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How do you stay organised in the run up to Christmas? Share with McDonalds - £300 voucher to be won

(475 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Nov-18 09:56:33

For the majority of people the countdown to Christmas has already begun...queue the Christmas films, carol singing, decorations, gift giving, Santa Claus and Christmas dinner. However it can also feel a little overwhelming trying to get everything sorted all before the big day, especially if you’re more of a do-it-all-the-week-before-Xmas type of person blush. Which is why McDonalds would like to know all your tips and tricks for staying organised throughout the run up to Christmas.

Here’s what McDonald’s has to say: “We know it’s a hectic time of year for families, so if it’s a quick coffee when you’re out shopping or popping in on Christmas Eve for some free Reindeer Treat carrots, we are here to help you get #ReindeerReady on your way to Christmas 2018!”

In order for you to stay organised do you have to begin your preparations early and if so how early do you start? Are you a big list maker and write down everything you need to buy, plan and prep? Do you split the responsibility out across your family? Maybe you order all your presents and/or food online to save time? Or do you buy decorations and presents throughout the year when you see a good deal?

However you stay organised in the run up to Christmas, tell us on the thread below and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 21-Nov-18 20:50:54

I generally start thinking about Christmas in November so have around a month to get organised. The first thing we usually do is work out where we're actually going to be on Christmas Day and when we're going to see different family & friends. Then I start thinking of presents so make a list.
Lists probably feature a lot actually in the run up to Christmas!!

jelliebelly Wed 21-Nov-18 20:52:43


MegBusset Wed 21-Nov-18 20:54:43

I have an app that keeps track of my present buying.
Do as much as possible online - buy in bits and pieces from September onwards to spread the cost and effort.
And aim to have all shopping done by end of November so I can enjoy December without having to go in the shops!

Notjustanyone Wed 21-Nov-18 21:01:15

I start the lists in August! I then start buying in September. I order mostly online but do use our local small businesses when I can. My mum buys the food & drink every year for Christmas Day and we buy the Boxing Day buffet food. The Decs go up on the 1st December. All presents are wrapped by beginning of December and cards are sent middle of December. I am very organised and run a tight ship when it comes to Christmas as I want it to be perfect. It means a lot to me because we lost my father on Christmas Day 5 years ago and it was absolutely the worst day of my life so I do this to take my mind off it.

Noeuf Wed 21-Nov-18 21:22:50

Spreadsheet, new tab each year. Lists presents recipients costs etc.

Send cards on 1st December

Avoid too much tat now

Stay at home people can come to us but with the kids it's easier

Wobblington Wed 21-Nov-18 21:28:57

Evernote - I have a dedicated notebook for Xmas on my phone. It holds my lists, notes and photos of things I spot during the year that might be ideas for Xmas.

SingaporeSlinky Wed 21-Nov-18 21:47:46

Lots of lists, and start early. Sometimes even more than a year early.
I buy in January sales, although I don’t go overboard and buy something for the sake of it. If I see a fab bargain, I do think who I could give it to, usually jewellery, luxury things like leather gloves that will be half price and a great gift for aunties. Also things like cards, crackers will be half price so I stock up. Napkins and gift tags can be pennies by January. If I see something I know someone will love, I do sometimes buy it for the Christmas after next, if I’ve already got them something. If you have plenty of storage space, it doesn’t matter that it’s been in a cupboard for nearly 2 years. I do continue to buy throughout the year if I see real bargains and I keep a list of what I’ve bought and who for, so by November I’ve bought 80% of what I need. The rest then doesn’t break the bank.

I tend to do all the Christmas stuff for our family, from shopping for gifts, to ordering the food, to making plans, but I enjoy it so don’t mind. My husband helps cook on the day. I get food delivered as close to Christmas as I can for fresh stuff, but cupboard stocks and freezer food a few weeks before to make sure I have it all. Batches of mince pies and sausage rolls made and frozen in November. I have a list and cooking times all written down that I follow every year. Once you’ve got it right, it takes the stress out to just repeat every year. Not much changes.

