The Complete Guide To Being Organized For Christmas

November 26, 2021

The Complete Guide To Being Organized For Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas? 

Maybe yes, maybe no.

This guide will help you get ready for Christmas

The very simple way to start is to make a list. Once you have a list, everything is so much more manageable. 

Advance holiday planning truly puts you in charge, and can help alleviate all those unpleasant things that can come with Christmas if you don't prepare early; stress, debt, and chaos!

  1. Work out a budget

Before you even start really thinking about getting ready for Christmas, you need to work out your budget so that you can prepare wisely. 

Remember to involve everything you will need. This includes; food, decorations, presents, outings, obligatory tacky jumpers…even postage stamps for Christmas cards and parking at the shopping centre. 

When planning your budget, consider the prices of gifts, holiday cards, decorations, travel, and Christmas Day and Christmas Eve meals. Looking at prices online is an easy way of gauging how much everything will cost

Work out what you will need to spend and where and write it all down. You can then get a better idea of how to manage your money, without any unnecessary splurges closer to the big day.

  1. Start filling in your calendar

December and the lead up to Christmas is manic. 

Make sure you start filling in your calendar and diary with everything from parties, to school events, family gatherings, term times and anything else that might slip your mind.

If you have kids at school, make sure to include when they break up and any festive plays that might be thrown. 

Planning on ordering a ham turkey? Make a note of when you can order and when you can pick it up. Don't be scared of being pedantic. Go as far as jotting down the days to do the big Christmas food shop – the more organised you are now, the better it will be then.

So here is our complete guide to being organized for Christmas

Christmas Tree Decorations

Preparing for Christmas early is a savvy way of avoiding stress and chaos in the December holiday frenzy. 

If you are feeling stressed, spend a few minutes reading through our tips on how to beat holiday stress to put you back on the right track. 

Make this  holiday season your most organized Christmas yet by planning ahead with this comprehensive Christmas preparation guide. 

Starting two months in advance, this Christmas countdown checklist will teach you when to do everything from making Christmas cards to cooking Christmas Eve dinner. 

With job and family obligations that don't take a holiday it can be difficult to even think about Christmas preparations, but this list makes it simple and fun!

Days 49 - 43: 7 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (November 6th)

Create a Holiday Calendar: Piece together a thorough holiday calendar for yourself so that you stay on track for all your Christmas preparations. 

To maximize efficiency, reference this checklist frequently. 

Be sure to list out any family dinners, school recitals, and work parties so you can have a good understanding of what days will be free to accomplish some of your important planning tasks. 

Order Online Gifts: Get ahead of the game and begin ordering presents that must be purchased online by consulting the Christmas prep list you made in when setting your budget. They may take a long time to arrive, so the sooner you order, the better.

Start Planning Your Christmas Card: Have you recently been married, had a baby, moved into a new home ? If so, you might want to select a Christmas card that announces that milestone. 

Whether you do that or not, you should consider what kind of Christmas card you want. 

Days 42 - 36: 6 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (November 13th)

Finalize Christmas Day Plans: Decide who among your family/friends is going to host Christmas. If you're not hosting, prepare for Christmas by buying a ticket as soon as possible if travel is required to get to your host. 

Make any other travel arrangements you'll need as well, like booking a pet sitter and adding packing to your Christmas to-do list.

If you are hosting, start planning the guest list. If there's any chance guests will be staying in your home, plan where they'll stay, and see if you need to do anything else to accommodate them.

Create Your Christmas Card List: Begin making a list of who you want to send your Christmas cards to. 

Christmas Tree Decorations

Days 35 - 29: 5 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (November 20th)

Audit Your Christmas Decorations/Supplies:

Check your stowed away boxes to see what Christmas supplies you already have from last year before preparing for Christmas 2021 with new decorations. 

Additionally see if you need anything for your home, especially if you're the host. 

Write down everything you need. You might also want to pick something up just for fun, such as holiday-themed napkins.

Check Your Wrapping Paper: 

The last thing you want is to be short on wrapping paper in the middle of wrapping gifts!

If you need more wrapping paper or just want some new designs, consider getting a mix of anything from classic Christmas wrapping paper customizable wrapping paper of your family photos 

Order Your Holiday Cards: 

After you've perfected your Christmas card design, it's time to place your order! Make sure to order a few extras to send greetings to armed services members spending the holidays overseas and a few more, just in case. 

You may even want to keep a couple copies for yourself. Don't forget to buy accessories for your Christmas cards to elevate their look.

