With winter knocking on the door and Halloween out of the way, Christmas seems to be the next big day to be excited about. So get those fairy lights out and wait for it to be socially acceptable to start watching Christmas movies. While you’re waiting, you can stock up on all the Christmas essentials you could possibly need, and yes, there is a checklist.
8 weeks to go:
Yes, it might not be socially acceptable to start preparing this early but this head-start will save a lot of unwanted stress later. Besides, no one has to know.
Make a rough list of gifts.
Make a rough list of food ingredients.
Decide the venue among your family.
Buy plane/ train tickets, if applicable.
7 weeks to go:
Now you can start with the actual preparation. Start shopping now to beat the crowds and get all the good stuff before it goes out of stock. If you have to order something online, you want to give it plenty of time to arrive.
Start buying/ ordering gifts.
Buy wrapping paper.
Buy Christmas cards.
Make arrangements for the guests you are hosting, if any.
Start baking items that can be stored in the refrigerator.
5 to 6 weeks to go
Now is the time to mentally start preparing for Christmas. Play Christmas- movies in the background as you proceed with the chores to get you in the mood.
Make a budget now that pretty much everything is finalized.
Try to finish shopping for gifts, now that Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday deals are out in the open. Yes, you might get pushed or trampled but isn’t it worth it?
Start writing Christmas cards.
Start wrapping presents, to prevent untimely panic later.
4 weeks to go:
Now you can strengthen the spirit even more by playing Christmas songs in the background and finalize and schedule everything leading up to Christmas day. Yes, even the wine you will be serving your guests or taking to your grandmother’s place.
Dig out old Christmas decorations and check to see if they are still working.
Decide your theme ( traditional/ colour coded)
Buy new decorations, if needed.
If hosting guests dig out plates, glasses, dishes, platters, etc. Buy more if needed.
Schedule baking date.
Address Christmas cards.
3 weeks to go:
Yes, NOW you can buy a Christmas tree before all the good ones are taken and you are left with all the leftover dried up ones.
Buy a Christmas tree.
Decorate the house.
Make a detailed grocery list and research where you can get the best deals.
Order the meat for your main dish. (turkey/ ham)
Mail any leftover cards. People don’t mind getting them a few days after Christmas.
Finalise the menu.
2 weeks to go:
Try to wrap up everything (literally and figuratively), to avoid stress in the final week.
Stock up on non-perishables; canned food and drinks.
Mail gifts to faraway relatives/ friends.
Fill your gas bottles if you are planning to have a barbeque.
Choose your outfit for the big day.
3 to 7 days to go:
Now is the time to relax a little, if you have been religiously following this checklist so far. This is the calm before the storm.
Clean out fridge.
Clean the whole house.
Sweep pine needles from below your beloved Christmas tree.
Send any last post.
Stock up on Christmas movies, songs and snacks. (Don’t forget crackers!)
2 days to go:
Brace yourself because this day will be a long and tiring one. Hopefully only physically, if you have everything planned down to the last minute. So running around the whole day shopping should not be a problem if you have a list which contains everything from cranberry sauce to vegetable oil.
Shop for food ingredients.
Shop for fresh flowers.
Finish last minute wrapping.
1 day to go:
This day will be spent at home mostly preparing food and relaxing.
Cook and bake everything. Do not leave anything for the next day unless you absolutely have to.
Stick labels on the food platters as this will make it much easier the next day and other people can also help you.
Recharge video cameras/ batteries.
Set the table.
Relax with your family.
Have a good night’s rest.