Top tips in the countdown to Christmas
Top tips in the countdown to Christmas
With only seven weeks to go until Christmas, now is the time to accelerate your preparations with these top tips to help your festive preparations run as smoothly as possible.
Week Commencing the 6th November - 7 Weeks To Go
- * If you haven’t done so already, get any transport requirements booked for your Christmas journeys to save money with advanced fares and make sure you can get to where you need to be on time.
- * Get you Christmas Planner out, or order it from https://www.fromyoutome.com/christmas-planner1.html, and start filling the sections planning cards you need to send and gifts you need to purchase. Start making your own list for Santa in case someone asks you what you would like this year.
- * Start thinking about your festive menu, who you will entertain and when and if you shop online, book your delivery slot. Order your meat from the butcher or if you prefer frozen, spread the costs over the weeks and buy some items each week making sure you have enough room in the freezer. An alternative is to place your order online for collection at your local supermarket.
- * Make your Christmas cake. Don’t forget to soak your fruit from Friday (for 48 hours). This bloats the fruit and helps keep your cake moist and stop all the alcohol from burning off when it is cooked.
- * Some people make it earlier, but now is enough time to allow it to mature and be ‘fed’ so that it is delicious by the time Christmas arrives. Pop your favourite recipe in the planner so it’s handy every year.
Week Commencing the 13th November - 6 Weeks To Go
- * Plan your shopping days, check out if your favourite supplier is running a sale or a pre-Christmas event with discounts. Shop Small Business Saturday which is the 25th November so a trip into the local town is likely to see fun events and offers. Our Christmas event ‘Create Kindness’ is running from 20th November to the 27th so make sure you check out https://www.fromyoutome.com/ and use the code “CreateKindness” for 25% off all products.
- * Look out for free events that make great days out with or without the kids. From turning on the Christmas lights to Christmas markets. Churches and school often have craft fairs where you can pick up something a bit different and search for Christmas pop up stores which are becoming more frequent now as closed stores open with a new offering for a few months in the run up to the festive season.
- * Send a personalised count down to Christmas advent calendar to someone special. With a lovely message or a memory a day from the first of December until Christmas Eve. Lasts longer than chocolate!
- * If you are making Christmas cards for close family and friends now is the time to get started not forgetting to update your Christmas Planner as you go along.
- * If you are sending gifts to Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta or Turkey you need to get these to the post office before 24th November 2023.
Week Commencing the 20th November - 5 Weeks To Go
- * Black Friday starts this week, traditionally for four days, on the 24th although it does seem to be getting earlier and earlier. There are bargains to be had, but don’t delay in ordering because a supplier may sell out and you want it to be shipped to you before the madness of Cyber Monday when all the purchases from the weekend are dispatched.
- * Sunday is stir-up-Sunday 26th which is when the Christmas pudding is traditionally made. Get each member of the family to stir the pudding and make a wish.
- * Start writing those Christmas cards so that you aren’t doing it all in one day making it a chore. Plan to write the ones to people you are going to see over the next few weeks so that you can save money on postage by handing the card over personally.
- * Think environmental, avoid plastic, and give something meaningful. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, time spent with someone is such a precious gift it shouldn’t be underestimated. A personalised book of giftable tickets is a great way to gift something precious for little cost https://www.fromyoutome.com/product-ranges/giftable-tickets.html
- * If you are sending gifts to Western Europe, you need to get these to the post office before 27th November 2023.
Week Commencing the 27th November - 4 Weeks To Go
- * Buy wrapping paper and ribbons so that once you have what you need and can wrap as you go along rather than all on one night. Add labels so that you know who they are for and do keep a list of what you have wrapped in your journal so that you don’t have to prize open the corners to work out what the gift is!
- * Get you decorations out and check the lights work. Buy an additional tree decoration to celebrate the year you’ve just had making it a fun family tradition when you decorate the tree and the house in December remembering when and where you bought the decoration.
- * Not the most pleasurable task, but deep cleaning the fridge and oven before they are filled with festive fare.
Week Commencing the 4th December - 3 Weeks To Go
- * Time to get your Christmas tree ready, either from the attic and make sure it hasn’t been eaten by mice or if you prefer a real one, get your tree through this week and keep it outside for a while standing in a bucket of water so that the central heating doesn’t dry it out too much.
- * Last order date for FROM YOU TO ME personalised gifts is the end of this week so order early to make sure they are with you in time.
- * This is a good week to clear out the freezer by either eating what is in there or throwing it away if it has been there too long. Make space for Christmas food preparations and / or frozen leftovers.
- * Get all Christmassy by visiting Christmas displays at local garden centres. Go early on the weekend or in the week to avoid the crowds. Treat yourself to a Christmas candle.
- * Finalise planning the meals in your planner so that you have your complete shopping list. Start buying in food items that don’t perish particularly if they are on offer – pickled onions (which are mostly only ever eaten at Christmas in our house), crackers, chutney etc.
Week Commencing the 11th December - 2 Weeks To Go
- * Stock up the freezer with homemade meals and any Christmas items that you can make ahead such as stuffing, gravy, soups, bread sauce, pigs in blankets, mince pies . . .
- * Stocking fillers can add up to be expensive so look out for 3 for 2 offers, bargains in charity shops or make your own.
- * Last order date for FROM YOU TO ME off the shelf gifts is the end of this week so order early to make sure they are with you in time.
- * If you have guests staying, now might be a good idea to check you’ve everything you need and if you are using blow up beds, check they still work!
- * Post your Christmas cards second class post to save money. Last postage dates for 2023 are Monday 18th December for second class and Tuesday 19th December for first class.
Week Commencing the 18th December – 1 Week To Go
- * If you have a frozen turkey it takes more than a few hours to defrost, often a few days. Check the instructions on the wrapping and take it out in enough time.
- * Finish that wrapping so that Christmas Eve is relaxed and as stress free as possible.
- * If you are not doing an online shop, beat the supermarket crowds by going early in the morning. Not only will this reduce the time at the tills, but the overnight stocking of the shelves will mean everything you need should be available.
- * Order you 2024 diary so that it arrives in time for the New Year https://www.fromyoutome.com/product-ranges/diaries-calendars.html
- * Make up guest beds, stock bathrooms with shower gel and toilet paper, check the travel plans of any guests. If you enjoy playing games over the festive period, get them out ready and make sure all the parts are there.
- * Get ahead with the main meal by preparing the vegetables the night before. Peel and trim your carrots and parsnips and then keep them submerged in water overnight in the fridge. For potatoes, peel and parboil them to stop them going brown, then they are ready to roast in the oven on Christmas day. If you can, prepare the table to give the house a nice festive feel.
- * Try to find some time for yourself to relax. This is a wonderful time to be spent with family and friends. Making memories and having fun is the most important gift at this special time of year.
Hope this all helped and Merry Christmas!