Chris often takes the mickey out of me for having lists coming out my ears – especially around Christmas but it means I can be organised and arrange the presents and make sure they get to the correct recipients – preferably on time! Here are some of my tips for an organised Christmas.
1. Write a list of who you need to shop for.
Not only does this mean that I can cross of people as I get their presents I can also jot down ideas or what to get for them or what to make.
I usually start with our family (Chris, Our Sidekick and Jaxon), then my parents, brother and his wife, then Chris’s parents and sister. Then I head further afield and group them together – first up is other relatives that we need presents for then friends and then anyone else (for example a box of chocolates for next door as a thank you for receiving parcels in our absence throughout the year)
I then add a little code next to them so – are they having a Homemade (HM) present or a store bought (SB) present?
I try and get a spare box of biscuits or chocolates just in case we have a surprise present or get invited somewhere for tea and want to take a present as a guest.
2. Start shopping now.
I don’t understand the mad Christmas Eve shopping trip. You know that Christmas is coming so why act like its a surprise? Once I’ve written my list I try to start in advance (usually around September). I know of a few people who look through the January sales for the next Christmas.
3. Write a food shopping list
Again rather than a crazy dash at the end, is there anything you can stockpile and have ready now?
We tend to have a joint rather than a full Turkey on Christmas Day so this can be bought in September/October and put in the freezer. Vegetables tend to be done last within the week before Christmas but other bits like stuffing, gravy granules etc are either already in the cupboard or can be bought and stored.
It might sound silly but make sure that the best before date is after Christmas so that the food is still edible come Christmas. Some things won’t last that long but so what you can to save the stress and be organised.
4. Decide if you’re sending Christmas cards. If yes, write a list of recipients
We received our first Christmas card this weekend from a friend at church. She said there was no harm in being early.
Similarly to the presents write a list. Mine is usually grouped either by hand delivery or post or family, friends, church etc.
5. Check postage dates
If you are sending Christmas cards or need to send presents in the mail make sure you check the Christmas delivery dates so that the presents or cards get there in time. These are the dates from the Royal Mail website. Also avoid the Post Office on that final posting day – having made that mistake before it can be very busy!
The further away it needs to go the earlier it needs to go. New Zealand and Australia for example are as early as the 3rd and 4th December. If it’s going to a BFPO, check the type of box as the last postage date differs. One type has to go by the 28th November.
6. Once you’ve written that present list try and support local or small businesses whre you can.
If you’re sorting a present for a couple or a family, something like homemade cookies or flapjack wrapped up nicely, can be a yummy present but doesn’t break the bank. (Make sure they are gluten or dairy free if needed!)
7. A Pinterest idea is to wrap your presents in fabric or using bright colours or sparkly pens draw over brown parcel/kraft paper and then wrap your present – pretty wrapping without spending more on wrapping paper.
Do you have any specific tips for the holiday season?
Original image found here. Additions my own.