Countdown to Christmas with our foolproof plan and make the lead up to the main event run smoothly
When it comes to Christmas do you normally have all good intentions of planning ahead so the lead up runs smoothly only to find yourself rushing around the week before? Fear not! Our four-week Christmas countdown plan will make the run up to Christmas hassle-free so you can enjoy the festivities.
By now you would have already written a list of people you need to buy Christmas presents for and worked out your budget. If you haven’t, make sure you ask family and friends if there’s anything specific they would like and get the children to write their letters to Father Christmas. Don’t forget to post them to Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ.
Four weeks before
If you’re having an artificial tree, order it now while it’s in stock and so you have time for it to be delivered. Check your existing decorations and see if you need anymore and check the tree lights are working!
If you’re ordering presents online, do it now. Popular items may have a longer delivery time. Some stores offer a free collect from store service, use this where possible to save on delivery costs or order items in one go so you only pay one delivery charge.
Plan what you will be cooking on Christmas Day and write a list of all the ingredients you will need. Pre-order your turkey and other Christmas food now, most supermarkets will let you order up until 15th December.
Also, don’t forget to buy your Christmas cards and wrapping paper now before the big rush in the few weeks before Christmas.
Three weeks before
Start wrapping your presents! Even better, wrap as you buy them and you won’t end up with 20 to wrap on Christmas Eve! If you’re feeling really organised use a different colour wrapping paper for each member of the family so it’s easy to hand out presents on the day.
If you’re having a real tree buy it now and make sure you water it regularly so it stays in top condition for the whole Christmas period.
Write and send your Christmas cards and check Christmas posting dates. It’s 21 December for First Class, 19 December for Second Class and 4-18 December for international (depending on which country).
Read more: 10 signs Christmas has officially arrived
Two weeks before
Think about your Christmas table, make your own place settings, check you have enough plates, glasses and cutlery.
Buy store cupboard ingredients like drinks, batteries and bin bags now so you only have to shop for a few fresh ingredients the few days before Christmas. Don’t forget the foil!
One week before
Get the spare room ready for when guests come to stay. Provide a basket with everyday essentials they may need and pop towels and extra blankets on the bed in case they need them.
If you’re the hostess on Christmas Day set your TV to record your favourite shows now so you can catch up with them over a nice post-Christmas duvet day.
Three days before
Go food shopping for your final bits and pieces. Pick up your turkey and all the vegetables. Go armed with a list so you remember everything you need. Check supermarket opening times, some are open extra early so you can shop in peace!
Check you have enough chairs for everyone to sit around the dinner table, if you’re borrowing anything from friends or family get it now so it’s not a last minute rush.
The day before
Chill the drinks ready for when guests arrive, lay the dining table and decide where everyone is sitting. Don’t forget the crackers!
Prepare as much food as you can in advance, peel vegetables, make the stuffing and write a cooking timeline so you know when everything needs to be cooked.
Charge up phones, iPads, cameras and other devices you’re likely to use on Christmas Day.
How will you be preparing for the Christmas countdown?