Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas Organisation: 1 Week to Go

Well done, you're nearly there!  Thankfully our six weeks of bite-size chunks mean there isn't a great deal left to do.  And hopefully this week there will be lots of time to soak up the Christmas magic with your nearest and dearest.  Find out where those carol concerts are, create some memories with lots of fun, and make sure you take some time out for yourself in these last few days before the big event.  If you can, book a massage or facial, or just have a long soak in the bath with a good book - you deserve it!

Here are this week's tasks:

Take Stock

Methodically go through all your lists and check you have the right number of gifts for everyone, that stockings are full (do a trial run), and how well you have done with your master shopping list.  Take stock of everything and see what loose ends you need to tie up.  Anything to print out?  Any extras to buy?  Anything you've overlooked?

Check back through our Christmas Organisation posts for pointers.

Make a Plan for the Week

Check all the dates you wrote in your diary, and make a schedule for this week.  If you have children, include time for crafts, baking, reading Christmas stories, soaking up Christmas atmosphere etc.  Decide on your shopping times, hopefully only a maximum of two supermarket trips, and think ahead to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself.  What can be made or prepared in advance?  What help can you rely on on the day?  Look out for our Christmas Eve plan on Monday.

Allow time on the 22nd to change all the beds, and give the place a last quick clean.  Double check you have enough chairs, plates, glasses, etc.  Wash anything that hasn't been used for a while and stack the things you need together in relevant meal sets so you're good to go.

Final Shop

Do the final grocery shop, obviously leaving chilled and fresh foods as late as possible.  But pick up those last stocking stuffers, gifts for your host or hostess, and an extra one or two emergency gifts just in case, if you haven't done so already.  Buy family cards, or the means to make your own.

For fresh food, I prefer to go out really early on Christmas Eve (5-6am!), but shopping, or having your shop delivered, on the 23rd would be fine too.  If possible, store fruit and veg in the garage or conservatory until needed.  Soft drinks should stay cool enough out there too, without taking up valuable fridge space.

Write Family Cards

Take some quiet time to write meaningful messages in the cards for those closest to you.  We usually reflect on some memories of the year past, sharing anecdotes with the girls, things they've done or things they've said, as a way of preserving the memories and giving them something to treasure in the future.  If the rather pricey individual cards are too schmaltzy for you, make some yourself or just use a regular card and enclose a letter.

Make any long distance 'happy holidays' phone calls before everyone is unavailable, or check where they will be on Christmas Day so you can phone or Skype then.


Once you know everything is in hand, put some carols or your favourite Christmas movie on, pour yourself a glass of Prosecco, grab a mince pie, and relax.  You're just so darn organised!

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