I know it is still November and I know there are actually 4 weeks and 5 days to Christmas or the Holidays or whatever you call that mad time of year. But if like me you like to enjoy the run up to Christmas hopefully this 4 week Countdown to an Organised Christmas will help you get there in one piece and without losing your patience or your marbles.
Starting from the 23rd of November I will be full steam ahead on the run down to Christmas and here is what I suggest you get done on the First week.
1. Write out your lists – I am a big believer in lists, even Santa likes to write one and check it twice so you know it is a good idea. I have a Christmas planner I bought a few years ago but if you haven’t got one I have made up some printables for you to download just print them out and pop them in a file and you can get organised too.
If you need a Christmas Card list, which you will if you are sending them, you can download that HERE – if you already have one, like me, you just need to update any new addresses and add any new people.
Next I suggest a Present List – which is downloadable HERE Hopefully you know who you are buying for this year. If you make a list and include a budget on it, it will really help you stick to it and not go mad as we are all guilty of sometimes.
Also if you can make the kids start their Santa suggestions now as it can be hard for Santa to get certain presents at the last minute. There are some very cute free downloadable one on The CraftingChicks site.
Last but not least start a Food and Drink list – plan your meal now and write down what you will need and which Supermarket will be best to get it from. That way if there is a special offer on during the run up to Christmas you could pick up what you need and save some money.
2. Organize your Christmas finances – Christmas can cost a lot and it helps if we know how much money we have to play with now and if you need to tighten the belts for a few weeks or need to tap into your savings or need to pop into the Credit Union for a loan, it is better to do it now than panic closer to the date. Make a budget and stick to it – Christmas is about fun and family and love not how much debt you can get into !!
3. Find out the last posting dates from your country which is vital, if like many of us in Ireland, you have family abroad – did you know that the last date to send cards to Australia, New Zealand ect from Ireland is December 7th ? That is not long to get presents sorted to send. You can find out all the dates from Ireland here.If you are in the Uk you can find out here and some of the dates are even earlier !!
4.Get you Christmas Pictures Taken.
If you want to send pictures with your cards or make them into cards, you better to get that organised this week. Even if, like me, you just grab the Santa hats and pop the kids on a chair and snap away ! But if you need professional help or to get people together no point waiting – get it organised now.
5. Start buying stocking fillers this week – that is if you do stocking in your house. If not start picking up those small presents that you need for Christmas swaps or Work Secret Santa’s.
6. This week start stocking up on the Christmas food and drink supplies if you can. At this stage I would get things for the freezer or the store cupboard- I suggest having a good clear out of the freezer first, so eat out of the freezer this week to make space. For the store cupboard this week I am getting baking supplies for Christmas baking.
7. Find or buy your advent calender’s – this one if mainly if you have kids but mine are nearly grown and there would be hell to pay if they weren’t up on the first of December and we have 3 in total – if like ours your need to be filled get supplies for this.
8. If you want your house spruced up for Christmas, which I know is a very popular thing in Ireland , this is the week to get that organised .
For example if you want to hire someone to clean the carpets or paint the living room this would be the week to get that booked, if you plan on doing it yourself this would be the week to make sure you have supplies to do it.
9. Finalize Family Holiday visiting plans – this is the week to nail down what everyone is doing whether you are visiting family, they are coming to you or you are running away to Hawaii – this is the week to get everyone in agreement.
I have also made a printable of the week one list so you can tick them off as you go – it is available HERE. I will be doing a new list every weekend so you can countdown to Christmas with confidence and hopefully without breaking the bank.