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Countdown to Christmas: Hints For a Stress Free Christmas

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by Sarah M (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. My blog is coming soon. Watch this space!
Published November 12th 2012
Make Christmas Magical
Countdown to Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. The shops are full of Christmas items, decorations are going up and like it or not Christmas Day will be here before you know it.

It's nice to have a Christmas Day that runs smoothly, but it's always so hectic and stressful that it's almost impossible to do. It really helps to be organised and have a plan.

Keep a notebook handy and make lists of things to do and things to buy. Decide early where you will be spending Christmas Day and plan around it.

Here are a few helpful hints to get you ready on the Countdown to Christmas.

4 Weeks to Christmas

1. Make a List. Make a gift list and start buying things when you can. Buy gifts when they are on sale and save some money or try buying on-line. Buy some general gifts to give to unexpected guests or in case you forget someone.

2. Send out Christmas cards. Maybe for a change personalise your cards or if you're really crafty make your own.

3. Make your Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding. If you plan to make your own cake and pudding for Christmas you need to make them early so they can really soak up the rum or brandy and become extra flavoursome.

4. Order Food. To avoid disappointment order your turkey, ham, chicken or seafood well in advance and arrange to pick them up a day or two before Christmas Day.

5. Advent Calendar. If you have one, your kids can start their Advent Calendar about now, traditionally on the 1st December.

6. Get Festive. Start putting up your Christmas Tree, lights and Decorations. Traditionally this is done on or just after the 1st of December. Dont forget to replace any broken decorations, ornaments or lights.

3 Weeks to Christmas

1. Drinks. Stock up on drinks for Christmas such as beer, wine and spirits. Don't forget to get plenty of soft drinks in. Buy drinks when they are on special or put in an order and pick it up a day or two before the big day.

2. Food. Buy your Christmas food items bit by bit and spread the cost out. Buy non-perishable items first or freezable items and save them.

3. Gift Wrapping. Buy wrapping paper, ribbons, gift tags etc and wrap up your gifts as you buy them.

2 Weeks to Christmas

1. Big Food Shop. It's a good idea to do a big food shop a couple of weeks before Christmas. Stock up on everything you will need on the big day. Buy snack foods, chips, nuts, lollies and nibbles and don't forget things like serviettes and bon bons.

2. Get into The Christmas Spirit. Set aside an evening to check out the local Christmas light displays or go to a Carols by Candlelight concert. Kids and adults love it and it makes for a magical evening.

3. Christmas Movies. Watch some fun Christmas movies. There are plenty of titles avaliable on DVD, some old classics like It's A Wonderful Life or White Christmas and lots of newer movies too like The Santa Clause. There are also loads of animated stories like Arthur Christmas - it's all good fun for kids and adults too.

4. Christmas Stories. Read some Christmas stories to the kids. There are loads of books with a Christmas theme around to choose from like The Night Before Christmas or The Polar Express.

1 Week to Christmas

Finishing Touches.

Do a final shop a couple of days before Christmas Day. Pick up anything fresh like fruit and vegetables or anything that you have ordered in advance. Make sure you haven't forgotten anything - make a list. Don't forget batteries for toys and cameras.

Try to prepare things as much as possible before Christmas Eve, it's a hectic time of year and the more prepared you are the smoother things will run.

Bake Christmas goodies such as cookies, gingerbread men or a gingerbread house and traditional mince pies. Home baked goodies make excellent Christmas gifts too.

Christmas Day

If you're the one who has to make Christmas dinner, start early and do as much in advance as you can. Make dishes that you can freeze or store in the fridge the day before. If you can, do things the night before, maybe set the Christmas table, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Most of all - on Christmas Day relax and have a wonderful day. Open the presents, enjoy some good food, have some fun and spend some time with your loved ones.

Above all, remember to have a very Merry Christmas.

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Why? For A Smooth Running Christmas
When: The Christmas Season
Your Comment
Thanks for the helpful tips! Anything that can reduce stress at this crazy time of year is worth doing.
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1053) 2160 days ago
I always plan to be organised then get busy and forget! I appreciate the helpful tips!
by Where I Holiday (score: 2|338) 2157 days ago
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