The ultimate Christmas to-do list for 2023
It’s official - Christmas is coming. We’ve put together a handy Christmas preparation checklist featuring 10 things you might want to tick off during the coming days and weeks.
With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, many of us are starting to think about all the things we need to do before the big day arrives.
Unlike other types of admin, Christmas planning is seriously fun! It shouldn’t feel like a big chore, and if you start now and share the jobs with all the other members of your household, then there won’t be a mad rush to get everything done under pressure.
So, why not sit down with a cup of cocoa, a mince pie, and your sparkly glitter pen, and let the festive planning countdown commence….
1. Advent calendars at the ready
Advent calendars are a Christmas tradition that help us to mark the start of the festivities and count down the days until the 25th. In recent years, Advent calendars have really blossomed in terms of popularity and variety. From beauty products to gin and tea bags to toys, there is literally an Advent calendar for everyone, including the good old fashioned chocolate Advent calendars too. If you fancy making your own unique edible Advent calendar this year, why not try our new Gingerbread biscuits Advent calendar recipe.
2. Put together a budget sheet
Christmas can be costly, so putting together a budget of everything you think you will need to spend can help to ease any financial anxieties ahead. Start by making a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and put down an allocated budget for each. Next, put together an amount for food and entertaining, followed by an allocation for parties and going out. You will end up with a figure that should include everything you need to spend during the festive period. Buying gifts in advance during the Black Friday promotional period, as well as being creative with homemade items will help you to reduce the cost of many items in your budget sheet.
3. Write & send cards
In an age of social media, email, and digital messaging, receiving a hand-written card seems all the more special at Christmas. The earlier you get started on writing your cards, the better as it tends to be one of those jobs most people put off until it’s too late to send! So, make a list of everyone you want to send a card to, as well as their most up-to-date postal address, and think of something thoughtful and personal to write in each one. Remember, you will be able to save money by using second-class stamps if you send them out early enough in December.
4. Send your letters to Santa
If you think you’re busy this December, just imagine what Santa is going through! Be sure to get your Christmas letters sent to him as early as possible so that he can do his present prep well in advance too. Remember to check the Royal Mail website for their advice on getting in touch with Santa – they recommend Friday 9th December as the latest deadline.
5. Get your gifts sorted
Now you have a list of all the presents you need, and the budget allocated to each, it’s time to start shopping! If you are looking for something specific, be sure to do your research for the best prices and offers available and try to bulk together your purchases as much as possible to minimise on delivery costs. In need of some inspiration? Be sure to shop local wherever possible to find regionally sourced products and check out the Christmas markets and fairs in your hometown for unique and hand-crafted gifts.
6. Give your decorations a spruce
If, like us, you keep your Christmas decorations stored away in the loft or the garage throughout the year, it’s worth getting them out before you buy your tree in order to check what condition they are in. It’s likely your glass baubles might need a little dust off, and your fairy lights might need untangling, so get them all out and lay them down individually to see if you have everything you need.
7. Source your Christmas tree
The nation is divided into those who buy a real tree, and those who prefer an artificial one. There are pros and cons for each type, including questions about sustainability, however, if you do decide to purchase a real tree, then be sure you source a locally grown, FSC certified tree form a dependable retailer. This way you are ensuring your environmental credentials are intact as well as getting a beautiful tree to last the duration of the holidays.
8. Stock up on sweet treats
Christmas is a time for sharing and caring, and sweet treats make the perfect offering. With the supermarket shelves bursting with variety and offers this December, it’s a good time to stock up on Christmas classics such as Kipling mince pies, Cadbury stocking selection boxes, and Fox’s classic biscuit selection. You can also include your treats as part of your festive décor, with little dishes of sweets dotted around the house, or biscuits wrapped in foil hung on the branches of your Christmas tree.
9. Master a few favourite recipes in time for Christmas dinner
When it comes to Christmas dinner planning, it’s nice to have a few good recipes up your sleeve. Even if you plan to buy some ready-made items too, mixing them with some homemade items will make everything seem more authentic and thoughtful. Many things can also be made well-ahead of the big day, and frozen until you need them, including our make-ahead sage and onion Yorkshire puddings, and vegan Christmas nut roast.
10. Be ready for guests
December is a time for meeting up with friends and family whenever possible, so it’s best to always be prepared for impromptu guests arriving at this time. Stock up on crisps, nuts, and olives that you can bring out at any time to share, and stock your fridge with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks so you can always feel like the perfect host. If you are looking for something glamourous and sparkling to serve, then Co-op Irresistible prosecco is delicious and is also much cheaper than champagne too.
Now you have worked your way through our to-do list, we hope you feel much more prepped and ready to embrace Christmas 2023! Remember to keep an eye out for all of our in-store special offers to really make the most of your Christmas planning and budgeting.