How to start planning for Christmas

*Collaborative post

The weather’s drawing in, the decorations are up and the airwaves are awash with festive hits – it can only mean one thing…. Christmas is coming! While it may well be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, there’s no denying that Christmas can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re the one who’s been tasked with hosting a get-together on the big day. Whether you’re arranging a slap-up family meal, a discreet Xmas gathering or a big festive holiday with your friends, it’s best to start planning as soon as possible – from food, drink and travel to presents and entertainment, there’s a lot to take on board.  Organising your Xmas do ahead of time will undoubtedly help you to avoid unnecessary stress and hassle on the day, but how can you start planning for Christmas now?  

Look at what you already have in your house – One of the easiest ways to start preparing for Christmas (whilst potentially saving money in the process) is taking stock of your possessions and having a good old-fashioned clearout. Dig out those boxes from the garage and try to salvage old Xmas decorations from years gone by to spruce up your home for the festive season. Have a thorough declutter of your old clothes and jewellery, and be sure to donate, sell or pawn items that you no longer wear. Undertaking a simple clearout of your home can go a long way in providing extra funds whilst helping you to generate extra space and get more organised in preparation for the big day.  

Write a list of presents and recipients – Never leave your Xmas shopping until the last minute – try to get it out of the way as soon as possible. Once you’ve picked up gifts for your loved ones, it’ll be easier to focus on the other aspects of the day. In order to make the task quicker and easier, work out a manageable budget and then write a list of loved ones who’ll be receiving presents, as well as the gifts that you think they would like. Once you’ve completed your list of who’s naughty and nice, stick to it – it’s easy to get carried away when you’re shopping for presents and using a list can help you to reduce your spending and avoid impulse purchases.   

Plan your meals – Preparing a slap-up Christmas meal can be extremely stressful, especially if you’re not used to cooking or hosting multiple guests in your home! To avoid unnecessary stress and ensure that your Xmas dinner is up to standard, plan ahead and ensure that you cater to the dietary requirements of all of your guests – it might be a good idea to ask them to specify these ahead of time, in order to avoid nasty surprises or even serious allergic reactions later down the line. Most importantly, shop for all of the essential ingredients in advance to ensure that your fridge is well-stocked for the Xmas period.   

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