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Top time-saving/ organisation tips for Christmas?

(46 Posts)
JudithofthePiece Thu 25-Oct-12 08:01:26

I've noticed a few threads that people give this sort of advice on, but was wondering if we could pool it all together in one place?

I love Christmas but I have got quite stressed in years past about fitting in everything that needs to be done. Here are my small contributions:

- Buy gift stickers for presents rather than other tags and things. It doesn't have to be the crappy foil ones - I've got some nice ones from eBay this year. They really reduce the amount of time you spend wrapping presents!
- Carry a small notebook with you with present/ food lists in so you can take advantage of offers when you see them.

Any other good tips?

blue2 Thu 25-Oct-12 08:04:26

Get your Christmas cards posted early; not having done them really destroys my 'karma'...
Hide ALL your presents in one place - if you can. Saves searching whole house on Christmas Eve.

Keep Calm and Make a List!

(Im sure I have more...)

FreddyMcKruger Thu 25-Oct-12 08:19:18

Wrap as you go, in years gone by I have stashed pressies all over only to leave wrapping to the last minuet and I have ended up spending hours wrapping everything in one go.......I do have 3 DCs though so lots and lots of wrapping.

Also this year because I have a toddler who won't leave me alone and family coming for dinner I have done a huge M&S order, so no chopping and peeling for me and no getting stressed on Christmas Day, as I have done so many times before.

girlywhirly Thu 25-Oct-12 09:05:40

Buy assorted sizes of gift bags which can then be re-used. Saves loads of time wrapping and stress for inept present wrappers (i.e.DH)

Make what you can food wise and freeze. I make stuffing and freeze in an ovenproof dish, when defrosted overnight it is ready for the oven; also mince pies frozen, made but uncooked. Can be baked from frozen when required.

JudithofthePiece Thu 25-Oct-12 09:13:57

Definitely need to do my Christmas cards early this year - they become the bane of my life every December otherwise!

I think I am def going to freeze as much as possible in advance.

I suppose I should wrap as I go as well.

Keep 'em coming, please!!

mum47 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:17:20

Great tips here - I am very guilty of hiding presents all over the place then not remembering.
My tip is don't leave the wrapping until midnight on Christmas Eve, after having had the family round and drunk too much mulled wine. We end up doing this every year - definitely going to embrace the wrap as you go tip this year!

Naghoul Thu 25-Oct-12 09:19:35

I have the amazon chrome extension.

I make a wishlist called Christmas shopping and bookmark all the things I want to get for people, it doesn't have to be from amazon) then when the time comes to buy it all, I am ready.

Pascha Thu 25-Oct-12 09:22:32

Have a baby. Then get everyone amazon vouchers and avoid christmas shopping altogether smile. At least, thats how this year is panning out hmm

oreocrumbs Thu 25-Oct-12 09:26:18

My top wrapping tip - and listen up it's a good one!

Set up the ironong board. Put the sellotape and scissors et al on the iron rest and use the board to wrap on.

It is the right height so you don't do your back in, and you can get all the way around the present for neat wrapping. It makes wrapping big presents much easier, and saves you lots of time with the little ones.

I have on of those metalicy type covers on my board and that makes it even esier as the presents and paper slide around when you need them too. Will work with a normal cover too!

And er no, I don't do any ironing grin

My only wrapping tip is to get a Sellotape dispenser - I can't believe I spent years juggling rolls of tape while trying to hold the paper in place when I could have done it so much easier with a decent dispenser!

parsnipcake Thu 25-Oct-12 09:34:33

Definitely agree with sellotape dispenser. Pound land have excellent heavy duty ones. I keep a eye on flylady and organizedchristmas.com - which has just started its 6 week countdown. I also look at all the local museums/ stately homes etc and book/ note down their Christmas events do the holidays have as much free/ cheap fun as possible.

gruber Thu 25-Oct-12 09:36:16

Buy gift bags/brown paper & nice ribbon from Ikea- cheap but tasteful. Let the kids do Christmas stamps all over the brown paper first - looks nice, keeps them quiet. Wrap as you buy! And label as soon as its wrapped or else you will be playing the "oh crap what was this present" late on Christmas Eve.

gruber Thu 25-Oct-12 09:37:21

Oh, and buy a bag of meatballs while you're there for the days after Christmas when you want a quick easy non-turkey dinner.

