Six months until Christmas: fun festive planning you can do now

I’m not sure how we’re in July already…any ideas?! The year is flying by – and it’s already less than six months until Christmas. 

As we’re at the halfway point, now’s a great time to review your Christmas action plan, make any adjustments and refocus on getting ready for the festive season. 

I checked in with you all on social media, and while lots of you said you’re on track with your Christmas plans, some of you said you feel you’re a bit behind.

If you haven’t started planning yet, or are struggling to keep up, look at ways you can simplify your Christmas, delegate more tasks or find other shortcuts.

This isn’t admitting defeat, it’s a realistic way of ensuring you can get everything done – and have fun at Christmas rather than ending up feeling stressed.

Here are my practical tips on what you can do now to help Christmas run more smoothly.

And – for those of you who are on track – I’ve included some ideas for ‘little extras’ you can do now to help inject even more fun into December!

Practical ideas for getting Christmas organising back on track

  • Declutter so your house is tidier and your mind clearer as we enter the second half of the year. Donate to libraries, schools and charity shops (check what they accept in advance), or sell good quality unwanted items via an online marketplace
  • Buy gifts, cards and other supplies when you can – especially if they’re on sale. Wrap presents as you buy them.
    Don’t add ribbons, bows and tags just yet – they make boxes harder to stack and can get tatty over time. Use sticky-notes to label them temporarily so you don’t forget whose gift is whose – and remember to update your master list as you store them!
  • Set a budget for each gift you need to buy – it’s good to have a target in mind so you don’t overspend without realising
  • If you need to save money, consider buying pre-loved items for younger children. If they’re in good condition and wrapped well, they won’t know the difference
  • Plan your festive meals and shopping lists while you’re under less pressure. Bear in mind that some shops allow you to order Christmas turkeys from September. Get in early and cross another ‘to-do’ off your list
  • Can you bulk cook some freezer food at the end of November and save yourself some time in December? Plan this and book time in your diary now before you get booked up
  • Clear space in your diary in November and December for things like large food shops, online delivery slots, and hair/beauty appointments – it’s easy to forget how much time they take up
  • Plan what activities you want to do in the run up to Christmas. Write a list so you can book them as you’re able to. Add key social dates, children’s activities and other entertainment to your diary and plan everything else around them
  • If you’ve decided to make the switch from physical cards to e-cards this year, now’s a good time to do some research into how/what you’ll send and gather a list of email addresses
  • Public transport gets very busy in December, so if you need to travel during the festive season, it’s a good idea to start looking into prices and availability now. You can save loads of money if you book advance tickets. It might be too early to book train tickets, but some operators will send you an email alert as soon as your journey becomes available.

Little extras you can do now to make next Christmas even better

  • If you’re on track or even ahead in your Christmas plans, one special touch you could try is to hand make some gifts for family and friends. Examples of handcrafted presents you could create include jams, chutneys, candles and soaps. If you’re not an experienced cook or crafter, now could be the time to learn some new skills that could save you some money in the long-term. Encourage children to make gifts for others and spend time together as you create your masterpieces!
  • Another idea for a super-thoughtful gift is to make something that others never have time to do, for example, a beautiful collage of photos of you and a friend spending time together. It doesn’t have to cost much, but will mean the world to the lucky recipient
  • Research new Christmas recipes you’d like to try and practice them now so you’re a dab hand when it really matters. Create a festive recipe folder, so you have all your existing and new recipes to hand
  • Create a go-to list of your family’s favourite Christmas films, plus festive music playlists for different activities and occasions. You’ll be so grateful you did this when December arrives!
  • If your children (and big kids!) love Elf on the Shelf, plan what your elf will get up to now to save ‘brain space’ come December
  • Involve children in decluttering activities by encouraging them to give three toys to charity throughout the year. Giving to others is a fantastic habit for them to develop – and, after all, Christmas is about giving gifts as well as receiving them. Do you have any other suggestions for things we can do now to get ready for Christmas 2021? Let me know!

Happy organising….

Alex x

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