Christmas Countdown 2014

Are you one of those people who plans well ahead? Do you leave things until the last minute? Or are you lucky enough to have someone else who plans ahead and organises things for everyone?

Planning ahead can save a lot of money and frustration. Planning gives you time to buy or make great gifts and avoid those last minute panic buys. Here is a guide to help make your Christmas planning easier.

This year I am also determined to grow as much of the Christmas food as possible in my garden. Last year the rocket, beans, cucumber, sweet potato, capsicum, eggplant and various herbs all produced well. Only a few tomatoes though. Must do better next year.

September

  • Decide where you are spending Christmas and who you will invite.
  • Set budgets for gifts and entertaining. Have open discussions with family and friends about whether you are going to exchange gifts.
  • Make a gift list and to-do list.
  • Decide what decorations and gifts you will make. Christmas craft projects for under-5s can be found at 0to5 Christmas Activities
  • Decide on any household projects (cleaning, landscaping) and start/book as early as possible.
  • Book restaurants or function rooms for office parties and big functions.

October

  • Create your Christmas card list and buy or order cards
  • Work on craft projects.
  • Work on household projects.
  • Check last years Christmas tree, decorations, etc.
  • Book venues for Christmas Parties and/or Christmas Day if you are eating out.
  • Planning a BBQ? Get your supplies and even go on a BBQ cooking course.
  • Start buying gifts.
  • Write Christmas cards.

November

  • Post international cards.
  • Buy Christmas hampers online for best choice and early bird specials.
  • Buy or make Advent calendars for children.
  • Continue working your way through your gift list.
  • Order cakes, puddings online or from your local baker.
  • Decide on a menu for Christmas Day.
  • Write Australian Christmas cards
  • Buy Christmas decorations, bonbons etc online.
  • Make any hairdresser appointments etc.

Early December

* December  – second weekend before Christmas – done these?

  • School Holidays begin!
  • Housework and garden work if you are entertaining at your house.

* December – done these?

  • Final week to  buy Christmas gifts. Check each site carefully as some may have already closed. Last-minute orders for Christmas hampers. Check each site carefully as some may have already closed. You may need to pay more for express delivery
  • Be honest about any craft projects that won’t get finished and buy alternative gifts.
  • Gift stocktake – order all remaining online gifts to allow time for delivery.
  • Order New Year decorations before Christmas.

* 20 & 21 December – weekend before Christmas – done these?

  • Final check – check gifts lists, menus, budgets.
  • Online gifts may still be available for delivery from some online shops in your city and or consdier Gift Vouchers for gifts, hampers, toys, magazines and experiences.
  • Final housework and garden check.
  • Make sure you have all the groceries and toiletries you’ll need.

*Wednesday 24 December – Christmas Eve

  • Final check – batteries, non-perishables, wrapping paper, bonbons, etc.
  • Pick up perishables (preferably preordered).
  • Wrap remaining presents, check gift list again – just in case.
  • Buy any emergency gifts – experience vouchers, magazines subscriptions, gift vouchers from online gift and toy shops.
  • Get supplies of medicines, non-alcoholic drinks, etc.
  • Ensure all presents are wrapped. If you are doing the rounds on Christmas Day, make sure all necessary presents are packed.
  • Leave a gift out for Santa and Rudolph.
  • Relax.

*Thursday 25 December – Christmas Day

  • Avoid stress and enjoy your Christmas Day!

*Friday 26 December – Boxing Day

  • Stay away from the shops and save money
  • Create meals from leftovers to save even more money