Your Essential Christmas Countdown Checklist

8 weeks to go

 

It may not even be November just yet, but that’s no reason to avoid getting started on Christmas. Make life much easier – and tastier – closer to the time by preparing jams and chutneys now. Our recipes will impress your guests.

It’s also a good idea to roughly jot down everything you’re going to need over the next few weeks – from gift lists to finding out how many people you’ll be feeding and entertaining on the big day. Even if it’s not totally precise, it’ll make everything seem clearer in your head and minimise stress.

Make some time to set a realistic budget – it will help you stay on track when shopping gets frenzied.

7 weeks to go

 

Beat the crowds by starting your shopping now. November is a great time to tick off your present list, because you won’t be facing the masses of December shoppers, and won’t have the problem of discovering the perfect gift only to find that it’s sold out in every shop. Many high street stores will have special discounted events throughout november to entice the festive shoppers in, so keep a look out for them and

Be sure to get your Christmas cards and paper now too. The best selection will be found early on, before everyone else starts stocking up.

6 weeks to go

Start writing Christmas cards and wrapping presents. This will save having another time-consuming task to do in December, and will give you plenty of time to get them delivered. Plus, if you do get that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten someone, you can put them to one side and come back in a few days. If you’re making your own, our craft ideas will be a godsend.

Make a day of it by putting one of these spirit-lifting Christmas films on in the background (and of course, a glass of mulled wine wouldn’t hurt either…)

5 weeks to go

 

Have a baking weekend! Make things that you can freeze, and you won’t be left feeling flustered in the kitchen at the last minute. Cakes, cookies and these indulgent chocolate truffles are all sure-fire hits.

Put some Christmas songs on in the background and it’ll be a lovely festive experience.

4 weeks to go

 

Dig out old decorations, and decide whether you will need to buy any more. Will you be having a colour theme, or just throwing it all together for a more traditional look? Either way, deciding now will give you time to start buying and organising.

If you’re hosting a last-minute get-together, these 5-minute ideas for dressing your table will make your home look amazing and festive in a flash.

3 weeks to go

 

Start shopping for your tree. If you buy a real one, now is the perfect time to get it – before only the sad, bare ones are left over!

If sweeping up pine needles for the next few weeks isn’t your thing, our guide to the very best artificial Christmas trees will make picking the perfect one a doddle.

2 weeks to go

 

Make a comprehensive food list. It’s too early to buy much of the food you’ll need now, but you can organise yourself so that the food shop isn’t anywhere near as stressful as it could be! Think about everything from the alcohol you’ll need to create the perfect christmas cocktail, to the tastiest party nibbles to serve – and of course, the all-important Christmas dinner ingredients.

Choose your own outfit for the big day. After the busy few months you’ve had, you deserve to look and feel fabulous! Whether it’s a cosy festive jumper or a showstopping dress, getting it now gives you somethingto look forward to on Christmas Day.

1 week to go

It’s time for the dreaded food shop. Spend a little time beforehand researching which supermarkets have the best deals on the ingredients you’ll need, and you’ll know exactly where to go. You may have been collecting money saving vouchers in the run-up to Christmas, in which case you’ll already have a rough idea of the best deals to be had.

Most importantly – go armed with a list of everything you’ll need. It’s too easy to over-indulge during the festive period, but if you’ve planned your menu perfectly beforehand you won’t waste any more than necessary.

When this is done, spend the rest of the day delivering presents. Seeing friends and family will lift your mood, and it’s one less thing to do in the busy week running up to the day itself.

5 days to go

Don’t miss the last post delivery – send post and order any last-minute online presents now! You may have already missed the standard Christmas delivery deadline by this point, but most shops will offer a next day delivery option, or you can post first class. Leaving it any later than this may mean your gifts arrive after Christmas Day.

1 day to go

 

Prepare your food for the Christmas Dinner. Defrosted the turkey and peeling the veg now means you’ll have one less thing to do tomorrow.

Our guide to the perfect Christmas roast and our best Christmas dinner recipes will guarantee full tummies and happy faces on the big day!

Christmas Day

 

Relax, of course! Your work is done, dinner prepared, presents wrapped…it’s time to let someone else take over so you can enjoy every minute of the big day.

Only 300 days until you have to start all over again!

Want even more Christmas ideas? Visit our site for everything you could possibly need for the big day, or download the woman&home December issue now.

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