Bit early, you might be muttering under your breath right now, but it's really not. If the Christmas products have hit the shop shelves, then you can get on preparing yourself.
1. Get those last bits of decoration done
If you're anything like me, decoration take years to perfect. I'm talking about general house maintenance rather than festive getup here. If you're having family over, chances are they'll stay too. Start eBaying or charity-shopping now to make space or tidy up the room that any visitors will be staying. Or fill that space by getting those finishing touches done.
We've begun our stash of chocolate and the stash of beverages will begin shortly. At the moment the tins of Quality Street, Celebrations and other well known brands are on offer in Tesco 2 for £8 saving you one whole English pound on each tin. Might not seem a lot? Spreading out the cost of these little additions means I'm not going to fork out a load of cash on things that aren't a daily necessity in one go. And means I won't miss out if I can't afford it closer to the big day.
3. Know your audience
Don't buy gifts for the hell of buying gifts. I come from a family who give very few, but good quality gifts. The Lad, on the other hand, gets sacks of really cheap gifts that aren't really worthwhile and inevitably don't last in our household very long. I'm not saying go out and buy everyone a gift worth £100+, but I am saying spend time researching what you can afford versus what they want. That way, you're happy and they're happy.
4. Get your Plan Of Action confirmed
If you invited a load of people round to yours this Christmas whilst sat eating turkey with them last year, now's the time to check that a) they still remember your invite b) if they will actually come and what the logistics of that involve. This can also work out if your plans have changed since you made arrangements previous and you have to cancel, so make sure everyone knows what they're doing. This makes your life easier and reduces impromptu relative visits.
5. Make a list of things you'd like to receive yourself and which people to ask for them from
This is an odd one and one that I think a lot of people struggle with. Especially when you reach an age where you think you have everything. You don't. Think mundane, but useful.
- I got a pack of socks from the MIL last year and I wear them every single day.
- I've asked my dad for a shower curtain this year.
- He helped me with my car insurance last year.
- I've asked for a new umbrella from my Grandma.
- My mum knows my shoe size to replace my white Converse.
These are things that not only will I use and will cherish (will definately cherish having a shower curtain that fits), but the people I've asked for the things from suit the present and they can see the reasoning behind it - I'd never ask for a pair of straighteners from my dad, but I've hinted at the Lad for months.
If you do get stuck with this, ask for a specific gift card - that way you can choose exactly what you want from the store, but without the hassle of someone asking 'why?' or you spending the money on something else, somewhere else.