If you’re not the most organised person in the world and your starting to panic about the fact its November and you haven’t started organising Christmas, fear not! We have you covered.
Here are my top tips for the next 7 weeks to get you through and organised for Christmas before the main week begins! (It can be done!) There is also a free printable (or 2!) for you to grab.
Your household probably has 2 more pay days left so start off by sitting down and sorting out how much ‘spare’ money you will have each pay day. Then set a realistic budget for Christmas. Factor in not only gifts but any decorations you need and of course, food. If you don’t set a strict budget, then the Christmas plan doesn’t work so spend a day sorting this out first.
We tend to spend about £20 per person at Christmas so I can get all of the presents for around £410. Obviously, this is different for all family sizes but having a set amount to spend per person is a good place to start. Don’t take out extra credit or borrow any money as this gets you into all kinds of trouble for the next year. Let’s face it, we don’t want to start 2020 badly!
Start to write a vague list of things to buy for everyone. I tend to make my own hampers up for all of the adult couples in the family as I can bulk buy the contents and they make lovely gifts! Also check your decorations and see what needs replacing or what extras you need to buy now and not when the kids are trying to put the tree up! Buy any cards you might need to but try and get some in the new year sales ready for this time next year!
Start to buy presents. Aim for half of your list and anything you can bulk buy, for example hamper contents. I try and buy things from maybe 2-3 shops max so I’m not traipsing round aimlessly for hours on end! If you have to take the kids with you, pick 1 shop you can get loads from, its less stressful for you and them! STICK TO THE LIST!
Write all of your Christmas cards and get any in the post that need to go early. I hate writing cards so much! It’s the worst job for me. I tend to sit with a gin and lemonade one night and my favourite programme on telly and get them written! I don’t bother letting Mia sign her own name, I just get it done! I also don’t bother writing cards for Mia to take to school either but if this is something you like to do, get the kids to do them for you.
Buy the remaining presents and aim to have your list completed by the 1st December. Remember my tip from earlier and stick to 2-3 shops max.
Probably the most exciting part – Christmas tree buying! We always had real trees up until last year so if you have real ones, get them now and if you have artificial ones stored in the loft like us, get them down! I let Mario and Mia decorate the tree’s as I’m too much of a perfectionist that I causes me stress to do it myself! Stick the Christmas CD on and get the whole family involved one afternoon!
Make a list of food you need. I tend to think of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day as ‘special’ dinner times. Are you home for Christmas or visiting family? Only buy what you will actually need. We are all guilty of going overboard! I tend to buy my food for these 3 days from Iceland and spend around £70. Most of the food lasts us for a buffet tea on New Year’s Day as well so I factor that into the spend. On Christmas week I spend the £40 weekly Tesco budget on top, so we have plenty in.
Remember to get snacks and treats for everyone as most of you will be home over the Christmas period and if your kids are anything like mine, they will be constantly eating! (If you need help planning the school hols I have you covered here too!)
Order it to be delivered in time for Christmas (most online ordering dates are open now) so you don’t even have to go to the shops, it all comes to you!
Grab a glass of wine or a G&T and start wrapping presents! We sit down together, take a child’s pile each and get them wrapped. It’s nice to do together and as I do all the planning and shopping, it’s nice for Mario to see what we have bought everyone.
If you do Christmas Eve Boxes and/or stockings, get them done too so you can sit back and relax for Christmas week!
While you’re here why not grab the FREE Gift List too!