Titsalinabumsquash Thu 25-Oct-12 09:43:24

Have a spare selection box or bottle of wine at all times incase a friendly neighbour or friend pops over with a gift you can reciprocate.

Freeze as much as you can ahead of the big day.

Buy extra Sellotape because you can be assured that half way through the wrapping it will vanish only to be found after Christmas when you've already cried and broken down. wink

Keep kittens away from the tree at all times!

Decluttering is essential, even if you stick it all in the box the decorations were in and stick it in a cupboard for the duration of Christmas. grin

professorpoopsnagle Thu 25-Oct-12 09:43:38

I have 3 kids, and bought 3 big rolls of different paper. Each child has their gifts wrapped in 'their' paper and then I store them together in big laundry bags. Come Christmas Eve when it's time to play Santa and put pressies in the stockings/sacks the job is very easy. The rolls have lasted 2 Christmases so far and should be enough to do this year.

TheDuckSaysMoo Thu 25-Oct-12 09:43:53

Oreocrumbs - that's a brilliant tip, thanks. A tape dispenser is a must and I also use a paper cutter paulep than scissors. It is something like a scalpel with protective plastic around it. They are usually sold next to the tape.

JudithofthePiece Thu 25-Oct-12 09:44:56

Organizedchristmas.com? Marvellous!!

For Sellotape, I use one of those hand dispenser things with little bits of Sellotape in. DH gets annoyed at how pricey they are, but I find they make wrapping so much easier!

CheerfulYank Thu 25-Oct-12 09:56:54

Marking my place!

Inneedofbrandy Thu 25-Oct-12 10:02:40

With decorating the tree, go up and down with the lights not around the tree. So much easier for when it's time to put them away as they don't get tangled and you don't get dark patches. Not really organisation but helpful.

Titsalinabumsquash Thu 25-Oct-12 10:25:18

Not organisation as such but I have a selection of mirrored decorations that I put right in the center if the tree near the trunk, they reflect the lights beautifully. smile

LadyFelicityBuntingworthy Thu 25-Oct-12 11:52:08

If you've got an independent grocer, they're usually happy to take an order for Christmas veg to be collected (or in some cases, delivered) on 23rd or 24th. Saves fighting for last bag of sprouts in the supermarket!

Iheardthatpardon Thu 25-Oct-12 12:21:25

My top tip:
Don't go overboard with presents - how much smellies and assorted tat do people need? It will only clutter your house and annoy you when kids don't play with the toys! Better a nice home made, edible gift than xmas tat or no gift you can't afford it. I would prefer a nice drink and chat with friends than a gift that I don't need or want.

And remember, it is only 1 day, don't go overboard with food shopping. Shops WILL reopen on Boxing Day. Better save your cash and pick up reduced price bargains after!

grin

Elec Thu 25-Oct-12 12:30:57

I like gift bags for adults. Eg if I get 2 or 3 smaller presents for one adult, put them all in labelled gift bag so easy to store and identify - can wrap them individually or not, doesn't matter. I have a lot of adults to buy for!

If your kids are of an age where they cannot read, you can write on a little sticker on the side of the present what us inside if you are wrapping as you buy and may struggle with inpdentification.

JudithofthePiece Thu 25-Oct-12 12:31:57

Ooh, I do like the idea of veg being delivered. I am definitely looking into that!

BiddyPop Thu 25-Oct-12 12:38:10

If you have any train or plane journeys between now and Christmas, bring the cards with you and get a few done on the journey. Saves a lot of time and stress (I used to bring mine with me on regular plane journeys from Sept-Dec for a few years and it was GREAT getting them done in that dead time, just a half dozen at a go).

Keep a list of everything bought and ideas for people - notebook, excel spreadsheet, modern techie apps etc. Especially if you spot something while out and think "I must go back there and get this for X" and then forget where it was!!

I'll add more when I have time to think clearly....

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