With Halloween out of the way, it’s time to pack away the skeletons and start planning for the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! And doesn’t it seem to creep up on us quicker every year? If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with it all and haven’t a clue where to start, or if you’re not usually a planner and want to get organised this year, fear not. We’re here to help you plan the perfect Christmas.
Set the budget
When it comes to planning for Christmas, your budget is crucial to getting it right and making sure you don’t overspend. Start by making a list of all the things you need to buy, from gifts to Christmas décor. Set a budget for each gift and decoration and stick to it. If you like to head out to the shops to buy your goods, instead of shopping online, a good way to stop yourself overspending is to go out with just cash, leaving the bank cards at home. It’s so tempting to buy more for special ones in your life, but if you need to rein it in, the cash-only shopping option is a great trick!
Choose a theme
Before you buy your Christmas tree and decorations, it’s nice to have a theme to make your home look extra special. This theme can span from your decorations to your wrapping paper! Choosing a theme is all about making Christmas your own, so choose colours and textures that you love. Think rustic with warming autumnal colours or frosted with twinkling fairy lights. Perhaps you like the traditional vintage theme? The choice is yours. When it comes to decorations, the list really can be endless, so here are a few of the essentials:
Plan the Christmas dinner table – the main event!
Once you’ve tackled the presents, it’s time to think about the Christmas dining table. And this can be tied in with your overall Christmas theme. To make your table a real showstopper this year, grab these essentials:
- Table runner
- Charger plates
- If your budget stretches then why not opt for a new dinnerware set?
- Centre piece
If you’re cooking for the many, then why not opt for place names? To save a few pennies, these can be home-made. Simply collect up some pine cones, get come card, twine and a gold pen. Write names on the card with the pen, then punch holes in the card and tie it to the pine cone with the twine. Place on the charger plates. Job done.
Stick to a timeline
Whether you celebrate on a grand or conservative scale, Christmas is a big event to plan for. Here’s a timeline to make sure you keep things in order on the big day and the weeks leading up to it.
Two months before:
- Start baking things you can freeze
- Update your Christmas card list
- Take stock of your dinnerware and glasses – have you got enough?
- Order your turkey
- Finalise guests
- Buy non-perishable items – alcohol, tinned goods, biscuits
- Start buying gifts – if you haven’t already!
- Get online shopping done, to make sure gifts arrive on time
- Buy and write your Christmas cards and buy gift wrap
- Buy your Christmas decorations
- Plan your Christmas party outfit(s)
- Buy games and entertainment
- Postcards to destinations abroad
- Wrap presents
- Deliver presents
- Put up your decs!
1 week before:
2 days before:
- Buy fresh food
- Set your dining table
- Start prepping the fresh food
1 day before:
- Charge the batteries on your camcorder
- Finish the fresh cooking
- Finish last minute wrapping
- Put out a carrot and mince pie for Santa
- Hang stockings at the end of the kids’ beds
- Take items out of the freezer
- Sit back and relax
With effort put into planning, your Christmas day should go ahead without a glitch. But remember, if you burn the turkey, forget the table runner or forget to take food out of the freezer on Christmas Eve, it’s definitely not the end of the world. What matters most is that you enjoy spending time and having fun with your nearest and dearest.