Far too many times have I sat back in November and thought to myself ‘it’s too early to think about Christmas’, only to be in a mad panic come December with the sudden realisation of how much there is to do – especially so if you are hosting Christmas.

So over the last few years, I have honed my festive organisation into a more manageable workload meaning that I can spend December watching Christmas films, having festive family days out and generally enjoying the build up to the big day.

Obviously there are certain things that you can’t do until the last minute such as shopping for perishable groceries, but this guide will explain how to prioritise the ‘early bird’ jobs, in turn lightening the load for Christmas week.

Customs and Traditions

Make a list of these. if you want to introduce any new traditions this year, plan these in now, and make a list of what you need. For example, if you are doing family Christmas pyjamas, you will need to source and purchase these early before the stores sell out.

My new tradition this year is an Icelandic tradition I read about where books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents, and each family member gets to read them in bed that night. This tradition is part of a season called ‘Jolabokaflod’ in Iceland which means ‘The Christmas Book Flood’, because Iceland (which produces more books than any other country), sells most of it’s books between September and November as people prepare for the upcoming holiday.

Gifting

Every year I make a spreadsheet where I record presents bought with a running total. I do the same for stocking fillers. This ensures that I don’t overspend and that I don’t forget what I’ve bought (which has happened before!!) Of course this also helps Father Christmas when you send it all off to him!

If you’re stuck for ideas, I can highly recommend reading some gift guides for inspiration. This year, Emily from the blog A Slice of Suffolk has written a fantastic gift guide to help you pick gifts and decorations from our Christmas collection. You can read her gift guide here

New to our winter collection this year are the amazing Plum and Ashby products. They make brilliant gifts as they are luxurious yet with a reasonable price tag.

Choose from the hand poured soy candles such as Plum and Ashby Pomegranate Candle or nourishing hand cream Plum and Ashby Walnut & Rosemary Hand Cream

   

For someone who really deserves a pamper session, why not treat them to our Breathe and Relax gift set? Plum and Ashby Breathe and Relax Gift Set 

Included in this set are a Geranium and Sweet Orange candle, Lavender Bath Salts and Wild Fig and Saffron hand cream, all in handy travel sizes meaning they are perfect for either home or travel.

Many of my customers comment on the gorgeous scent that wafts from their parcel as they open this set!

Don’t forget to include teacher gifts, secret santa presents and so on in your gift list.

Entertaining

The first rule here is to make entertaining as easy and stress free on yourself as you possibly can. If you are hosting Christmas, do a meal plan for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day at least. This way, you don’t need to make emergency trips to the supermarket when you’d really rather be lay on the sofa watching films and eating chocolates!

Make a shopping list from your meal plan and don’t forget to include extra milk and bread! Add other Christmas items such as crackers, paper napkins, cards and wrapping paper as most supermarkets do a great selection of these items.

If you are hosting a Christmas party or drinks, keep it easy by offering cold food only. Cheese and crackers with chutneys, mince pies and cakes are all great offerings. By doing this you can have everything ready in advance of your guests arriving rather than being in the kitchen.

All Wrapped Up

From the end of November, have a weekly focus of jobs to get done. That could be buying gifts, wrapping them, writing cards and so on. Prioritise these tasks in line with when you need things -i.e if you plan to give out cards at a party on the first weekend in December, ensure they are done first.

I’ve learnt from previous years not to leave all of my wrapping to do in one sitting, as it’s too much even with Christmas music and mulled wine to accompany! I try to do a few a night from early December. They are then stored in tote boxes, grouped by family member.

So that’s it! Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine and feel smug that you’ve got Christmas under control!

Seasons Greetings from my home to yours,

Charlotte xx