…Christmas that is. Now we all know someone who buys their prezzies in the January sales, has their cards written and addressed by Easter and their turkey ordered before the first frost. We hate their smugness and lack of proper festive spirit but mainly we hate them because we know that we could never ever be that organised…until now!
We’re not suggesting that you start planning Christmas while on your summer holidays but it does pay to be a little bit organised. You’ll arrive at December 25th with far fewer grey hairs and much lower blood pressure if you plan ahead.
Clear out food cupboards Be ruthless. Chuck out all the out-of-date items and things you know will never be eaten. Make room for all those festive goodies.
Clear out toy cupboards Be ruthless. Involve the kids. Donate outgrown and unplayed-with items to charity. If you are an eBayer, spend an afternoon listing items for sale.
Order meat early. Farmers’ markets and shops are teeming at this Christmas time. Don’t imagine you’ll get what you want if you leave it until the last minute.
Who’s coming to dinner? Are there any vegetarians, vegans or dairy intolerances among your guests. Are you planning a party? List all the food, alcohol and gift items you think you will need and add to it as you go along.
Study your list. Are there items which
can be bought online? Do any of your local shops offer home delivery? Look into local
veg-box schemes. Divide the remaining list into manageable chunks and purchase a few things each week. For foodstuffs, begin with items which can be frozen and end with the fresh items which need to be purchased just a day or two before.
Puds and cakes. Make these early to give them time to mature. Stir up Sunday is the last Sunday before advent and this year is on November 30th. This is traditionally the time when Christmas puddings are made. I make my Christmas cake during the first week of December which gives me time to feed it as much brandy as it will hold. Yum!
Write the cards. It’s bit of a chore but put the carols on, pour a glass of something festive and get into the spirit. You’ll feel really virtuous when they’re done.
Tree lights and outdoor lights. Test them well in advance so they can be replaced if necessary.
Check bed and linen status! Will you need to buy or borrow fold-up beds, or extra bedding for your guests? What about elderly guests? They may be able to lie down on a Z bed but will they ever be able to get up again!
By now you should be feeling organised and in control. You may even feel the beginnings of a smug smile twitch at the corners of your mouth. Enjoy it…you earned it. Just be aware that someone somewhere hates you for it!