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10 things you can do today to prepare for Christmas

Christmas cardAs the weather gets colder and the nights get darker it is becoming clear winter is on its way. Drag those blankets out of hibernation, stock up on hot chocolate and get cosy by the fire, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.

The festive season always seems to come around so quickly. One minute you’re sunbathing on your balcony in August and suddenly you’re huddled on the sofa clutching a hot mug of tea to stay warm. Christmas will be here before we know it, so you may want to consider starting your preparation now, so you don’t get caught out when December hits.

Obviously, you don’t want to get carried away loading up the freezer with turkey or investing in four family-size sacks of potatoes, but there are some things you can do to make your festivities as stress-free as possible.

Start saving money

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most expensive. With all the festive decorations, gifts to buy and extra mouths to feed, it’s easy to make a hefty dent in your bank balance.

Avoid a frugal January to compensate for the extra expenses by setting a budget a few months in advance. Find out how many friends and family will be joining you for Christmas dinner and work out how much food you will need. Consider who you need to buy presents for and decide on a set amount to spend on each person.

Once you’ve determined your budget, start putting away a little bit of money each month, so that when December comes you won’t have to go into your overdraft to pay for everything.

Get in the festive spirit with Christmas cards

Christmas cards are a great way to spread festive cheer and let the people you care about know you’re thinking of them. While we all love a classic “Robin in a tree”, if you fancy adding a special touch to your cards this year Card Factory UK have the answer for you.

Tailor your cards with a bespoke design and personalised message, to bring joy to your recipients. Add a photo of you and your colleagues at the last Christmas party or send your parents a card with a family portrait of you and the kids. Your cards will give off that thoughtful, handmade feel and you won’t even have to touch a glue stick!

Buy gifts sooner rather than later

Say “No” to last minute panic and the dreaded Christmas Eve dash to the shops by purchasing gifts now. This is especially important if you’re buying for children, as some toys are extremely popular and won’t be available if you wait until later in the year.

Consider the perfect gifts for your loved ones and draw up a list of who will get what. This will ensure you are organised when it comes to buying the presents and you’ll have more time to spend perfecting your Yorkshire puddings.

Be prepared with wrapping paper

Stock up on wrapping paper at the same time you buy your gifts. If you wait until December to buy it, you may find it’s harder to get hold of (or worse, sold out). Being prepared now can be especially helpful if December is usually a busy month for you. It’s easy to get absorbed in the whirlwind of kids’ nativity plays and Christmas parties and forget about less exciting things like gift-wrap.

If you have time, try to wrap your gifts in advance too. Wrapping takes a surprising amount of time, particularly if you have a lot of presents to give. Set aside 30 minutes each evening to do a few, making sure there are no kids sneaking out of bed for a peek!

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