Getting Organised: Christmas 101

Has Christmas crept up on you like it has on me? It’s time to get organised so here is Christmas 101!

We have had so much happening – illnesses, operations etc – on one side of our family that Christmas has seemed very much like an after thought. But it will be here in just over a week so time to get cracking.


Luckily I have bought nearly all the presents now but, if you haven’t. don’t despair yet. The shops are still open, Amazon (if you are ok with the tax issue) and other websites are still giving us a few more days to order in time for Christmas. And if the milder weather sticks around, then there won’t be any snow to hold up the post.

Present list

But what you do need is a LIST so you know what you have already bought and who you still need to buy for. Use our Present list form on the Downloads page if you haven’t got time to create your own. It may take a bit of time to download but it will do it…

Book a shopping day

Decide right now where and when you are going to do your shopping and book it in your diary NOW. If you have enough annual leave, take a day off in the week when the shops might be marginally quieter.

Wrapping supplies

Get out all your Christmas wrapping paper, gift tags and ribbon from last year. Work out approximately how much extra you will need this year and add that to your shopping list. A really nice idea is to choose a different wrapping paper for each child and wrap all their presents in the same paper – it makes it easy to work out whose is what present on Christmas day for a start!


First of all, check whether you have any cards left over from last year. Then work out how many more you will need. Add them to your shopping list. And don’t forget the stamps!

Last posting days

The last posting day for 2nd class post is Tuesday 18th December and for 1st class is Thursday 20th December.

Getting organised for Christmas

Thanks to the George Eastman House collection and Flickr

Christmas Tree

Go and buy one today or as soon as possible! If your children are old enough, then get them to decorate the tree – they will love it and you’ll be able to get on with writing your Christmas cards – ho ho ho.

Christmas Meal

I have gone mad this year and we are going to be 17 for Christmas lunch! Mild panic has set in but I am convinced that I can pull it off with lists and planning. We have already been offered an extra table and chairs by our lovely neighbours.

So the first step was to decide on the menu, including desserts for those not so keen on Christmas pudding. I looked at my oven instruction book to find out how big a turkey the oven would take and ordered that size from my favourite supermarket.  Theoretically that feeds around 12 people but I reckon it will go round 17 as some are younger children (fingers crossed).

Next step is to write down every menu item and its ingredients as well as how far in advance it can be made or bought.  So that I can start buying ahead and make anything I can in advance.

I have only just started this but I did manage to add Christmas pudding stuff and several packets of chipolatas to my internet shopping delivery this weekend.  Even a small step in the right direction really helps.

If you haven’t started yet, then try and get going as soon as possible. You can always buy a frozen turkey if you haven’t got time to order in advance. Jane doesn’t usually order her turkey and has never had a problem getting one so far. And about 10 years ago, we were all too ill to join our relatives as planned on Christmas Day so once I felt like I could drive, I rushed out one or two days before the big day and bought a frozen turkey and all the trimmings – again with no problem.

If you want a cooking plan to follow, the one in Delia’s Christmas book is brilliant. There is a version on her website as well but difficult to find (or it was for me!). Here it is – Delia’s Christmas Day.

Any Christmas tips?

If anyone has any Christmas tips, do let us know via the comments box.


Sally & Jane

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