It’s the most wonderful time of the year… if you enjoy being stressed that is. Christmas seems to sneak up on us every single year – there is so much to plan and organise that it can all become quite overwhelming.
Good news, we can help you beat the Christmas rush by getting prepared and taking back control. Our tried and tested tips will show you how to get your food, decorations and gifts organised to create a Christmas period that is fabulous, and not chaotic. You may even have the chance to put your feet up when all is done.
Whether you're having an intimate family dinner on Christmas Eve, or a full traditional Christmas Day lunch with up to 20 guests, you'll need to plan your food carefully. It is important to create that Christmassy feel with everyone’s favourite food, but also to ensure there aren’t too many leftovers.
First of all decide on the main event, which is of course Christmas lunch. Choose between a traditional roasted turkey, glazed ham or something lighter such as freshly shucked oysters and barbecued seafood – and don’t forget those who don’t eat meat; nut roasts are usually a popular option.
From there, add what you'd like such as appetiser, side dishes and dessert so you can calculate portion size and how much you will need to buy.
Remember getting as much done in advance is vital, so make sure there’s room in the fridge. Buy frozen goods as early as possible to avoid missing out during the Christmas rush.
Most of us have plenty of boxes filled with decorations that we reuse each December, there's a real sense of tradition as familiar favourites join in the Christmas fun again. However, that doesn't mean we have to use all of our decorations, all of the time.
Why not flip the theme around every now and again, it is fun and creative and can involve simply leaving one colour out of your regular combination and adding a new one in.
Once you know the look you're after, check through all your decorations and decide which ones you'll need this year and put away the rest.
Using fairy lights? Here are some pro-tips:
Test fairy lights for faulty bulbs ahead of Christmas and replace where necessary
If possible use LED lights they’re more energy-efficient than older-style fairy lights and will continue to shine if one bulb goes out.
Sure, the super organised will have been shopping all through the year, finding ideal presents and storing them away until the big day.
However, with a little preparation, there's still time for the rest of us to prepare for the Christmas season.
If you'd rather not avoid the shopping centres and crowds, then why not take your Christmas shopping online? Most online retailers offer gift wrapping for a small fee (sometimes they are even free) and it can be sent straight to the lucky recipient's door in time for Christmas.
A simple tip - homemade presents are always well received. Beautifully wrapped seasonal treats are a brilliant idea.
If you're worried about toys this Christmas, read our tips for toy storage in your living room.