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

474 replies

EllieMumsnet · 21/11/2018 09:56

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

How do you stay organised in the run up to Christmas? Share with McDonalds - £300 voucher to be won
OP posts:
GooodMythicalMorning · 21/11/2018 10:06

Lots of lists and prepping. Anything that can be made for christmas lunch beforehand is, so less stress and rushing around at the time. Plus we share out the jobs so no one person has to remember everything. Any shortcuts (as long as they're acceptable and taste good) can be used eg store bought stuffing and turkey crown.

flowerycurtain · 21/11/2018 12:10

I make one thing a week and put it in the freezer from stir up Sunday onwards

asuwere · 21/11/2018 12:12

Easiest way to stay organised is to not go overboard! Just remember it's 1 day and it's at the same time every year.
Lists are helpful for any organisation!

Stringofpearls · 21/11/2018 12:25

Lists, lists and more lists! Also every time I go shopping I pick up a few extra bits and pieces so it's not all crammed into one big shop just before the big day.

CMOTDibbler · 21/11/2018 12:32

We just don't go mad! I only have 5 people to buy for, dh has 6, and we are quite happy to go out and buy food on christmas eve as its just us and the only thing me, dh and ds are worried about having is our annual trifle

PasswordRejection · 21/11/2018 12:36

Plan ahead and organise well in advance for DH to take the kiddies out of the house in the lead up so I can get stuff done!

Ooo and spreadsheet!Blush

llynnnn · 21/11/2018 12:42

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

I also have a list for food shopping....and try to buy non-perishables in advance a little extra each week, already have christmas pud, chocs and some nuts!

CommonFishDiseases · 21/11/2018 12:53

Trying to go minimal this year and do less in order to reduce my stress! I usually encourage my DC to give to others by visiting an old people's home together at Christmas and donating to a food bank. Also remembering to not spend all our budget on other people but keep something aside for myself and DH to buy ourselves a little something since we never do.

NightOwlHoney · 21/11/2018 12:53

I keep a diary/organiser (I do this all year round though and would be lost without it) to keep track of the Xmas events we have planned and even when I plan to put the tree up (otherwise the kids will bug me about it). I keep a detailed list of what I've bought for everybody - we have 5 DC and it would be chaos if I didn't do this. It helps me not to get carried away with spending. We have a slot booked to collect the turkey and a rough idea of when we'll do our Xmas shop. So basically, lots of planning. We even do an itinerary for cooking the Xmas dinner, which we write on Xmas Eve. Again, this is necessary cause we don't have a double oven, so to get everything cooked and served up hot takes military precision. I'd rather it not be all about lists and planning and more about just fun, but I've kind of accepted it just has to be this way and it's the same for most people.

queenoftheschoolrun · 21/11/2018 13:01

Lists, lists and more lists! Food shopping, meal planning, present buying, wish lists for relatives to buy presents from, Christmas card recipients to name but a few!

BristolMum96 · 21/11/2018 13:09

Make lists and buy throughout the year. Be ready mid November

Davinia10 · 21/11/2018 13:13

Lists and more lists.
A list of presents to buy.
A list of food to get.
Christmas card list.
From mid November I'll start adding a couple of bits to my weekly shop.
It's a smaller quieter less stressful Christmas in my house this year.
So I've already had a chat with family/friends about budgets.
I have a Sunday planned with a friend to do all our Christmas baking on one day!!

TwittleBee · 21/11/2018 13:15

lots of spreadsheets and lists and grabbing any catalogues etc from the supermarkets to see what the family at home fancy for Christmas lunch!

FunkyBrownie · 21/11/2018 13:41

Remember it’s just one day - and that if we run out of anything the supermarkets will be open the next day! I try and pick up bits and pieces in the run up so I’m not saving it all for one mega shop; also means I can cut out the panic if something I wanted isn’t in stock

voyager50 · 21/11/2018 13:53

I start buying presents as soon as I see things people would like. I am to get as much as possible done before December as I hate crowded shops and don't want to order things online too late in case they are delayed.

burwellmum · 21/11/2018 14:01

Lists. And more lists. Food, cards, presents to buy, presents bought (and location, I have forgotten to put out Christmas presents bought and hidden).

Theperfectchangeling · 21/11/2018 14:12

I Start shopping for everyone except the kids in october and declutter/deep clean the house/oven etc...
Xmas list from kids by no later than October 31st.
All Christmas shopping completed (mostly online wherever possible) and wrapped by end of November!
Make constant lists on my phone, and I add a note/web link etc... every time someone drops a hint.
Start adding some festive food bits to weekly shop to spread the cost and hassle (also it means drop ins can be quickly catered for!)
Reserve christmas grocery shopping delivery slot as soon as released. (Order meat)
When december arrives, if I have done all of the above, I make gravy which can be frozen and defrosted ahead. Cranberry sauce (takes 10 minutes of minimal effort and is lush!) and plan my menu. I then add anything I need for the big day to the online grocery delivery basket.

