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Get ready for Christmas!

Eight steps to a fabulously stress-free festive season

Are you ready for Christmas? Yes, we know it’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – but only if you get organised in advance! It’s never too early to prepare for the festive season, so we’re here with some easy Christmas ideas to help you banish those last-minute panics by getting into the spirit of things with time to spare – starting today. Check out our top tips and have yourself a merry little Christmas…

All I want for Christmas...


Your Christmas to-do list is your best friend during the festive season (but sadly, we don’t mean your letter to Santa). The first step to being organised is to create a checklist of all those Christmas ideas and things you need to remember. Use a notebook, a diary, a spreadsheet, your phone’s notepad or anything convenient – the point is that it’s invaluable to have a written list of everything you need to do/buy/prepare. From Christmas cards to gift ideas, outfit choices to menus, guest lists to cleaning rotas – put everything in a list and you’ll immediately feel more organised.
Top tip: Create your own Christmas book that you can keep and refer to every year. You could even design your own festive notebook with a favourite Christmas picture on the cover.

’Tis the season to be tidy

Now is the perfect time to have a good old clear-out. A spring clean can work wonders in winter, so sweep out those store cupboards and chuck out any out-of-date items (no one’s going to finish those half-eaten fig rolls). That way, when you do your Christmas food shop, the mince pies won’t be fighting for space with Granny’s eggnog from four years ago (is it still lurking at the back of the shelf?). While you’re at it, declutter other key areas, such as the guest bedroom. The more space you make, the merrier – you’ll thank yourself later.
Top tip: Not sure what to chuck and what to keep? Apply the six-month rule: it if hasn’t been used or appreciated in six months, you don’t need it!


Santa Claus is coming to town…


…but only if you order the gifts! Start present-hunting early and you can take advantage of sales such as Black Friday, plus it gives you plenty of time to organise delivery dates. Stuck for ideas? Personalised photo gifts are the absolute perfect presents for anyone you love, so get creating! Try a photo apron for someone who loves cooking, a photo canvas of the kids for doting grandparents, a photo phone case as a teenager’s stocking filler… There’s something for everyone, so check out all the ideas here and start ordering. Then sit back and wait for them to be delivered to your door.
Top tip: Order a personalised Christmas stocking or sack for each of your kids. Put their names and photos on their stockings, and they’ll be thrilled – and it’ll help avoid any last-minute mix-ups! You could even get one for the dog…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

At least, that’s the idea, once you choose your Christmas decorations. Early planning gives you a head start when it comes to choosing colours and themes for this year’s decorations. Sort out all those bags of tinsel and fairy lights, and when it’s time to deck the halls, you can turn your home into a winter wonderland with minimum fuss. Then you can make an evening of it with the family, with hot chocolate and festive music. See how easy it is when you plan ahead?
Top tip: Make your own personalised Christmas baubles. Invest in some transparent baubles and paint and decorate them or fill them with goodies or photo prints of your family.


Spread a little Christmas cheer

Everyone loves receiving Christmas cards, so get writing them! This is one thing you can feel really good about if you do it in advance. Writing cards early on for the people you love means you can devote time to crafting a special message for each person. As an extra thoughtful gesture, you could create individual personalised photo cards – they’re something friends and family will keep forever. It’s simple to create your own photo cards – you can do it online or at your local Jessops store.
Top tip: For a full list of posting dates, check out the Post Office website.


Baby, it’s cold outside


One of the most common last-minute panics around the festive season is deciding what to wear. So it’s a great idea to get your outfits sorted in advance. Set aside some time to work out what you’ll need for all your different social events, and check you have everything you need clean, ready and waiting for you to slip into them. Whether it’s a snowman onesie, a Father Christmas outfit or a glamorous ballgown, choose it now and save yourself the outfit angst later.
Top tip: Of course, if all you want to do is stay in and snuggle on the sofa with the kids and/or your partner, treat everyone to a fleecy photo blanket to cuddle up under. For extra warmth and comfort, a hot water bottle with your favourite photo of the dog/your beach holiday/last Christmas/your baby in a Santa hat is the perfect addition. Who says you have to leave the house ever again?

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….


….Well, they will be, once you’ve done your food shopping. Food, glorious food takes up a whole planner of its own – but with several weeks to go before Christmas, you’ve still got plenty of time to plan your recipes, make your shopping lists, and get everything ready. Start by buying the non-perishables and items with a long-shelf life, like chocolates. No need to see it as a chore – focus on how good it feels to cross things off your list.!Shopping early also means you can bag a bargain and take advantage of supermarket offers, rather than panic-buying expensive ingredients at the last minute.
Top tip: Now’s a good time to think about your Christmas table, too. It’s not just about the food! From stunning centrepieces to perfect place settings, it’s fun to get creative when you have time on your side. You could allocate each place with a festive name card, or even make some Christmassy photo place mats or coasters for the table.

Let the festive season begin! Don’t forget look out for all our Christmas ideas over the next few weeks!


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