With the silly season on the way, it’s a good idea to get everything organised from the get go, including shopping, planning a festive feast and Christmas holiday organizing.
If you absolutely hate facing the mayhem that comes along with Christmas shopping, why not try shopping online this year? Not only is it easy, convenient and stress-free, but you can often get good deals simply by purchasing gifts online.
Remember: If you are shopping online it is important to get your orders in early to allow enough time to receive your items. Even if you feel well-prepared you never know what can happen during the Christmas rush period so it is always best to get in early.
Need some Christmas gift inspiration? Find the perfect gift in our Christmas gift guide for all the family.
Planning a festive feast
If you are planning on cooking up a storm this Christmas, why not cook ahead? Some food cans be prepared in advance and frozen to allow time for more important things, such as opening presents, on Christmas Day.
Try this perfect freezer food recipe for baby spiced apricot crumbles.
Your Christmas ham or turkey can be purchased up to three weeks before Christmas Day. It is important to get in early if you want the perfect-sized ham or turkey. If you have nowhere to store it for three weeks, order it ahead of time and pick it up a few days beforehand. Don’t leave this purchase until the last minute as you are sure to be disappointed.
If you plan on serving fresh seafood, get your order in nice and early and plan to pick it up as close to opening time as possible to avoid the afternoon rush.
Another way to ensure that your cooking in the kitchen will be a breeze on Christmas Day is being organised. Have a meal plan of what is going to be served, write out a full shopping list and check it twice to ensure no urgent dashes to the shops late at night.
Remember: Not all foods can be frozen. Follow our freezer foods guidelines to which foods do and don’t freeze well. Also remember that some things, such as alcohol, can be purchased in advance and stored until the big day.
Looking for festive recipe inspiration? From the perfect ham to other festive treats don’t miss our Christmas recipes.
Planning a Christmas get away
If you’re planning on getting away this Christmas, here are a few essential steps to make the trip as carefree and relaxing as possible.
Prepare your car
Get your car serviced before you hit the road. It is important that you have the oil, water and tyres checked particularly if you going on a long journey. It is important to prepare for a breakdown, so remember to pack a supply of water in the car just in case you become stuck on the highway waiting for some road-side assistance or you become stuck in traffic.
Prepare your home
Ensure that your home security system, including window and door locks, alarm systems and outdoor gate and fence locks, are all working properly and don’t need to be updated. If you are going away for a long period of time it is a good idea to contact your local police station to let them know that you will be away.
Preparing children’s entertainment
Long car or plane trips with children can be horrendous if they become bored, so plan for the trip. If you are driving, breaking up the trip with regular pit stops will make the drive not so tedious for young children.
Remember: Organisation is the key to a stress-free holiday. Although it may seem like a lot of work in the lead up, the end result will be a much-earned carefree holiday!
Christmas checklist tips
1. Buy batteries for children’s toys: For a child, there is nothing worse than having a new toy on Christmas Day that doesn’t work. So purchase some batteries in preparation beforehand.
2. Set the table: This can be done a few days before your Christmas dinner event so that you aren’t rushing to get it done before guests arrive on the day. It will make your house feel festive at the same time!
3. Check travel documents: If you are travelling overseas make sure to double-check all of your travel documents and make sure your passport is still current.
4. RSVP: Make sure that you RSVP to all your Christmas and New Year’s Eve events in advance. It will not only help you to get your diary in order, it will also make party planning a breeze for your host.
5. Wrapping presents: Wrapping gifts can take longer than you think if you leave it all until the last minute. The best thing to do is wrap the gifts as you buy them. This will avoid the last-minute wrapping rush and will add the festive flare to your Christmas tree.
6. Writing Christmas cards: This should be done about a month before Christmas Day to ensure that all of your cards get out in time, especially if you are sending cards overseas. If you are sending gifts overseas, it is worth getting these off as early as possible as well.
7. Buy your Christmas tree: If you are planning on having a live Christmas tree it is best to purchase it three weeks before Christmas. This timing will ensure the tree remains alive throughout the festive season and gives you enough time to enjoy the fresh Christmas tree smell!
8. Christmas clean: Don’t leave cleaning until the last minute! Try to get all the big jobs done about four or five days before Christmas Day. Once the rooms you have cleaned are ready to go, shut the doors and try to stay out of that area until you are ready to set it up for entertaining.