Christmas ALWAYS falls on 25th December. We know this, yet every year a panic sets in around the country with people shopping at the last minute, and running around like headless chickens (or should that be turkeys!)
The planning and preparation for Christmas can seem daunting to say the least – but it needn’t be that way.
Being quite (!) organised myself I must admit that I find the planning and preparation before Christmas is exciting rather than daunting.
As an example of how I can sometimes be prepared (and this doesn’t always happen – I’m human too!) I have already bought, wrapped and given one family presents as we were meeting up last weekend and I knew I wouldn’t see them again before the big day. As a result my presents to buy list has got smaller, I have saved queuing time in the post office, and postage costs – bonus!
This actually got me thinking – as so many people leave things until December.
It’s like no one wants to admit that Christmas has come around again (is it just me or does it feel that the years are flying by now!?), and want to hold out until the last minute.
Generally this only leads to stress and hassle – not very festive!
Cards get forgotten, panic buying sets in, and Christmas ends up being rushed and not enjoyed.
So – I have an idea for you – why not treat November 30th as your unofficial Christmas Day – i.e. deadline for Christmas planning?
Have the goal that you will be ready for Christmas in November – and you will reap the rewards: –
- Shops aren’t as busy as in the lead up to Christmas
- Queues are less
- Postal Deadlines won’t be missed
- Things may be out of stock if you wait to buy – and may not be available elsewhere
- There may be presents that take a while to get made – personalised items for example – so you may miss out on what you really want to give someone.
- You have many more social events and time constraints in December to deal with – leaving less time for preparing for the big day
- There are a few sales on in the shops so you may be able to grab a better present or a bargain if you shop earlier
So – all in all I think November is the perfect time to do most of the preparations for Christmas and get ahead of the game.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are of course things that you can’t do in advance: –
- Fresh food shopping
- Decorating the house
But not that many really….
I class the things that HAVE to be done in December part of the fun of Christmas and actual build up, so in November I am purely suggesting that focus and time are spent on the planning and preparation that can be done whenever really.
Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier – no sooner have we waved goodbye to the summer do we find crackers and baubles in the shops. I really believe that it shouldn’t start in earnest until 1st December – it only seems right!
So, if we start to outwardly prepare for Christmas in December, then we should have done all the planning up front – don’t you agree?!
For an idea of what to do – here’s a list of items that can all be done and dusted up front – I hope they give you ideas of your TO DO list for this month! (and if you want to get totally organised this year – then you may want to take a look at my Christmas Planner to save time and stress)
- Organise where you will be on and around the big day – are you staying somewhere, or are people staying with you? Work out who you will see and when, and make sure you haven’t left anyone out!
- Write and address all Christmas Cards (Save stamping and posting until 1st Dec – that way you’ll get Christmas stamps and not be too early!)
- Make a note in your diary of any postal deadlines – action yourself to send the cards at least 2 days prior to this date (or all on 1st Dec if possible!) – there are also deadlines for the armed forces and for some parcel posts in November so be careful!
- Write your present list and budget for each person (so you don’t get any unexpected credit card statements – spend only what you can afford)
- Purchase all presents – you may find it easier to buy a few each time you go out shopping
- Wrap and label all presents
- Do food list for Christmas (you now know where you will be and therefore what you need) – and order your turkey
- Start to pick up a few items of non perishable food each week so you have a head start on the bigger shop
- Book any restaurants/pantomimes/etc.… that you may want to go to over the festive period
- Book hair and beauty treatments
- What are you wearing? Can you get anything extra you need early?
- If you are having a party, write all invitations and post out on 1st December – that way more people should be able to come rather than leaving it to the last minute
- Ensure any birthdays are not forgotten and buy presents/cards ready just as you have for Christmas
- Ensure all guest requirements are OK – bedding, towels etc…..
Basically I want November to be the month where we prepare so well we avoid that horrible overwhelm that can so easily happen once December comes round…
Imagine how you would feel if all these items were done by December 1st.
Don’t say to yourself that it isn’t achievable – after all – you make it work if your deadline is Christmas Day – so why not make your life easier and get it done the month before instead.
You will end up with a much more stress free December – and can enjoy the build up a lot more.
Do you think this is a good idea? Do you do it already? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below…