MrsMisstery Wed 21-Nov-18 21:50:25

Lists, sticking to my traditions and avoiding fads and a relaxed attitude.

headfullofdreams Wed 21-Nov-18 22:08:09

Cut back on the crazy present buying and just enjoy being with friends/ family. Get out in the fresh air for lots of winter walks.

purplepandas Wed 21-Nov-18 22:19:38

I'm never as early as I would like as birthday central until end Nov. But lists and early buying where I can for smaller bits.

MummaPI Wed 21-Nov-18 22:24:34

🎄Follow message boards on mumsnet for bargain presents
🎄Buy nibbles and drink in small amounts every week by adding onto weekly shop (looking for deals)
🎄Book a big shop in advance for a few days before Christmas
🎄keep lists on phone to keep track of what's been ordered
🎄 have a boozy wrapping day!

biffyboom Wed 21-Nov-18 22:36:02

I try to buy the children's presents throughout the year so I don't have to worry about shopping in the Christmas crowds too much.
I order a lot of my partners presents in december, as there's not many places I can hide them for a long period of time without them being discovered.

I try to make lists of ideas and plans to help keep me focused throughout december.
We try to keep it focused on the children as much as possible, and have stopped running around for other family members, they are welcome to come to us if they want to.

SimplyPut Wed 21-Nov-18 23:00:28

I have set tried and tested deadlines to keep me organised and mentally prepared in the lead up to Christmas. I need time to relax with the family!

I begin Christmas preparations in September by making a list (I use an app) then begin shopping.

I keep a diary of all upcoming dates as the children appear home with letters for Christmas jumper day, school parties, pantomime visits etc to ensure I'm aware of who needs to be where and when. DH, teen children and I have a synced family calendar.

All shopping must be complete by December 1st excluding any 'extras' I can't resist. I separate each child's gifts into separate bags for ease later.

I accrue time in leu through the autumn and take a day off in the 1st week of December to wrap gifts. I colour of paper each for tree presents and Father Christmas gifts. I put each child's stocking contents in a plastic bag ready to transfer on Christmas Eve.

Our advent calendar is handwritten to include days out, movie afternoons and good deeds... I love it!

Treaclespongeandcustard Wed 21-Nov-18 23:09:26

I shop very early and try to make Christmas Eve as laid back as possible. My DC are only young and I like the excitement of Santa.

applesauce1 Wed 21-Nov-18 23:21:00

I'm expecting our first baby mid December, so I've started shopping earlier than usual this year. I've nearly finished buying and wrapping for everyone.
Usually, I make homemade felt tree decorations for our extended family, and start making these in early November. I have the responsibility of cards, buying and wrapping for both families. The only present my husband has to sort out is mine. He forgot two years in a row so bought me a Burberry scarf last year to make it up to me!

mummatohardy Wed 21-Nov-18 23:57:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ILoveMyCaravan Thu 22-Nov-18 00:20:54

We take our annual holiday over Christmas so the only prep I do is packing a suitcase! The kids now have one big present which they usually receive before we go away. It's quite nice looking around the shops thinking I don't need to get involved in all of this. Bliss!

passremarkable Thu 22-Nov-18 01:33:52

Lists +++
Buy things as I see them at special offer prices. Wrap S early as possible. Order cards in October, write in November, post in December.
Feed and water myself. After all
I’m a resource too.

