No sooner than Halloween is over, there will be some of us who are already putting up our Christmas decorations. Others may prefer to leave Christmas preparations until the last minute, but in times such as these it could make sense to get your home ready a little bit earlier this year.
Planning ahead is an effective way to save money and also to take the stress out of what should be a magical time.
Clearing out things that you no longer need or love can not only save you time later on but could also help you to make some extra cash from your unwanted items by selling them online. You may even come across some nice things that you could re-gift!
Build a budget plan that takes account of all the costs that you will incur over the holiday season including food, presents, travel and decorations. Work out what you can afford and make a list of how much you want to spend on each person. Think about giving presents to the children in the family only and not the adults.
We’re not suggesting that you panic buy, but stocking up on items each week will take the strain off doing a big shop nearer to that special day. Look out for special offers on non-perishable goods and store them away.
Make the most of your freezer and cross off some of the Christmas food from your to-do list leaving you more time to enjoy the festivities. Did you realise that gravy freezes well and you can make and freeze it up to 3 months ahead? The same goes for bread sauce which you can make, cool then freeze in a freezer bag or sealed container and when needed, fully defrost and stir in a splash of milk. For vegan members of the family, try cooking up a vegan nut roast which can be frozen then reheated on the day.
When do you put up your Christmas decorations? Whether that is the night before Christmas or two months before, now is the time to make some beautiful DIY Christmas decorations that you can use year after year. Do you remember paper chains? Well, they’re back in fashion. Get the children involved and create some sustainable homemade items that are both affordable and pretty.
Write down lists of your favourite Christmas music or create a playlist on one of the music streaming providers. Do the same with films and television programmes that you don’t want to miss.
If you have space you could set up a dedicated wrapping station, maybe on a desk or a chest of drawers, where you can keep, scissors, ribbon, tags, pens and wrapping paper ready to wrap presents as you buy them. If you can’t find a permanent area for a wrapping station, a genius idea is to use an ironing board. All you need to do is set up your ironing board so that it is at the right height for sitting down. This clever idea is also the perfect remedy for aching backs.
MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Sometimes Christmas can feel overwhelming but if you start early, put everything on paper and add to the list as you think of more ideas and presents, Christmas will, hopefully, be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.