It may only be early November, but the clock’s ticking towards Christmas! So, it’s time to get into the festive spirit and start working on that long list of preparations. There are the gifts to choose for friends and family, the festive food to buy in and parties to organize, and, if you run a business, you may have an office celebration to think about – or cards and gifts to sort out for regular clients. Leaving it all to the last-minute can leave you with a major headache, so it’s best to start thinking about it now to avoid all the stress. Here’s a checklist of some of the things you should be thinking about.

Food preps

Have you promised a home-made Christmas cake or puddings for this year’s festivities? These things take time: in most cases, the fruit in both need to be soaked in alcohol, the puddings and cakes left to mature ahead of the big day. So, dust off the recipe book, go to the grocery store and start preparing! Yes, it can seem like a lot of hard work, especially when you know you can buy them in a supermarket – but just think about how proud you’ll feel when you serve them up as your own!

Christmas cards

Did you throw all your Christmas cards into the post last year at the last minute, in the hope that they’d arrive on time? And then they didn’t? Get super organized this year and buy all your greeting cards in advance. Prepare a list of friends and family and tick them off as you go through. A card, with some nice words, can mean so much. It’s not only your friends and family who you should be thinking about, though. If you run a company, why not send cards out to your regular clients with personalised messages? A card could go a long way in securing your long-term business relationship. Share the feeling, and check out some Holiday cards by Best Holiday Cards.

Festive gifts

So, have you decided what you’re going to buy your family and friends for Christmas? If you’re extremely organized, then maybe. But, chances are you still don’t have an idea. Now’s the time to start looking around for inspiration, before stores become crammed with late Christmas shoppers. If you’ve got children, ask them to write a list for you. You could do the same with your partner. You don’t have to spend lots of money, a small personal gift counts for a lot. If you have a business, and the budget available, you could send some of your regular customers a small festive gift along with a card. Something that’s special, but also reminds them of your company.

Party time!

Are you planning a Christmas get-together at your house this year? Have you decided who to invite? Get the party started now, by drawing up a list of who you’re inviting – and give them lots of notice, so they don’t get booked up! Think about the food and drink you need to get in. Grocery stores bring all sorts of party treats at Christmas, to save you the hassle of cooking everything from scratch. However, make sure, you don’t over-complicate your party – you’ll want to be able to relax and enjoy it too, remember!