Wax seals ribbon envelope liners , and return address labels are perfect tools to uplift your Christmas card's elegance.

Days 28 - 22: 4 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (November 27th)

Shop Online Sales: 

Take advantage of the great sales that many companies launch during this time of the year to purchase gifts for your friends and family. 

Be mindful of your budget and keep your gift lists on hand. In addition to gifts and holiday supplies, you may consider buying other things like Christmas decorations, gingerbread house-making kits, or advent calendars.

Purchase a Few Extra Gifts: It's always a good idea to buy some additional presents to have on hand. It never hurts to have an extra bottle of wine or a box of chocolates to give to someone who unexpectedly shows up, or to someone you don't have as many gifts for.

Stock up on Batteries: One of the most commonly forgotten, yet one of the most versatile, items for any Christmas preparation list is batteries. It may be beneficial to purchase some spare batteries, even if you're positive you don't need them – you may end up saving the day for somebody else.

Put International Gifts in the Mail: Once you have all of your purchases, mail any gifts to overseas friends and family who live abroad, as it might take a long time to send.

Communicate Christmas Party Details: If you are the host of the Christmas festivities this year, give your guests a plan. Include when they should arrive, what they should wear, and what they should bring. 

The sooner you communicate this to your guests, the sooner you'll know if anyone has to arrive late, change plans, or cancel. Knowing this information will help you plan for your holiday get-together appropriately. 

Buy a Christmas Tree: Turn this into a fun family event by going on an excursion to pick the tree as a group. Then, decorate the tree with your friends and family, using your old ornaments as well as any new ones you may have purchased.

Christmas Tree

 

Days 21 - 15: 3 Weeks Before Christmas (December 4th)

Clean up the House: At the beginning of December, clean your home thoroughly. Cleaning early will prepare you for a much more organized Christmas week. 

Try to keep everything clean until Christmas. Don't forget to clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Throw out old or expired items from Thanksgiving, and take it as an opportunity to reset before the New Year.

Distribute Advent Calendars: Passing out the advent calendars on the first day of December is a great way to start the official Christmas countdown for 2021. 

This is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit, especially because it'll last every day until Christmas.

 If you have other holiday traditions that begin in December, start those as well. This might include The Elf on the Shelf or reading your children a different Christmas story every night.

Put up Decorations: Time to unbox those ornaments, lights, yard decorations, tinsel, and everything else you use to make your homestead look like a winter wonderland! 

You may want to skim through our collection of possible Christmas mantle themes . This is such a magical part of Christmas preparations, and it's always more fun when the whole family gets involved!

Enjoy Some Christmas Activities: Do holiday-themed activities with your kids to ease their Christmas excitement, such as making gingerbread houses or decorating cookies with red and green frosting. 

Mail Your Christmas Cards: By now you've probably received your Christmas cards in the mail, and it's time to send them. make sure to make an envelope for every person on your list before putting the cards in the mail.


Days 14 - 8: 2 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (December 11th)

Plan Your Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Menus: As part of your Christmas planning, make sure to accommodate for the dietary restrictions of everyone you'll be serving. 

Consider what dishes your family members like and dislike. When you're finished, run the tentative menu by one or two people to see if they have any suggestions before finalizing it.

After doing this, make a cooking timeline. Which items can you cook a few days in advance and freeze, and which must wait until the day of?

Order Special Food Items: Some stores require you to order a fresh turkey or ham up to 10 days in advance. If you want to cook one of those things, check with your local grocery store to see how and when you can place this order, and note it on your holiday planning checklist.

Display the Holiday Cards You Receive: Once you start receiving other people's holiday cards, make a card display out of them! Here are some ideas:

Use ribbon and clips to tastefully display them on your cabinets

Hang them from to string lights around your home

Use magnets to attach them to your fridge

Pin them onto a pinboard

Clip them onto the Christmas tree

Christmas Gift

 

Days 7 - 1: 1 WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS (December 18th)

Go On the Final Big Grocery Run: Go grocery shopping at the end of this week or the beginning of the next one -- and don't forget to take your Christmas to-do list with you! 

You'll want to buy your perishable groceries about 3 to 4 days in advance. While you're at the grocery store, take off some of your stress by buying pre-made treats – like unfrosted gingerbread cookies – that can be frozen until Christmas.

Hang the Stockings: Put up a stocking for everyone in your home. If you don't have a fireplace, crafting a faux mantel from cardboard boxes can be a festive part of Christmas prep for the kids. 

You can add items to them now or wait until Christmas Eve, depending on your preference.

