Christmas Countdown 2014

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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.

Christmas Day is on a Thursday in 2014.  That means that you’ll have the days early in the week for last minute deliveries and shopping, and for most of us, public holidays on Thursday and Friday mean a 4-day weekend. (You can check school term and public holidays for all states here.)

In the lead up to Christmas, there are the Christmas parties – office parties, club and group break-ups, extended family gatherings, and so on. Check out these shops for Christmas costumes and accessories and secret santa ideas.

Shopping centres get in on the act and install their Santa grotto. I’m not a great fan of these and a lot of children find them rather traumatic, so I steer well clear. Who are they for anyway? The children? The parents? The grandparents?

Shop window displays and carol concerts run by many councils and churches are more fun and can provide positive memories for children. You can post yours on our listings free.

At home there is the Christmas tree, decorations, and food to prepare. There’s a page listing Christmas cookbooks here if you want to expand your repertoire for catering and for gifts.