FLY Christmas countdown.(81 Posts)
First Things First - Make a Book!
Get a folder (any sort) as a place to put all your Christmas paperwork
and write Christmas Folder' on it. I use an A4 ring binder and have lots of those clear pocket pages in and some dividers. If you participated last year you just need to find the folder you already made, but put `somewhere safe' after Christmas. I transferred the finalised gift list from 2009 into this year's folder to try and make sure I don't give anyone something too similar to last year's gift!
Write a list of all the people you are going to buy gifts for and make a rough budget for each person (don't fill in the gifts yet). If this year you feel you want to change things, for example you and your sister are just going to buy gifts for the children this year, call her and let her know. Put the list of gifts in your Christmas folder. You can have a divider if you wish labelled 'Gifts'.
Write a list of all the people you want to send a card to. Don't get
addresses just yet. Count the number of cards needed and write it on the bottom of the list. Calculate for an extra 12 cards in case you have forgotten someone (you can always use the extra cards next year!!) Put the list in your Christmas folder (divider - 'Cards'). You can reuse your card list from last year, and just add in any new friends.
If you are going to be away over Christmas and /or New Year, now is the time to book your travel arrangements and arrange kennels/cattery places for pets.
Hotels and Travel Lodges book up early so reserve for yourself and also those who are coming to visit you. If you plan to eat out on Christmas Day, book now at the Restaurant of your choice if you haven't already. Think about Christmas day and all the other days in the holiday season. Are you staying with family or having 10 for dinner?!! Just because you did it last year (and the 5 years
before that) does not mean you have to do it again this year. Decide what YOU want to do and call the relevant people. If you tell your mother -in -law that you are not going to come for Christmas she can make other plans.
Make your own Christmas traditions and discard any from the past that
you don't want to do anymore. Don't forget to give others the same
opportunity if they don't always want to conform to your usual Christmas rituals.
Get a Savings Card (optional)
If your local supermarket has a Christmas Savings scheme, go and get a
card. Put a small amount onto the card each month, this will make your
Christmas shop so much easier. If you only put £3 onto the card each
week as you pay at the checkout you will save £48 to spend on
And most importantly smile when you think of Christmas, don't give a moan!
Thanks Jas, this is handy. I AM groaning already but I'm determined not to have a manic run-up to christmas like every other ruddy year.
Would you mind posting the link for the FLY UK site please? I've googled but can only find the USA one.
thanks Jas will have a proper read through this evening as I am supposed to be ironing now
Ooh thank you for this, is it ok if join in?
I'm just on my way to the Flying page as I need to get fully organised now! (My whole life not just Christmas)
jas thanks! May get round to it as I need Xmas to be sorted early as my baby is due 25th November!
All I've done so far is sort out who's coming.
I haven't actually done any of it! I do have a folder from last year I can get out though.
Countdown to Christmas Week 2 - 14th to 20th September 2010
Hopefully you will all now have a folder for Christmas and also have
an idea of who you are buying presents for & a budget for them.
This week's tasks are:
Get Wrapping Supplies Together
Designate a place for wrapping supplies - maybe under a bed, in an accessible cupboard, somewhere you don't have to pull everything out to get to them!
Get all the wrapping paper, tags, bags, boxes left from last year,
together with a pair of scissors and a roll (or two) of sticky tape.
These supplies are just for Christmas - sticky tape & scissors are
not to be 'borrowed' for other things :-)
Whenever you buy a present you then have all your supplies in one
area to wrap it straight away, without having to hunt everywhere for
what you need.
Get Christmas Cards Together
Hopefully these will be found in the same place as leftover wrapping
If there are ones you have been hanging onto because you don't really
like them, now is the time to get rid of them. Charities will take
cards for recycling - some take them all year round. If you know you
will do it, keep them aside for the mass recycling easily found in
supermarkets after Christmas - otherwise get rid of them now.
Count up how many cards you have and compare it to your list. This
will save you then buying more than you need (although it is always
worth having a spare dozen for those people you forget!) And ladies, those christmas cards have already hit the shops!!
Get Your Gifts Together
Designate a place for gifts - if you already have some presents put
them in this place. Also don't choose an area that's too warm - chocolate gifts may melt!! Any gifts can now be wrapped and labelled and put away from prying eyes - and if they are all going in the same place you won't 'lose' any in therun up to Christmas, have to buy
something else and then find the original present in February. There will also be no mad rush on Christams Eve to ensure all presents are wrapped, meaning you staying awake until 3am to finish the task :-( (some ladies have already said this was their problem last year!!)
Check your supplies cupboard for ingredients for Christmas cakes/
puddings. If you need anything, add it to your shopping list.
