The problem with Father Christmas is that, during his off-peak time, he goes very quiet. Usually, he’s planning for the busiest working day known to man, but rumours persist that he may currently have larger problems to contend with during his down time.
If Santa really is going bankrupt, as recently reported by some newspapers, Christmas may be something of a miserable affair this year, but let’s assume that isn’t going to happen. And let’s get planning!
Welcome to our official Christmas survival guide. You’ll need it. Print it, save it, bookmark it; just keep it by your side at all times!
Christmas is just one day, but it’s a day you need to plan for. There are so many elements you need to cover in order to make this Christmas one to remember. Here’s the stuff you need on your list:
Plan where you’re going. Are you staying at home, or is it finally Uncle Bob’s turn?
Book time off work. No one wants to be in the office during that ‘nether zone’ between Christmas and New Year
If you are organising a Christmas party, make sure you book everything well in advance. Here are some great tips for booking your Christmas party entertainment.
Order the turkey (unless that’s now down to Uncle Bob, of course)
Get enough Christmas cards in, or switch to digital versions to save time and trees
Find the ‘emergency chairs’ – you’ll need them
Christmas is expensive. Presents, food, booze, cards, long trips to distant family – it all adds up. Depending on your personal situation, you may wish to start budgeting early in the year. The thought of Christmas in January might be an unpalatable one, but if you want to ensure you can afford those presents for your loved ones without turning to credit, put a little aside each month as early as possible.
Create a shopping list
Forgetting something which would contribute to a fantastic Christmas is a painful experience, so list absolutely everything you need to buy for the big day. Include food, booze and presents.
This can be done early or late on; January sales are often the best time to buy Christmas presents, but, equally, you’ll find the odd bargain on Christmas eve when you’re making that mad dash around the shops. Sign up to online retailers’ mailing lists and keep an eye on your inbox for the best deals.
It’s time to make a choice. Can you buy every present online? If so – do it. If you’re unsure, or prefer the process of trawling around brick-and-mortar stores, head into town. Just make sure you take that big shopping list with you! Of course, as much as we like shopping online it’s always a great fun to visit Birmingham’s Christmas Market and if you can’t travel to Birmingham, don’t worry, check this list for many more Christmas Markets all over the country.
Gift wrap & label
One of the least enjoyable chores pre-Christmas is wrapping and labelling the multitude of presents you’ve bought for friends and family. It has to be done, though, so grit your teeth and dedicate an evening to doing so. Alternatively, use the handy services of gift wrappers in shopping centres – they’re a real time saver!