Begin Cooking: Stick to your cooking timeline and cook the dishes that you can freeze. Don't leave all of the cooking until Christmas Eve.

Shop adorable kids aprons and oven mitts.

CHRISTMAS WEEK (December 21 - 25)

Wrap Your Gifts: This item on the Christmas to-do list always takes longer than you anticipate. This is a seemingly easy task, but you'll be glad you didn't wait until Christmas Eve when you check it off your holiday planning checklist early.

Make a Christmas Playlist: Let everyone in the family contribute their favorite holiday tunes to the playlist, and keep it playing in your house.

Perform a Final House Inspection: If you're hosting, do a final check of your home. Check your holiday organizer to see if there's anything else you need to do to make sure your place is ready for guests.

CHRISTMAS EVE (December 24th)

Turn on the Christmas Movies: As you approach the end of your Christmas countdown, have a Christmas movie marathon ! Christmas movies are jolly, family-friendly, and are great for setting the holiday mood.

If you are in a cold climate and have a fireplace, light a fire. Crackling fires are aesthetically pleasing, warm, and will fill your home with a Christmas smell. If you don't have a fireplace, it can be fun to turn to a fireplace channel on the TV.

Charge Your Camera and/or Video Camera: Make sure you don't miss documenting any of the memorable holiday events.

Complete Any Christmas Eve Traditions: If you don't have any, start a new one! For example, have each child in the family sign their name with the year on the back of a new ornament and then hang it on the Christmas tree. Or consider adding some holiday traditions from around the world to your Christmas 2021 plans.

Leave Out Biscuits and Milk: Santa is going to be hungry!

Track Santa's Whereabouts: Find an online Santa tracker for the children to watch throughout the night for that all-important Christmas countdown.

Display the Presents: Sneakily put all of the gifts under the tree after the children have gone to sleep.

CHRISTMAS DAY (December 25th)

Make Christmas Drinks: After waking up, make some drinks that remind you of Christmas, such as hot chocolate or peppermint mochas.

Open Presents!: Yay

Christmas Decoration

After Christmas

After many weeks of following this Christmas preparation checklist, you will have successfully finished your most organized Christmas ever. Before throwing in the towel, don't forget about these last few things.

Enjoy all of the leftovers to minimize food waste.

Now that your children have many new gifts, help them pick out a few things they've outgrown. After helping them, pick out a few things for yourself that you no longer need, and donate all of these items to charity.

Carefully put away all of your Christmas decorations and unused wrapping paper or supplies to save for next year -- which is actually how to prepare for Christmas all over again!

Recycle wrapping paper that was torn apart. You can also save and reuse gift bags for next year.

Dispose of your Christmas tree.

Thank you cards to everyone who gave you a gift! If you have children, make sure they do this as well.

What should you do with all of the beautiful Christmas cards you've received from your friends and family? Are you tight on storage space, but can't bear to throw them away? One option is to make crafts out of the Christmas cards. You can make them into bookmarks, gift tags, or even ornaments for next year.

Didn't get around to sending your Christmas cards, send a New Year photo card 

Whether you're having an intimate Christmas gathering or a huge Christmas party, this Christmas countdown checklist will ensure that you remember everything you need for a successful holiday season. 

Although the end of the year can feel rushed and stressful, staying organized and sticking to this list will make the months go by as smoothly as possible. 

Don't forget to have fun with your Christmas activities and enjoy being around the people you love as the most important part of preparing for Christmas

Additional tips to get you organised for Christmas

Christmas Dinner Tips

  1. Make your pudding on Stir Up Sunday

The first step to ensuring your dinner is done ahead of time is to get your pudding sorted in November. Here, the best bet is to follow the tradition of Stir Up Sunday, the day when puddings were traditionally made ahead of Christmas. Falling on the Sunday before the beginning of advent, this is a great way of getting into the Christmas spirit and getting ahead with your preparations.

  1. Make your mincemeat

If you can't imagine Christmas without mincemeat pies and tarts, consider getting your fruit mix ready at the beginning of December, and leaving it in a well-sealed jar until needed. Not only will this cut down on the time needed to make your goodies, it will also guarantee you a much better flavour.

  1. Roll up brandy butter

Get your brandy butter organised up to three weeks before Christmas day. Once done, roll it into a log and wrap in several pieces of plastic wrap. Secure the ends and then pop it into the freezer until needed.

