Christmas Organisation: 5 Weeks to Go

5 weeks, 35 days, just over a month, however you look it, there's not that long left to get everything done!

But of course, having followed the previous two instalments of our 7 week Christmas organisation guide, you're already ahead of the game, aren't you?

This is the week the good stuff kicks in, i.e. the twinkly bits - oh yes!  Get ready....

The Tree

There seem to be as many different theories on when the Christmas tree should go up as there are ways to dress it.

I've heard the day after Thanksgiving, the last weekend of November, 25th November, 1st December, 1st weekend of December, 12 days before Christmas, etc etc etc.

Whatever you believe, now is the time to figure out where your tree is coming from.

Does someone need to go into the attic or the depths of the garage to get last year's plastic one out?

Are you going for a real one?  Where from?  Local nursery, garden centre, elsewhere?

Write your tree choosing/collecting date into your diary.

Or do you need to order one for delivery?

Decoration Check

Haul your decorations out too and spend an hour having a quick edit.

Do you want to have a theme this year?

Do you need to get rid of some tired baubles or paper chains?

Start having a look round at what's on trend this year or decide on a day to go on a trawl for the one or two heirloom decorations to add to your collection this year.

Untangle your lights and check for dud bulbs, too.

Better to get it sorted now rather than on the day you want to dress your tree.

If your lights are all tangled, remember the trick of cutting slots into the sides of an A4 piece of card and winding your lights round, inserting the wire into the slots.

They definitely won't be tangled for next Christmas!

Letters to Father Christmas

Most children will already have a lengthy list for the big man, so get them to put pen to paper and write and draw their letter now.

Post it to this Royal Mail address by 6th December and they'll get a free personalised reply:

Father Christmas,
Santa's Grotto,

Make sure you take a photocopy before you send it as they'll be lovely to look back on in years to come.

Advent Calendars

This is also the week to decide on your Advent candles and calendars, and make/buy/fill as required.

Checl out our guide to the best toy Advent calendars for kids for inspiration.

If you want to buy a specific calendar, snap them up now before they sell out!

Gift Buying

Hopefully your gift buying has already begun and is continuing apace this week. 

Remember to add things to your online shopping baskets, especially with the Black Friday deals starting now.

If you're lacking inspiration, take a look at our gift guides or check out our store with collated gift lists.

Christmas Cards

Hopefully you have a great photo for your Christmas cards if you are ordering them, so now is the time to put your order in.

If you are buying regular cards, start looking around for what you want now while stock is plentiful.

If you are making your cards, get started today, it always takes longer than you think!

Whether you're crafting, buying or ordering, now is also the time to start making your Christmas card list.

Go through your address book, but also think about all the different groups of friends, family and colleagues who might not have made it to address book status, but will need a card.

Don't forget neighbours, teachers, book and hobby group friends, and any local business or corporate cards you might need to send.

Ask your children to make their own lists too, as they all love distributing cards to school friends or popping them in the school postbox.

Add up just how many cards you need, and add ten for good measure.  Then get buying/ordering/making!

Get Your Bake On

Stir-up Sunday is this weekend, the day when people traditionally make their Christmas cake and pudding.

This lovely tradition is a great one to adopt if you haven't already and, even if you don't want to make your pud or cake, spending some time with your family making some mince pies or gingerbread is a delight.

You could make some party foods and snacks and stash them in the freezer too, for example these Savoury Puff Pastry Bites and Brie and Dark Cherry Filo Pastry Bites.

What else will you make?

Choose your recipes, check your cupboard inventories, and make your shopping lists.

Remember to add baking sessions, including with the kids, into your diary for the next month.

Keep sourcing recipes for your Christmas Eve to New Year's Day food plan, and start thinking about what make ahead meals you could include.

And keep popping non-perishable food and drinks in your shopping trolley every time you shop to build up your stock.

Home Prep

Keep up with your cleaning masterplan and add on any other tasks you have thought of.

The aim is to get all the big, deep-cleaning jobs done by the end of next week, then you will just need to do the ticking over jobs like daily cleaning during December.

Check your home supplies for the number of guests you will have over the Christmas period.

Where will everyone sit?

Try a table practice run now, rather than on Christmas Eve.

Also check if you have enough:
  • Chairs
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Glasses
  • Placemats
  • Coasters
  • Napkins
  • Tablecloths

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