Checking this early means you can spead the cost over a few weeks if
Have fun :-)
Christmas Countdown 2010 - Week 3 - 21st to 27th September
Crafty Presents & Cards
For those of us who are making any presents this year, now is the
time to decide what you are making (and what you need in order to
make it), who you are making it for and when you are going to make
it. Ideally get as many crafty presents out of the way between now
and the end of November. Obviously anything like truffles will need
to be made at the last minute - but hopefully this list should ensure
we are not too frazzled by then to actually do that! Purchase any supplies for making the presents this week - at least you will not then start to make it and find you are missing something vital halfway through....
Cards - do not leave cross stitching cards until Christmas Eve :-)
Decide how many cards you need to make between now and the
first week of Dec (for ones which need posting - you have say another
week for family and friends you will see during Christmas week) and
divide these up by the number of weeks available and have this as
your weekly target. Purchase any supplies you need for them this
week - with a view to starting to make them by this weekend.
And if you have a crafty friend, how about arranging a get-together for a crafty
You may already have some gifts completed on this with items already
bought. This week, try and think of ideas for those remaining on the
list - with a budget. You can always phone them for ideas if you are
really stuck. If you need to post items to people make sure they are
among the first items bought to ensure they are ready before the
posting dates - think about the weights too - the cost of the gift
can double with postage if it is a heavy item :-(
Cards & Wrapping Supplies
Hopefully these are now all to hand and you know if you need to buy
any more. There are already quite a few stores with Christmas items
in, some even running 3 for 2 promotions. However, if you only need 1
pack of cards, buying 3 just because they are on offer is not really
a bargain - you can always get more for next year in the January
has this thread finished? I was finding it really helpful
Oh just remembered about this thread and came on to catch up, so I better start wrapping. Thanks Jas
Sorry. There is another one or two to come. I'll go and hunt for them.
Christmas Countdown 2010 - Week 4 28th September to 4th October
Posting cards/ presents
Throughout the next few weeks I will try and give you alerts for
upcoming postal dates around the world.
Christmas Puddings & Cakes
If you haven't already, now is the time to start thinking about
making these. You don't have to - it's not a competition :-) We love puddings in our house but not so keen on cake - and I always buy mine!
Try and buy a present or two this week. At the very least research
some ideas for the gaps on there. If you do buy some presents, wrap
and tag them straight away :-)
No one wants to be paying for Christmas in March. Check out
www.moneysavingexpert.com for some great ideas for budget presents. A
good place to start is here:
http: www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/christmas-savin gs
if you are booking a photographer to take family photos to include
with cards/ presents, book the session now - they get booked very
early on. If you are taking them yourself plan the outfits you will
be wearing and book an appointment in the family calendar/ diary to
have a photo session (formal) or plan a couple of outings out to a
forest/ arboretum/ park to try and get a series of informal shots in.
This will give you time to take another set if necessary.
See if you can help your children (depending on their ages) to sort
through their toys/ books with a view to clearing some out. Donate
unwanted ones to Operation Christmas Child, a charity shop, a
recycling bank or maybe a school/ nursing home near you will be
having an Autumn/ Chritsmas fair and you can donate items in
excellent condition to help raise funds.
These can sell out early for popular days. Book now if you are
planning on going!
Christmas Countdown 2010 Week 5 5th October - 11th October
Throughout October & November buy a packet of stamps a week to spread
the cost - you can always use them up on parcels. Remember larger
cards will need different value stamps!
Buy minimum 2 presents this week - wrap, label and update the gift
list. Leave space to update when given/ posted to recipient. Keep
receipts in your Christmas folder (a large envelope or one of those
clear pockets is good for this)
Hopefully you are making good progress with these. Try and finish
another couple this week. Any bulbs for Christmas presents/ displays
should be potted up by now.....
Christmas Decorations/ Colour Scheme
Although it might seem early, decorations are beginning to creep into
the shops. Think about how you are planning on decorating your house
this year. Are you changing the colour scheme, or just updating
slightly. Whilst no-one is suggesting you buy vast quantities of new
decorations, a couple of new items each year can update your look.
Table cloths - have you a large enough one for Christmas? Do you need
a new one? Look now before everyone starts looking and things sell out. Plain cloths can be 'jazzed up' by a runner or lengths of ribbon along the middle.
This week covers zones 5 & 1. Is there any decorating/ touching up
required before Christmas? Aim to do it this week if possible - if
not, time plan it to be fitted in in the next 2 weeks.
Time for Self
Don't forget time out for you. Many hairdressers and beauticians are
taking Christmas bookings now - so take time this week to book
appointments for cuts/ colours/ waxes/ a relaxing massage before all
spaces are taken! We CAN be organised, stress free goddesses this
Christmas :-D I have all my hair cuts booked right up to Xmas Eve already!
Sorry about the missing/very late week. There should be one a week right up til Christmas
ahh this thread fell off my list, must must must catch up!
I'm loving this thread, I love christmas so this is certainly making me feel christmassy!
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