Saturday, 20 October 2012

C-Day minus10 weeks

Welcome to my Christmas 2012 Plan-along. I don't start planning Christmas in August like some people, but neither can I leave it all until the last  minute - it's just not my style. So today, the week after my birthday, I consider the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas.

There are just 10 weekends until the big day!!

So, every weekend for the next 10 weeks,  I will document my planning and help you plan yours. If you want to join in please leave  a comment and link here and link to my blog on your post. Everyone’s Christmas is different and some of the things which are crucial to making mine work will be of no importance to you. I will post every weekend, giving you a list of things to accomplish that week. Of course you don’t have to work to the same timescale as me – you can leave it all until the first week in December if you like, but I would be panicking long before that. Feel free to ignore and adapt any of my plans as it suits you.
Task 1 this week– talk to everyone involved in your Christmas and firm up plans for who will be where when. Knowing whether / when you are hosting is crucial to forward planning. It’s been several years since I hosted Christmas Day itself, so I got in early to do so this year, although I don't know yet exactly how many will be there. We will probably be spending Boxing Day at my Mum’s as usual (if they don't decide suddenly to take off on a cruise).
Task 2 - Get out your address book / Christmas card list or whatever you use. Count up how many cards you will need to send and decide how many of those will be handmade (if any. There is no obligation after all) My daughter likes to make cards for her friends. My son doesn’t, so I buy charity cards for him to give out.

My beloved Christmas planner, which contains my card list and my present list for the last 4 years (so I don't buy Auntie Valerie yet another cyclaman) It only has space for 5 years, so I will need a new one next year.
Task 3. Now you know who you will be seeing, make a list of people you need to buy for. Don’t forget to include your kids’ teachers, your work Secret Santa and any other extras. If you need to post any of your presents, bear in mind final posting dates and weight.  All the Christmas planning magazines will tell you to set yourself a budget too, but I’m not that good. I do write down how much each gift costs as I buy it, so I can keep a tally. I don’t think it necessary to spend equal amounts of money on each person, just equal amounts of love, but if you like to keep things equal then writing it down helps with that too.

If you are going to hand-make any of these gifts, you need to get ahead with them. I've found the necessary bits to make bespoke ID lanyards for my colleagues and kids' teachers, but I need 8 of them so I'll have to get going as soon as my order arrives.

I keep a notebook in my handbag throughout the Christmas season, because I am perfectly capable to finding 2 or 3 'perfect' presents for certain friends and overspending wildly on R and M, whilst forgetting the male relatives completely. I have decided not to buy the children's big presents until the last minute as, last year, I went out and bought the main gift on the list they wrote in October. By December they were both asking for something completely different, which I then couldn't afford.

So, that's your homeowrk this week. Talk to family and friends (not too tricky, I should hope. I know for some, deciding who to spend the day with is a big issue, but it is still better done now than at the last minute) and write some lists in your notebook. Christmas planning really needn't be stressful, and I haven't even asked to get your glitter out...yet.

Leave a comment and link up with your blog. I look forward to keeping up with how your preparations are going


humel said...

Eek, is it really only 10 weeks?! I love how organised you're being, Kirsty :) I shall follow your posts with interest, though I tend to leave most of my prep till nearer the time (apart from gift shopping - with The Doctor and The Boy both having December birthdays, I do try to get ahead with my gift shopping!)

alexa said...

Gosh, you are very organised! I don't usually do anything much till December itself, but I could probably make it less stressful if I did :). So I will take your advice on the Christmas card list and present lists - at least then it's in my consciousness! Thank-you for visiting me, and do met me know if you post your Simply a Moment, and I'll happily add you as a link.

Anonymous said...

Well done Kirsty, preparation is everything!
I love being organised, it means I can really look forward to and enjoy the spirit of Christmas (no not the Baileys liqueurs!!)
We've had the where conversation, and also can I suggest one tip re budget, last year we all agreed a £10 limit, it was very successful as made us think creatively. After a sesh in the pound shop recently am wondering about a £1 limit but that might cause riots! It's so fantastic in jan when the credit card bill isn't a dread and the memories are priceless. Thanks Rachel x

Sian said...

I'm another one who will be following along with interest, although I enjoy leaving the start of my preparations until after halloween - or even closer to the big day if I can manage it. I do a concentrated burst of preparation, so it's going to be cool to follow along with a different approach

Amber Letuli said...

You scared me with the 10 weeks. I have not started anything this year. I guess it is time to get going. I think I am going to try following your plan.

Alison said...

I have already spoken to the UK family and we have a family party organised for two weekends before Christmas, which then allows us to come home and spend Christmas Day at home..the gift list will be getting compiled soon!
Alison xx

Melissa said...

I'm really behind with Christmas planning this year - I usually have most of these items out of the way by now. I do have a few December events on my calendar and have a rough idea of who we need to buy for, so I think I'll try to get some lists going this week. Thanks for the inspiration!

505whimsygirl said...

You are quite organized! Way to go! On my plate right now is getting ready for the Craft Fair (November 3). I do buy gifts year round and stash them in a special drawer that I have. It's also nice that I don't buy for a lot of people!!!

Getting my family to commit to where they'll be on the Big Day is a bit more difficult!

Thanks for the tips. I'll be coming back to read your other posts.