A complete guide to your Christmas planning, including top Christmas planning tips. Including gems on Christmas cake, Christmas cards, santa letters amongst others for the festive period.
We’ll also talk about Christmas presents, and how to wrap presents, the holidays (maybe for the kids?!), and aid if you wish to plan ahead this year. Planning ahead ensures you don’t forget anything and should stop any last minute stress. (did you know that 26% of people suffer with stress before Christmas) There’ll be a few ideas around last minute shopping just in case you do leave it late!
Why is Christmas Important?
Christmas is a religious and cultural holiday. Originally, it was solely celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, it is a mid-Winter celebration centred around connection, joyfulness, and giving.
The Christmas spirit is all about affirming and enjoying the relationships around us. At Christmas, you can show people how much you care about them by buying them a present, cooking food, or spending quality time with each other.
Christmas is most definitely the happiest time of year, however, it does bring with it lots of stress. This Christmas Planning Guide for 2022 helps you to have the merriest Christmas ever, without the unwanted pressure.
How Do You Plan for Christmas?
Christmas planning is all about dividing up tasks and assigning deadlines to them. Let’s use the example of the family photoshoot.
In October you should make a list of deadlines for researching photographers, booking the photoshoot, and receiving the final photos. In the coming weeks and months stay committed to getting everything done by the deadline. By the time November comes around you should have already confirmed a location for the photoshoot. In December, all you need to do is take the photos and send them to family and friends.
What seemed like a mammoth task at the beginning of October has been separated into smaller segments which makes it easier to manage. Follow this same process with shopping, decorations, and other events.
When Should You Start Planning for Christmas?
You should start planning for Christmas as early as possible. Three months gives you enough time to budget and spend accordingly.
However, by October 10th – 10 weeks before Christmas – the Christmas planning should be in full swing. There’s a lot to get done at Christmas, lots of people to organise, and lots of shopping to do.
Planning ahead takes a big burden off your shoulders when December comes around. This means you can relax and enjoy the holidays without stressing about gifts, food, or decorations.
September seems far too early to start thinking about Christmas planning. However, it’s important you set a budget and commit to sticking to it. You need to know how much you can and can’t spend over the coming months. It’s an expensive time of year, you don’t want to overspend and regret it later.
You should also find time in September to think about gifts and cards. Ask questions yourself, how many do I need to buy? Who am I giving gifts to? Who am I not giving anything to? Do you have everybody’s address and contact details?
This is a crucial part of your Christmas planning! Two months before Christmas you can store extra food in the freezer. Buy meat and other freezer appropriate food to store for Christmas. You can even pre-cook meals and freeze them. This saves you a lot of time and hassle when December comes around.
It’s also a good idea to stock up on cleaning products. In the coming weeks, you will want to deep clean your house so it’s sparkling clean for guests. Start cleaning now in small doses, instead of doing all the cleaning in one day in the middle of December
Prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November. Special offers abound so you’ll save a lot of money. Ask the kids what they are expecting from Santa and pull out the shopping list you made in September.
Remember, international postage deadlines for Christmas are much stricter than domestic post. Send any international gifts and cards now to be safe, or wait until the cutoff in the middle of December. Finally, purchase advent calendars for the children and store them on the mantelpiece.
It’s officially December! One of the most exciting parts about Christmas is buying and decorating the Christmas trees (or tree if you only want 1!). Go on a family outing one weekend and choose your favourite tree. Play Christmas music while you decorate it.
By this point, you should have made huge progress on cleaning the house, if not, get stuck in. Make any sauces or soups you are planning on serving around Christmas and store them in the freezer. The shops aren’t super busy 3 weeks before Christmas, so it’s a great time to get all your Christmas presents.
Start making any homemade gifts you are giving to family and friends. You can make Christmas cards, homemade cookies, or DIY beauty products. Every handmade gift means that something extra special – you could even gift wrap it in something awesome.
2 weeks before Christmas is a good time to check you have enough cutlery, china, and glasses for all the guests you are hosting.
A week to go! The holiday season has officially begun. Ideally, by this point, you will have finished all your Christmas shopping. Wrap the presents and store them in a secret location.
Sign cards that will be sent domestically and send them by the end of the week. Schedule a quiet afternoon in your diary to bake the Christmas cake. It’ll take around 3 hours and will stay fresh for up to 5 weeks.
Plan the logistics of how Christmas Day will run. Map out a timeline for when guests will arrive, when to start cooking, who needs help with transport, and what activities you will do during the day – amongst other things.
5 days before Christmas you should also finalise small things like the Christmas playlist, cookies for Santa, and the drinks list.
Buy any last minute gifts, but be prepared for Christmas mayhem in the shops. While you’re there, get the big Christmas grocery shop done. This includes all your fresh fruit and vegetables, drinks, meat, snacks, and any other things you need. You can use this time to pick up extra decorations.