  1. Freeze your cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is a classic pairing with roast turkey, and you can get yours done and added to the freezer before the big day. Simply cool the completed sauce and freeze it in a well-sealed container. To defrost, place it in the fridge overnight and then warm through before serving.

  1. Get a head start on stuffing

If you're stuffing your chicken or turkey, mix it together the night before and store it in a bowl in the fridge. Alternatively, you can make it up to three weeks ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the freezer. However, don't add the stuffing to the bird until just before it goes into the oven to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

  1. Mix together sauces and marinades

If you're adding a simple green salad, creamy prawn cocktail or zingy herb salad to your table, get the sauces made up two days ahead. Simply store the finished dressings to airtight jars and pop them into the fridge until needed.

  1. Clean your prawns

If you're using prawns, get them clean and ready to use the day before. Once clean, place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave them in the fridge overnight.

  1. Prep veggies the day before

If you're planning on having a traditional roast, start prepping the veggies the day before. Carrots, parsnips and any other root veggies can be parboiled for 12 minutes, then refreshed in cold water, wrapped snugly in plastic wrap and stored in the bottom of the fridge. Onions can be peeled, chopped and stored away in a snaplock bag until the next day.

  1. Peel your spuds

Get a head start on your potatoes by peeling them the night before and then placing them in a bowl of water covered with a tea towel and placed in the fridge. Alternatively, par boil them the day before and roast them until they're pale golden. 

Drain off any excess fat and allow them to cool. On the day, pop them back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until crunchy and golden.

  1. Lay the table

If your table won't be needed first thing in the morning, consider getting it all ready the night before. If this is impossible, get all the crockery, cutlery, linen and decorations organised and place them in a designated spot, ready to quickly put together the next day.

Menu Planning

Whether you're having an intimate family dinner on Christmas Eve or a full-blown traditional Christmas Day lunch, you'll need to carefully plan a menu so there's a sense of abundance and celebration without too many leftovers.

Firstly, decide what type of food you'd like to have on the day; for instance traditional roasted turkey, glazed ham or something lighter such as freshly shucked oysters and barbecued seafood.

From there, add what you'd like such as appetiser, entree, side dishes and dessert so you can calculate portion size and how much you will need to buy.

Christmas Decoration

For those of us who have boxes of Christmas decorations we pull out each December, there's a lovely sense of tradition as familiar favourites once again see the light of day. But that doesn't mean we have to use all of our decorations, all of the time.

Changing the theme on occasion is fun and creative and can involve simply leaving one colour out of your regular combination and adding a new one. You could even try your hand at making your own decorations , which are sure to become sentimental pieces you'll use again each year.

Start with the fairy lights, beginning at the base of the tree, weaving them along each branch from top to trunk, until you reach the top.

Drape any garlands or tinsel, starting from the top and work your way down.

Finish with ornaments, stepping back from time to time to check placement, and ending with your favourite tree topper.

Think about your table setting

When it comes to table settings , a plain white dinner set can be easily dressed with coloured or textured napkins, low candles and floral arrangements.

A natural palette might involve your best cutlery sets tied together with twine and a rustic cardboard name tag sitting on top of each place setting.

Gifts

The truly organised will have been shopping throughout the year, finding perfect presents and storing them away until December. They might even have scored themselves an advent calendar or two for the family - starting the gifting early and making every day in the lead up feel like Christmas morning.

For the rest of us, with a little planning, there's still plenty of time to prepare for the season with a minimum of fuss.

When purchasing gifts, take advantage of the extended trading hours many shops offer in the lead-up to Christmas and their in-store gift-wrapping services. It's the small things that can make all the difference to your stress levels during the so-called 'silly season'.

Wrap gifts yourself or take advantage of wrapping services available in shopping centres. Many online retailers offer gift-wrapping services too!

Personal planning

If you're off for a post-Christmas holiday, making arrangements for pets. Kennels fill up quickly, however there are pet-sitting services that involve someone coming to your house to feed the animals while you're away. Or, you could even try these pet-friendly Airbnbs 

By attending to any little repair jobs around the house as early as possible, you'll give yourself more time for the fun part of decorating your space . Most of the time, a thorough clean will make your home sparkle.

Preparing for guests

If guests are coming to stay, prepare the guest bedroom by making sure you have enough linen and blankets and that pillows are plump and fresh: an afternoon in the sun should do the trick.

Declutter spare rooms and fill some vases with fresh foliage

It's also a good idea to stock the pantry with lots of delicious staples you can whip out for impromptu entertaining.

Merry Christmas

A little planning will make this time of year very special

Have a wonderful Christmas




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