• Decide on the type of tree you are going to have, arrange the decorations and Decorate your Christmas tree with the family.
  • If you haven’t made your own Christmas Puddings then I can highly recommend Figgy’s Christmas Puddings. They are the only commercial pudding I’ve tasted that really as good as a homemade pudding.
  • Shop online to avoid the crowds on the High Street and for the best deals and choice.  If you haven’t already and normally shop online for your groceries then try and secure your delivery slot with your favourite supermarket now.
  • Keep an eye on the last post dates.
  • If a friend or member of your family have a birthday over Christmas think carefully and consider the correct etiquette – click here for our Christmas Birthdays guide.
  • If you haven’t already agreed venues for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day with family and friends it’s best to get this agreed as early as possible.
  • If you’ve been invited to dinner at someone elses stock up on some nice bottles of wine now.
  • Make sure you have a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and tick the names off as you buy the gifts.
  • Try and keep a few spare items at home which will make good last minute gifts for people you may have forgotten.
  • If you haven’t already done so send out all your Christmas cards or tell friends that this year you will be donating the money that you would have wasted on Christmas cards, postage etc to charity and encourage them to do the same.
  • If you will be entertaining then get cooking early.  Many items such as mince pies, sausage rolls and casseroles can be cooked in advance and put into the freezer until required.  If you put greaseproof paper between mince pies when you freeze them you can get a few out at a time and defrost them as required or warm them in a microwave and dust with icing sugar before serving.
  • Make sure you buy your Christmas Crackers well in time for Christmas so that you have a good choice.
  • Don’t forget to order your meat from the butchers and arrange a time to have it delivered or pick it up.
  • Phone friends and family overseas.  If you don’t already use Skype then now is a good time to get it installed.  It’s free and allows you to talk to friends and family around the world via your PC, iPhone or iPod free of charge.  If your PC or Mac has a video camera installed you can also have a video call with them for free.
  • Plan for bad weather.  It’s likely that December will see the first snow of the year.  Even if it doesn’t snow it will be frosty.  Make sure you have salt for paths and plenty of de-icer for guests cars.   I also like to make sure I have candles and a torch at hand in case of power cuts.
  • If you have Children at school you’ll probably have to attend events in the run up to Christmas.  Make sure you’ve got these on your calendar and planned well in advance to attend.
  • Make sure you have all the wine and drinks you are going to need for the Christmas period.  Don’t forget to cater for the drivers by buying in soft drinks and fruit juice.  Make sure you know who is driving and be responsible and make sure the driver doesn’t drink.
  • If you’ve made your own Christmas cake then you can use a cocktail stick and make a few holes in it and dribble on a little of your favourite rum or whisky.   Let these soak in for the week or two before you ice the cake.
  • Think back to last Christmas or the last time you cooked a big roast lunch for all the family and consider if an extra shelf in your oven would have been useful.  Spare or extra oven shelves are available from about £5 on Amazon.  This simple addition can really take some stress out of cooking on Christmas Day.
  • Need a last minute gift? Don’t be tempted to buy someone Gift Vouchers or Gift Cards. In recent years a number of large retailers have gone out of business early in the New Year making any vouchers or gift cards they have issued worthless. Even if they continue to trade many of the vouchers they issue have short use by dates and in many cases the retailer won’t give change for items costing less than the voucher value. My advice is to write them a cheque, give cash or even consider buying them a premium bond – as a bit of fun. See a blog I’ve written about Christmas Gift Vouchers.
  • Plan some quality time with the family and arrange some special treats for example:


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