Halloween has gone and that means one thing. Christmas creep can begin and you can start to make plans for the festive season.
Although there is a long way to go until December, why not take some of the strain off by getting some preparation done in advance.
Here are ten things we think you can start now:
Order the food and drink!
Christmas Dinner is a key part of any Christmas Day, whether you go for the traditional Turkey with all the trimmings, or opt for something a little more unconventional. Most supermarkets and local butchers are now taking orders for Christmas food which can be ordered in to store, and in some cases delivered to your home on a date of your choosing. Don’t forget to get a good bottle of wine or fizz if you like that sort of thing!
Get those festive home furnishings
Every year there is a great selection of new Christmas home furnishings, be it cushions, candles, throws, lighting, bedding, etc. The shops always looked stocked to the brim with such items in October and November and so the temptation is to put it off until December.
December arrives, everything is sold out. Already stock of certain items on Amazon is running low, such as Christmas bedding, so buy it now and have a worry free run-up to Christmas.
Book your time off work
Okay, this doesn’t require much explanation. But don’t leave it too late to book some time off work to spend with your family, friends or in the company of yourself, some good food and entertaining movies.
You don’t want to be sat in the office when you could be at home enjoying some relaxing down-time.
Take advantage of special offers
The first couple of weeks of November are usually the best for special offers. Be it for big tubs of sweets or multi-buy offers on drinks, the nearer to Christmas we get, the less choice that will be available. The prices for some things will also increase, while offers disappear.
Get the chocolate advent calendars
I don’t remember chocolate advent calendars ever being such hot commodities? The last couple of years, most of the leading brands of advent calendars (Cadburys, Maltesers, etc) seemed to be sold out before December arrives.
They will be selling like hot cakes already, so don’t let allow yourself or your kids to miss out on those tasty advent treats, otherwise you may be left with the ropey ones from the pound shop!
Check the date of the big Christmas light switch-on where you are
Towns and cities around the UK are now making big events out of the annual Christmas light switch-on. Often attended by minor celebrities, the events often coincide with the opening of Christmas Markets or the occasional Christmas parade.
They are usually switched on during the first weeks of November, so check it out. We will publish details of some of the major cities switch-on dates in the next day or so.
Get the pre-orders in for large appliances, furniture and TV packages
This one may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how quick deadlines pass for ordering sofas, kitchens, washing machines or even just a new digital TV package/provider. Indeed, some of these have already passed, but you may be able to use this as a bargaining chip also.
So if you want a new sofa or Sky TV package, for example, get the orders in asap!
Get that night out/party, or Christmas Dinner booked
Speaking from experience in organising events for businesses and sports teams, Christmas is a hectic time in the hospitality industry. If you’re planning on heading out in a group for a meal or party, you probably need to have all this pre-booked now. Even if it’s booked, for peace of mind speak to the organiser and/or the venue, make sure you haven’t missed anything.
If you and your family are going to a local restaurant or pub for Christmas Dinner, be it on the big day itself or another date (e.g. Boxing Day), it’s always worth booking early. Again, if you have done so, make sure you give them a call in the weeks leading up to Christmas – we’ve all been on the wrong end of a double booking, or a lost/misplaced booking.
Collect Christmas gift catalogues
Okay, so even if you are super-organised and have done most of your shopping, why not grab a load of the Christmas gift catalogues that are produced by nearly every big retailer? Argos, Boots, BHS, Asda and M&S usually have the best in our view, but also look out for the likes of Tesco, Wilkinsons and other big companies. It’s a festive tradition to flick through all of those novelty gifts!
Begin to feel Christmassy!
Finally, why not begin to get in to the Christmas spirit early and install a Christmas countdown on your smartphone, tablet or computer, or follow one of the many on social media. Count down the days!