5 things you can do now to have a stress-free Christmas

5 things you can do now to have a stress-free Christmas

Tick these ‘to do’s’ off your list in November for a happy (and somewhat smug) December.

The festive season can often pass by in a blur of shopping, cooking and putting up decorations, and then it’s all over before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy yourself.

This year, why not tick a few things off the checklist before December’s even started? Then you can put your feet up and feel as smug as Santa on Christmas morning.

Crack your Christmas shopping

Dedicate a weekend this month to getting all your Christmas shopping done. Yes, all of it.

Make a list of all the people you need to buy presents for and put a few ideas for each or jot down what their hobbies and interests are. Do some online shopping, using gift sites (notonthehighstreet.com, buyagift.com, firebox.com or prezzybox.com, for example) for inspiration and saving the links to any good items.

Then hit the shops, heading for department stores to do the bulk of the shopping, and then more niche stores to fill in the gaps. Use the ideas on your list for inspiration and buy anything you find that you prefer to what you saw online.

Anyone you haven’t found something for at the shops, click on the online shopping link you saved for them and buy it. Done!

Check for essentials

Every year we save any leftover wrapping paper and gift tags and every year we forget we did that and go and buy new ones. So if you’re anything like us, have a rummage to unearth any saved Christmas bits from last year and then stock up on what you need.

Also make sure you’ve got a good pair of scissors, some working pens (red and green ones add a festive touch) and lots of Sellotape.

Buy your Christmas cards now, too. And if you hate writing lots of them in one go, keep your address book and cards in a bag by the side of the sofa so you can get a few written at a time over the coming weeks.

Start your food order

If you do your Christmas food shop online (and if not, why not? It’s so much easier!), get your order in as soon as the delivery slots are up for grabs. You can update it over the coming weeks, but at least you know you’ve got a slot.

If you’re hosting this year, make a list of who is coming on the Big Day. Use that to work out how many people you’re feeding for each meal. Remember to make a note of how many vegetarians there are – sprinkling grated cheese on a few Brussels sprouts won’t magically turn them into Christmas lunch!

Also remember to stock up for the weeks running up to Christmas as you’re likely to receive more guests and visits from the family than usual as everyone gets into the holiday spirit.

Check your party outfits

Doesn’t it always seem to be that the dress you choose to wear to the party is also the one that has a stain on it, which you only spot as you’re about to walk out the door?

So, before party season gets going, go through your outfits and treat any stains by sponging them with some Ariel Liquid Gel before putting the item through the wash.

Also look for any holes, straps or loose buttons that need sewing and take care of them now so you can focus on getting glam come party day.

Prep your guest room

If you’ve got people staying over you don’t want a last-minute panic over the state of your guest room, which likely doubles up as a storage room.

Clear it out, putting what you can in the loft or under the bed and in cupboards, and hoover the carpet. Wash the bedding and guest towels using Ariel with Febreze to get rid of any mustiness and make them smell lovely for longer. Make sure there’s hanging space in the wardrobe and spare hangers, and spritz the air with some Febreze.

Bring on Christmas!

How do you get ahead with your Christmas prep? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The daft stuff

Lesley 24/12/2016

Write a to do list for eachday and add a couple of item's extra each week or month when shopping

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