You should finish cleaning the house and decorating any neglected areas. While you are running errands, entertain the little ones with some fun Christmas activities. They can write letters to Santa, decorate a gingerbread house, or bake Christmas cookies.
On Christmas Eve, try and get all the small jobs done to make Christmas Day run smoothly. For example, you can set the table, put the presents under the tree, and prepare your home for guests.
The hardest part about Christmas Eve is choosing a festive movie the whole family will enjoy. Sit back and relax, because now it’s time to wait for Father Christmas.
Don’t forget if they haven’t already your kids should be opening their letter from santa to find out if they’re on the nice list!
The big day has finally arrived! All your planning is leading up to this moment. In the morning, open presents and enjoy breakfast with coffee. Let the kids run around and play while you start preparing Christmas lunch.
After lunch, relax with family and friends. You can play games, watch movies, or open more presents. If you’re not still stuffed with turkey, lay out some refreshments.
Make a light Christmas dinner consisting of leftovers and salad. Unwind with desert and digestifs at the end of the meal. Celebrate the end of Christmas with a toast and quality family time.
Tips for Planning the Best Christmas Ever.
Christmas planning can get very stressful, very quickly if you don’t do it right. Read on for our favourite Christmas tips for planning the best Christmas ever.
To-do lists are fantastic for keeping track of all the things you need to do. Simply note down what you need to get done on a specific day, a week, or a month. Stay committed to getting everything done in the allocated time slot. To-do lists help you stay organised, manage your time effectively, and most importantly, help you to get everything done. They are perfect for Christmas!
Christmas can be a massive financial commitment. Budgeting helps you to moderate spending and allows you to spend within your means. Buying presents for your family and friends plus decorations and food, quickly adds up.
Make a list of your whole Christmas budget and then divide it into categories. The budget should be frugal, but not unrealistic. Try to leave some room for added expenses or unexpected surprises.
Behind a successful Christmas is successful planning. Prepare everything, plan everything, and get started in September. Make to-do lists, shopping lists, and gift lists. Christmas becomes unbearable when there’s too much to do, in a small period of time. You can create your dream Christmas if you plan accordingly.
Book in Advance
Christmas is the busiest time of year for shops and businesses. You need to book your parties and events well in advance. Brainstorm what kind of celebrations you want early and book the required venue by November. You don’t want your dream Christmas ruined by a simple booking.
Don’t be too Adventurous
Christmas Day is not the time to try out a fancy new recipe. In fact, it’s the time to revisit tried and true food you know and love. You don’t want screaming children at Christmas dinner complaining because you haven’t cooked their favourite Christmas treat.
Cook the meals you have mastered. This avoids any disasters and helps you to stress a little less on cooking day. You can be a little more adventurous with presents, decorations, and events. However, there may still be some unforeseen consequences.
Decorating your house early will get it out of the way and will fill your house with festive fun. The kids will love the excitement of putting up a Christmas tree at the beginning of December, or even late November.
Decorating early also means you can make sure your entire house is accessorised. You will have time to put a small tree in the guest bedroom and hang Christmas lights in the garden. Once tinsel lines the walls you’ll be more motivated to complete the to-do list you’ve been putting off. Dust off your Christmas decorations from your storage space and start bedazzling.
Don’t Stress the Small Stuff
Christmas planning get be stressful and overwhelming. You will most definitely forget things, have cooking failures, get grumpy and miss people off your shopping list. But it doesn’t matter, because Christmas isn’t supposed to be perfect. Pick yourself up and start again. Don’t stress the small stuff – it doesn’t matter anyway.
Ask for Help
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Unfortunately, feeling overwhelmed is normal during this time of year. Your loved ones know how stressful Christmas can be, especially if you’re hosting Christmas Day festivities.
Ask people to help with cooking, decorations, or even childcare. Letting others help you will unburden your load and give you more time to prepare. All of which contribute to an enjoyable Christmas Day!
Prioritise Gift Giving
Gift-giving is the best way to show people how much you care about them. Your friends and family can tell if you have rushed into buying their presents. A gift should be personable and thoughtful. Don’t let gifting slip to the wayside.
Instead, start brainstorming ideas early. Even better, purchase gifts early. This ensures you don’t miss out on giving your loved ones something special. It’s always nice to use a lovely gift wrap or decorate your presents with gift tags for a unique touch.
Look for Deals
Christmas can be an expensive event, especially if you’re hosting. Look for deals, special offers, and bargains wherever you can find them. Saving money in small ways over a long time adds up. Your friends and family won’t care if you buy the cheapest Christmas Tree, or discounted wrapping paper.
Christmas shouldn’t be a burden. It’s about relaxing with family and friends. Always remember you should enjoy Christmas, not resent it. Don’t tire yourself out on turkeys, gifts, and putting up lights. Planning in advance helps you relax over the entire festive season. New Year’s Eve is just around the Christmas corner after all.
It speaks for itself really… Have a fun-filled Christmas! Be happy and be merry.