How do you stay organised in the run up to Christmas?

Woman decorates tree with son

Re-runs of Home Alone on TV? Constant mentions of the school nativity play? A flurry of Christmas cards landing on the doormat? Mulling and mincing? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, people.

We’ve not long to go until the big day arrives, and for most parents, the pressure is on. Keeping up with all the cooking, wrapping and socialising can be overwhelming to say the least, so here are Mumsnetters' top tips to keep things in check

Prep, prep, prep!
frozen food

“Lots of food prep in November and early December. Then from the 20th I can enjoy everything. It also means that I can spend more time with the kids come Christmas day. Win, win!”

Tis’ the season to shop early
Woman holds shopping bags

“I buy all my Christmas gifts in January sales. If I see a fab bargain, I do think about who I could give it to. Also things like cards and crackers will be half price so I tend to 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 following Christmas if I've already bought for them. If you have plenty of storage space, it doesn’t matter that it’s been in a cupboard for nearly two years.”

Use your relatives as your little elves
Woman wraps gifts

“This year I'm roping in some family members 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, I had over 150 presents to wrap (and I'm not an excessive giver) so for me it's all about delegation this year.”

Dredge up all that Excel knowledge
Woman looks at computer

“Lots of lists and spreadsheets here! I have a list in my diary of things to buy and budgets. Then, once I've bought something, I'll enter it into the spreadsheet with the cost, so I can keep a track of how much is being spent.”

Bundle up the useful bits

“I always keep a large stock of wrapping paper, sellotape and tags from last year to make it all much less overwhelming. Once I’ve got those sorted, everything feels a lot more relaxed.”

Deck the halls – but not too late
Christmas decorations

“Decorations go up around the 1st December – I need a few days to get them all up properly because we go totally OTT! I always chuckle to myself when I hear about people putting up their decorations on Christmas Eve – if I did that I would still be decorating on Boxing Day!”

Forget Santa, write a letter to yourself
Elf screams SANTA

“Each year I write myself a note for the next year, highlighting what was worthwhile and what not to bother with. Those notes are worth their weight in gold. Over the years I’ve simplified what I buy, what I do, and what I stress about. I forget these things quickly but reading it in my own handwriting, underlined twice, is very helpful.”

Seek advice from the experts
Woman reads book

“I can recommend a book called 'Unplug the Christmas Machine'. it helps you work out your priorities over the Christmas period and avoid all that overload and tension.”

Liquor makes it quicker

“Just have a boozy wrapping day!”

Got any more tips to add? Join the discussion