It's the most wonderful time....OF THE YEAR!
Now, I am well aware it's only November and I am utterly surprised at just how keen I am to get into the jolliness of the Christmas period. I have to admit, until only recently, I was the one rolling her eyes at Christmas music in shops and I confess I have often left gift shopping until December 23rd - true story.
But, as I've been getting older, my urge to nest has grown proportionally and if I am to be the home goddess I intent to be, I will have to start kicking some Christmas beeee-hiiiind!
With so much ambition and such little time, I thought I'd help my blogging community by creating a quick checklist of things to get around to before the festivities come and go (as they inevitably do). And I'm suggesting we get started today. Say what?!
100 Things to Do Before Christmas:
1.Take inventory of freezer and pantry to work out what you'll need to start buying. Don't forget to make sure you've got things like baking sheets and flour.
2.Stock up on snacks & drinks for parties and surprise guests.
3. And be smart about it. From now until Christmas, try buying something every time you go shopping. It'll hurt less this way!
4. Check you've got details for all your contacts and these are up-to-date.
5. Buy your Christmas cards.
6. Or make them!
7. Buy stamps.
8. Create a Christmas Pinterest board. You can borrow mine for now!
9. Find yourself a cosy notepad and use it to masterplan the holidays.
10. Create a gift list and budget.
11. Start jotting down ideas for craft & baking projects.
12. Stock up on wrapping paper & gift tags.
13. Find a good hiding place for your gifts.
14. Inspect your Christmas decorations. Plan to replace anything that no longer cuts the bill.
15. If you're planning a Christmas party, send out invites now. People's diaries are about to get impossible.
16. Work out where you will spend the main days. Your family? His family? At yours? Hidden in a cupboard? It's good to have a plan of action.
17. Book your time off for work - Christmas falls all over the weekends. Work out how to get the longest break. Cheeky!
18. If you'll be out over the Christmas break and need to book accommodation, do it NOW!
19. Get charitable. Work out what you can do during this time to give back to the community. My mum and I are taking some treats to some elderly neighbours and offering them lifts to church. Every little helps!
20. Dig out your Christmas jumper. And if you still don't have one, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE??
21. Use a quiet Sunday to make and freeze things like cookie dough. Impromptu cookie nights is what it's all about!
22. Assess your hosting equipment. Do you have enough glasses? Cutlery? Do you need a punch bowl? Look out for sales and deals.
23. Start wearing your Christmas socks... Nobody needs to know how you wrapping them toes ;)
24. Make sure you know the Post Office's Christmas mailing deadlines.
25. Donate food cans, toys and winter clothes.
26. Fill a shoebox with gifts for charity.
27. Practice your mulled wine skills.
28. Drink hot cider.
29. Buy candles and tea lights for decorations.
30. Run a 'silly Christmas jumper' day at work for charity.
31. Prepare a capsule wardrobe for the events ahead. Do you have appropriate shoes, tights, evening wear for the upcoming gatherings?
32. Book necessary hair and beauty appointments early.
33. Do a daily search for promotions and offers online. The internet is ablaze with bargains this time of year.
34. Visit handmade fairs and local craft stalls in your area and support small businesses.
35. And, whilst you're at it, take part in one! My friend Anna and I are taking part in the Ham Library Fair on November 26th. Come see us! (link to follow)
36. Buy and eat satsumas by the bucketload.
37. Work out who you're buying Advent Calendars for and make sure you get them in good time so they can actually open their first window December 1st.
38. Look at fun hot chocolate recipes and create your very own hot chocolate bar with all the trimmings.
39. Schedule in exercise. Because, hot chocolate bar...
40. Collect garden trimmings to make pretty decorations with.
41. Mail out your cards and overseas gifts!
42. Spend time with your favourite cousin (OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!)
43. Turns out gingerbread gets softer and yummier with time. If you're planing on making a gingerbread house, make sure you start early so it's chewy and delicious by Christmas eve.
44. Write your wish list and accidentally leave it somewhere obvious.
45. Buy or make stockings and be forever on the lookout for fillers.
46. Clean the oven.
47. Plan an ice skating day out with friends.
48. Go watch some carol singing.
49. Or be the bravest and try it yourself.
50. Work out your Christmas Day menu and write the shopping list for it.
51. Watch a Christmas film. And another. And another. And then watch Home Alone. And Princess Bride. And never leave your bed...
52. Clear a space out for your Christmas cards.
53. Dry oranges to use for decorations.
54. Buy, hide and eat chocolate coins.
55. Pre-order your turkey!
56. Sit by a fire. Roasting chestnuts, preferably.
57. Give your home a proper clean so it's show ready for guests.
58. Don't forget to also give your front door and garden a spruce!
59. Bake cinnamon biscuits to hang on your tree.
60. Stock up on aspirin and cold medicine. I bet you'll need it at some point :)
61. Go see the local 'Christmas Light Switch On' event.
62. Organise Secret Santa.
63. Give your car a good service in preparation for long drives.
64. If you've got people staying over, make sure you've got the necessities covered - sheets, pillows, spare toiletries, tea & coffee, etc
65. Decorate bathrooms with christmas towels and flowers, update the kitchen cloths and aprons with festive patterns.
66. Make a Yule Log with your little ones (if these are available to you...).
67. Create a Christmas song playlist. The cheesier, the better.
68. Collect pine cones.
69. Find your Christmas scent. Think spiced room sprays, vanilla candles, orange potpourri...
70. Go see The Nutcracker. Or watch a Panto.
71. Thoroughly enjoy whatever Christmas show your kids put on at school.
72. Find the perfect Christmas Day pyjama.
73. Dig out your best table cloth and napkins for Christmas lunch and see if they're properly cleaned and ironed.
74. Plan a beautiful walk through wintery landscapes.
75. Wrap up warm and spend time setting out your outdoor lights. It's what the world will see so make it look splendid!
76. Find or make your own wreath.
77. Frost windows.
78. Set Nativity.
79. Find your tree. And really tart it up!
80. Create a 'Kissing gate' in your house with mistletoe.
81. Plan a shopping day for all those last minute gifts and wrapping paper needs.
82. Keep spare chocolate boxes and bottles of wine under your tree for unexpected gifters, handymen and neighbours.
83. Work out public transport options in case of snow or Bank Holidays.
84. Plan New Years Eve.
85. Start thinking about your resolutions!
86. Buy a new calendar for you and one for someone else.
87. Locate your boardgames and plan games to play on Christmas & Boxing Day.
88. Go see Santa at his grotto.
89. Call friends and relatives you've not spoken to for a while.
90. Put your neighbours' cards through their letterbox. And if you like your neighbours, hold an Open House Day or take them tasty treats you've made yourself.
91. Update your social media with festive picture. Hey, why not?
92. Walk around the neighbourhood to see the lights.
93. Make centre pieces for tables.
94. Stuff stockings.
95. Buy veggies, fruit and dessert for Christmas lunch.
96. Wrap gifts (make a whole fuss about it too. Put your playlist on, warm your mince pies and get creative)
97. Go to church on Christmas Eve.
98. Leave pies and brandy out for Santa.
99. Put some champagne in your morning orange juice
100. Enjoy the day!
You can follow my Christmas Pinterest board for inspiration on decoration, DIY, food and gifts!