Deck the Halls and Get Prepared

The crisp days and cold temperatures can only mean one thing. December is just around the corner and so is Christmas! Advent calendars at the ready everyone, the countdown is about to begin! With a little organisation and preparation, you can enjoy a stress free build up to the big day.

Here’s a quick checklist for the beginning of December to refer to:

–       Have the children written their lists to Father Christmas (There’s a great template to print          out on the Martha Stewart website here)

–       Is this years Christmas card list up to date with everyone’s addresses

–       Where’s this year’s turkey coming from and can you pre-order

–       Check the last postage dates with Royal Mail

–       Dig out the Christmas tree lights (and make sure they work!)

–       Do you have a rough gift idea for everyone

No matter how organised you are and no matter when the Christmas shopping begins, it always seems to be quite a rush in the last couple of weeks. Here are a few ideas for avoiding the “Day Before Fear” as we’ve come to know it.

1. Working out those tricky to buy for friends and relatives

Whether they’ve got everything already or are just particularly fussy, these Christmas hampers from Clearwater may be the perfect solution. Each one has a variety of little luxuries that are perfect for family sharing. There are several options that are themed on different countries such as Australia and Canada, ideal for a little cultural appreciation! If you have the time to spend, the website also allows you the option to build your own which is great for adding a personal touch. The hampers themselves come in very useful for storage long after the goodies have been devoured, an added bonus!

2. Finding a ‘one size fits all’ wrapping paper

One for the relatives, one for the kids, one for the pet! Buying a few rolls of the same wrapping paper can prove very useful. Oxfam have some beautiful choices at the moment. They’re aesthetically pleasing, great quality as well as being recycled (eco friendly and helping towards a worthy cause!).

3. Little and Often

This is definitely a motto worth applying to this time of year. Not where food is concerned but certainly for preparation! Even if you just pop out to pick up a present on your lunch break or wrap one or two gifts in the evening, it beats cramming everything in on Christmas eve when you should be unwinding with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.