Well, that’s the plan anyway. I suck at being organised, I really do and so the festive period hits and I turn into a whirling dervish with barely a moment to stop because I’ve left it all to the very last minute. I’m determined not to do that this year. I was going to be prepared. I was going to make presents through the summer, that hasn’t happened. I’ve started one out of a million projects instead but there is still time to rescue things.

Not to scare you but it is only 5 weeks and an ickle bit until Christmas day. So now is the time to get yourself in order. This is what I am doing right now and how I plan not to panic any time between now and the festivities. Feel free to follow my lead.

1. Make lists.

I love lists, I find a list to be a soothing thing. These lists will form the centre of your plan and as such are actually really important. I suggest a couple of lists.

  1. A list of what presents you’re getting/making for all your friends and family. Cards too!
  2. A list of all the things you need to buy to achieve the above that you can take out with you and tick things off as you shop.
  3. A list of what needs to be done between now and Christmas. Once you have this list (and you’ve checked it twice) I suggest splitting it up and planning out day by day what you’re going to do. This way you can plan around things you already have planned in your diary and you can see just what you need to do and can break it down into achievable portions.

2. Food preparation now

The freezer is a God send and now is the time to start preparing some of your Christmas baking so you don’t have to worry about it later. Many biscuits can be frozen at the dough stage, so make up yours up now and just bake when you need them. Have a look online for recipes that can be frozen or check Nigella Lawson’s Christmas book as she has freezing guidelines for all she prepares. I can vouch that the Chocolate Biscuits in her book taste delicious and freeze well too.

I have a few things I will be baking in the next week. My Christmas cake, which I find tastes better with a few weeks rest before Christmas day and my So Soft Gingerbread. I’ll be making enough for the church Christmas fair next week and extra dough to keep in my freezer for later gingerbread needs!

I will also be making my Christmas pudding. I use Delia Smith’s Recipe

Having a few festive treats in your freezer/pantry now will make you feel much happier a few weeks down the line!

3. Start shopping now.

I suppose it goes without saying really that shopping early is going to be less stressful than leaving it all to the last minute. This stretches from presents, cards and wrap to food stuff too.

It’s also good for your pocket. Pick up a few festive bits and bobs each week from now ’til the big day and it will be less harsh to your budget. This is why you need your list, so you can work out what would be good to pick up now and what needs to be left until later.

In fact, I would go so far as to advise you to start your Christmas shopping for next year directly after this one is finished. Pick up your cards, wrap, tags and other such items in the sales to save you money and give you peace of mind next December!

I hope this helps! Spending a little while making lists and planning now will save hours further down the road. I know you might not feel particularly festive at the moment, believe me, I don’t. But I think it’s worth taking time now to prepare so you have more time to enjoy yourself down the road.