Whilst the summer of 2020 may not be what any of us had planned, we can still salvage Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year doesn’t have to be confined to dark December, in fact, starting early can save you time, money, and stress.
So, here’s the only Advent calendar you need to get you counting down the days to Christmas.
Three to six months before
- Make a family plan – Decide what you’re doing for the holidays. Are you staying at home on Christmas Eve and heading to family on Christmas Day? Perhaps you’re thinking of going away. Sit down with your family and decide where you’ll be spending the holidays to avoid any last-minute family dramas.
- Book your travel – If you are visiting relatives or you’re going away, now is the perfect time to book your travel before the prices skyrocket, or seats are sold out. Whehter you choose Christmas Markets in Brugge, skiing in Austria, sunbathing in Bali, or snorkelling in Australia.
Two months before
- Update the calendar – The festive period is a busy time for everyone, from office parties, to get-togethers with friends, school nativities, and carol services. Avoid double-booking and stretching yourself too thin by keeping the calendar up-to-date. And remember the calendar should have everyone’s schedule on, not just yours.
- Start baking and freezing food – Batch cooking is your best friend when it comes to the holidays. Whether you’re hosting at Christmas, or you throw an impromptu mulled wine and mince pie night, having a few sweet treats and savoury snacks in the freezer can help stave the last-minute panic buying.
- Shop for cards and wrapping paper – Shops start dropping their Christmas cards and wrapping in stores around October. To get the best of the selection – and the smug satisfaction, start early, and you know you won’t have to do a mad dash last-minute.
Six weeks before
- Make a gift list – You may not have the finer details, but you have a rough idea of who you’re buying for and what you think they might like. That way you can keep an eye out for things and cross them off the list. If you have someone that’s impossible to buy for, a Christmas hamper full of goodies always goes down a treat.
- Make a budget – Set a rough idea for how much you can spend on gifts, and how much you’ll spend on each person. Having this figure will help you when choosing gifts.
One month before
- Wrap gifts as you buy them – This will save you precious time on Christmas Eve, leaving you more time to sit on the couch watching Elf!
Three weeks before
- Write and send cards – Avoid the last minute panic of missing the last post. It will also give you enough time to send a card to anyone you missed off your list if they send you one!
- Deck the halls – Get into the festive spirit by decorating your home.
- Order the turkey – Ordering a turkey from the local butchers will mean you won’t be left with a “turkey” of a bird.
Final Christmas countdown
- Post any presents – Ideally any gifts that need to be sent should be mailed by 10th December.
- Clean the house – Whether you’re expecting guests or just Santa Claus, a thoroughly clean house helps the decorations stand out, and just feels a bit more festive.
- Last-minute shop – Head to the supermarket for last-minute perishables, and chocolates!
- Prepare the food – Do as much food prep as possible.
- Set the table – Set the table for Christmas Day.
- Sit back and relax – Spend the evening watching festive films and playing family games.