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Aghhhhhh!  Christmas will be here in under a month! How did that happen? What happened to the 364 days leading up to Christmas?  Being a Professional Organiser one would think that I would be completely prepared and ready to go.

I have a friend, Shirley, who the day after Christmas last year, announced on her Facebook Timeline that it was only “364 days until Christmas”. Thanks Shirley!  In hindsight, I really should have made a note.

Like so many people, I work, I have a family to look after, I have to clean, do washing, ironing, keep up with family and friends (which I thoroughly enjoy) etc. etc. As I get older the years seems to pass more and more quickly.  I’m sure it was only New Year’s Day a few minutes ago.

So here I sit, thinking how I can get ready with only a month to go. Shirley, on the other hand, is completely organised, including Christmas themed quilt covers on her guest room beds, ready for all the visitors that come to her house every year.

I’m hoping that I am not the only one descending into Christmas Day panic!!  Here are some tips for those of you who are running behind.  You can start these last minute plans tomorrow!

        4 Weeks Before Christmas

  • Christmas Gift List:  This is so important.  It will make shopping so much easier and help you to stick to your budget.  Don’t forget to include a few “emergency gifts” for unexpected guests who may turn up with gifts for yourself.
  • Gift Budget:  Even if you come up with a ballpark figure, it should help keep you grounded when the gift shopping frenzy of Christmas becomes overwhelming
  •  Start Shopping!
  •  Decorations: by now all your decorations should be up.  Get the kids involved and make it a fun experience.  For those of you are perfectionists like myself, try not to worry if it is not up to your standards!
  • Wrap gifts as soon as you buy them.  Avoid the rushed Christmas Eve wrapping.  You don’t want to realise that you don’t have enough wrapping paper, gift tags, ribbon etc.
  •  De-clutter:  Take the opportunity to get rid of some of children’s toys that have become untouched.  This makes way for the new.  For yourself, do the same.  No one wants to be rushing around on Christmas morning trying to clean and find hiding places for all the things you don’t want on display
  •  Make sure you have enough serving platters, plates, cutlery, glasses etc for your guests

        3 Weeks Before Christmas

  • Start writing and addressing Christmas cards.  I keep a template of address labels, updating through the year and print out.  Much easier and less time consuming than handwriting.
  • Mail your Christmas greeting cards
  • Finalise menu and make sure any seafood, turkey, ham is ordered.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the process of getting ready.

        2 Weeks Before Christmas

  •  Write a menu shopping list
  • Decide on a seating plan. We don’t want things getting ugly between Auntie Beryl and cousin Sarah, who can’t remember what they are angry at each other about anyway.

   

1 Week Before Christmas

  • Start preparing any outdoor areas that you want looking nice or where you will be eating Christmas Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.
  •  Cook any meals that can be organised in advance.
  • Make sure you have adequate bedding and towels for overnight guests.
  • Get your iPod ready with all the music you like playing throughout the day.
  • Clean out your fridge to make room for freshly made meals

        The Day Before

  •  Make sure that your camera and video camera batteries are charged.
  •  Finish last minute wrapping
  • Have a rough timeline for the day

       Christmas Day

  • Enjoy the day and remember the true spirit of Christmas.  It’s easy to get caught up in the retail exercise that Christmas has become.
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