VanellopeVonSchweetz99 Thu 22-Nov-18 02:07:40

Lists, lists, lists. Often online, I email them to myself.

kateandme Thu 22-Nov-18 02:57:48

we are list makers.we have a pad that we always write what we need and it get added to.
as soon as things like crackers and the bits that last comes into store we nab them as the offers are on sooner.and then they will be put into a bit tub box out in utility which is the crimbo box no one is allowed to touch!(dad im looking at you!...)
then things that can be frozen are gotten around now.could be the turkey.sausage in blankets etc.
shelf in cupboard goes to things like cake icing and pud.nuts etc.that also bought as soon as.
remember the lunch is just a sunday roast with a bit more prep time and effort.
if we have big family chrismtas everyone brings something to help.everyone joins in.its the kids job to lay the tables.
In order for you to stay organised do you have to begin your preparations early and if so how early do you start? any time now.
Are you a big list maker and write down everything you need to buy, plan and prep?yes
Do you split the responsibility out across your family?yes when we can but its alwas offered.
Maybe you order all your presents and/or food online to save time?no not really.we try to do it all peronally as we fear we wont get what we want because of busy stores.
Or do you buy decorations and presents throughout the year when you see a good deal? yes.always looking out for good deals.especially as offers come and go on certain product depending on the time of year.
also buy wrapping paper and décor bits in January for the next year

Miltonkeynesmummy Thu 22-Nov-18 05:52:26

I buy all my gifts in the summer sales. People think I'm mad but it means I can buy friends and family gifts I'd never be able to afford otherwise. All presents wrapped and sent by December.

Lots of food prep in November and early December as I work in an industry which is busy in the run up to Christmas. Then from the 20th I can enjoy everything. So fun cooking, Christmas stuff with the kids, Christmas dinner jnvolves just last minute cooking so I can be in and out with the kids.

MaverickSnoopy Thu 22-Nov-18 06:43:07

I buy presents for extended family in the January sales for extended family and then throughout the year to spread the cost and snap up bargains. By now I just have my children's main presents to buy, and few bits for my husband and a few other bits and pieces.

I have a spreadsheet with a budget, lists of presents, lists of food and much more. I also have a calendar from the beginning of November to the end of the year which is done on a spreadsheet and printed and updated weekly. It includes everything down to when I need to iron the Christmas tablecloth and put the Christmas bedding on. It helps me to spread the load.

This Christmas I have a newborn and so I need to up my game. I have been simultaneously been keeping a list of things to do (compare booze costs, meal plans, present ideas etc on one drive which I can access whether I'm out and about on my phone, or on the ipad or on the computer. It means I'm doing some kind of organising even when I'm breastfeeding. I plan to get my 7yo to write all the Christmas cards. She loves writing cards so it seems a good solution when I don't have much time. I'm also going to get her to put a lot of three Christmas decorations up and some easy kitchen tasks (make peppermint creams and mince pies etc).

The presents are currently bagged up into relevant bags, eg DD1 tree presents, DD2 stocking presents etc. This year I'm roping in some family to help wrap the children's presents. I just don't have the time and DH is truly rubbish at wrapping presents. Last year between extended family, our children, DH and friends in had over 150 presents to wrap (and I'm not an excessive giver) so for me it's all about delegation this year. Having 3 children has been a major adjustment for us with no time to breath so my intention is to get through Christmas as unscathed as possible and this means getting everyone to help (in fact I feel it should be like this every year, minus the newborn!).

LivingDeadGirlUK Thu 22-Nov-18 06:56:44

We keep it simple and split the gift list so its not me doing all the shopping. First Christmas at home so a plan with timings has been written for dinner. Other than that we are keeping it simple!

jacqui5366 Thu 22-Nov-18 07:01:45

I find the thought of it very overwhelming, but take a deep breath, and once my DS have decided what is on their Christmas list, and once I have got those ordered, feel a lot more relaxed. Supermarkets are open 24/7 in the run up to Christmas, and petrol stations with shops open on Christmas day, so I decide that once I gave done my BIG SHOP, any forgotten extras can be purchased easily. I always have a large stock of wrapping, sellotape and tags, from last year, and from the January sales.

Xmasfairy86 Thu 22-Nov-18 07:37:16

Wrap as I go still haven’t mastered this

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