When all that is done? Eat, drink and be Merry throughout December! WinkCakeWineStar until xmas eve, when veg gets pre-peeled/chopped, table laid, all equipment popped out ready, quick clean around and await the big man.

Serin · 21/11/2018 14:22

I usually start Christmas shopping in the January sales buying up nice cards and gift wrap/crackers in the sales.
Then I do bits and bobs through the autumn...baking, collecting pine cones for wreath, wrapping presents etc.
By the time December comes my feet go up! And we have time to do nice things as a family e.g ice skating and long winter walks. The best time to visit a usually busy visitor attraction (Chester zooWink) is Christmas peaceful!!

AdamBarlowsQuiff · 21/11/2018 14:22

I buy presents throughout the year when I see a good deal and to spread the cost - although have to wait for letters to santa for the last couple of items..and I never get anything wrapped until Xmas Eve usually. Might change that this year as it's a lot to do!
Husband does the Xmas dinner and has a plan of when everything needs to go in oven etc.
I love Xmas shopping but do a lot of it online these days unfortunately.

PhilomenaButterfly · 21/11/2018 14:38

DH is in charge of food. We only buy presents for the DC and my DM, as we're on a really tight budget. I buy 1 new decoration a year.

Toys/computer games I can buy from my local supermarket, my DC are getting fussier about clothes so I'm buying them online this year.

I'm afraid our McDonald's is a bit of a detour for a coffee, we may pop in for those free Reindeer Treat carrots though!

SilverDoe · 21/11/2018 14:38

We lay off cooking for the whole month of December :)

Days at relatives, Christmas sandwiches, takeaways, fish and chips, pasta bakes and beans on toast take over and I don’t cook a big meal until the big one on Christmas Day - this saves a lot of time and stress as cooking from scratch is so difficult to fit in amongst the chaotic evenings of decorating and shopping.

BiddyPop · 21/11/2018 14:39

I roll over a spreadsheet annually for presents and budget - it's easiest.

Lists of jobs to get done and foods to prep and presents and food and other bits to buy.
Like the spare batteries, extra logs for the fire (and matches and firelighters!), plenty of loo roll and bin liners....
Like the annual checking of the smoke alarms (I know, it should be monthly, but better to do it then than not at all), and cleaning of the chimney...

I buy cards as soon as I see them. If I have any reason to travel and be stuck on a train or in an airport/plane, or just sitting in a waiting room for a while, I will bring a few with me to get out of the way. So they are all ready by posting date (at least in theory).

Empty the freezer over autumn to clear out old food, and make space for both preparations and leftovers for Christmas.

Preparations include making a few extra family sized regular dinners during the autumn and freezing those (lasagna, curries, etc) to have in those manic days coming up beforehand (running through for dinner before the nativity, grabbing a bite after a Santa party and before an adult party, unexpected visitors dropping in around dinner time needing a plate...).

And I try to book an internet shop for food most weekends in December because the shops are so manic. Getting enough for the week and most of what I need for Christmas (the heavy things especially).

Things I know I'll want, like PJs for all, I will pick up early. But I only tend to wrap everything in the last couple of weeks - I pick a night (preferably when DH is out at something else), pack DD off to bed, turn on some Christmas music (a movie is too distracting). lay out all my paper, ribbon, tags, scissors, pens and tape dispenser on the table, presents dragged out from cupboards to be all there, and set up an assembly line. I have ordinary paper bags (or fancy Christmas ones if I have them) to be able to split the gifts by family/location once wrapped (saves time - I can neatly pack up each bag later) and allow myself a reward of a nice glass of wine and a good mince pie once I am done.

I tend to prep ahead of time, as work and home life are manic in those last few weeks. But if I had to do it last minute, I would still be doing it the same way - just doing more jobs at once or bigger shopping trips (I tend to try and buy one present a week once the DCs go back to school in September as I have about 50 people to buy for in total).


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SilverDoe · 21/11/2018 14:40

And in terms of actual Mcdonald yes I’m a bit of a fiend for the festive menu, especially whatever cheese bite things they are doing, and the kids do have a fair few happy meals in the 3 week build up Blush

Theperfectchangeling · 21/11/2018 14:44

Same silver Grin praying that they bring back the banoffee choc festive pie this year! Love those bad boys!

m0jit0 · 21/11/2018 15:21

Lists! All the lists! Start shopping early, wrapping as I go along (less temptation to eat the Christmas chocolate if they are already wrapped!). Luckily not had to host Christmas yet but think that task will fall to us next year so will need to be extra organised.

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