Are there any components of your Christmas feast that can be prepared in advance and frozen? With some food, such as gravy and stuffing, you can prepare it, cook it, and freeze it a few months in advance, so that all you need to do on Christmas Day is defrost and reheat! Are there a lot of dry ingredients you can buy now so you don’t have to worry about them in December? Make a list and head to the shops, then create an area in your cupboards especially for Christmas food prep. When can you order your turkey? Speak to your butcher or supermarket of choice and find out their Christmas ordering dates. Get on the culinary case!
9. Check Royal Mail delivery times
Sending out Christmas cards and presents to your nearest and dearest around the world, can always be a bit stressful – due to how manic the post office becomes over the festive season. If you are sending out a lot of cards this year, buy your stamps now, so you don’t have to worry about those nightmarish queues in December. The same goes with sending presents and parcels. Let friends and family know that their presents will be arriving early, and to put them away for Christmas morning. Check the Royal Mail delivery times and start preparing and get everything out before the rush.
Composed/Written by claire