Now it’s October I don’t feel like it’s too early to mention the C word. Yep, I’m going to say it. Christmas! It’s not far away, just over two months. Now some of you might roll your eyes and think it’s ages away, but to me it doesn’t feel that far away at all. I know it will fly by. I mean, where has the rest of this year disappeared to? It’s flown by. I feel like we’ve only just left 2016, yet we’re creeping up to 2018 quicker than I could ever imagine. If you have kids you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you have kids at school you’ll understand even more. It’s like normal time speeds up fivefold once they start school.
Now what I’m about to say next is either going to make you roll your eyes again, or perhaps you may celebrate my OCD organised state – I completed my Christmas shopping in September! It’s because of this I feel super Christmassy already. As soon as the new school term started I was feeling Christmassy, especially as the weather quickly switched to autumnal temperatures and the leaves started falling off trees. We even had blackberries ripen around here back in mid-August! I’ve also ordered my daughter a letter from Santa for the first year and we’ve booked a trip in December to visit Santa on a steam train. Ben has had to arrange which days he’ll be working and family have started discussing plans. It’s no wonder I’m feeling Christmassy already! So when offered the chance to take part in a campaign by Liverpool ONE called #GetChristmassy I couldn’t resist.
Let me explain why I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. It’s actually the earliest I’ve ever done it. Last year it was October. The year before that I did it much later and didn’t save any money at all, so totally splurged, then had to pay it back for three months after. Since doing that I realised I wanted to always budget for it early and not have to pay it back the following year. There are lots of outgoings in December with higher household bills, Christmas food shops and activities. I don’t want to be skint for the whole month or worrying about money, so I now do my Christmas shopping early so it’s paid for and done. Then I can relax knowing it’s done and enjoy December with less stress. Plus I hate having things on my to-do list. I just like to get things ticked off. If I know I have to do it and it’s coming up soon, then for my own peace of mind I just need to do it! I can’t put things off. I feel at peace when the things I want to do are done. It’s a bit of an obsession and I’m like it with everything. Just ask my husband Ben!
If you’re having guests over this Christmas it’s a good idea to prepare as early as possible so everything runs smoothly. Here are some tips to prepare for your guests this Christmas:
With space becoming less as Christmas decorations and new presents take over the house, it’s important to clear away the clutter and keep the house as tidy as possible. You’ll need space for your guests and their belongings, so it’s a good idea to declutter and organise the house ready for the Christmas season as soon as you get a chance.
Nearer the time make sure you have space for them to hang their coats and outerwear. Perhaps pop a few of your own coats away in the attic or wardrobe so there are some hooks available for your guests.
If you’re lucky enough to have a guest bedroom then space and clutter may not be an issue for you as the guests will have plenty of their own private space. Just make sure you have fresh bedding and the room set up ready for their arrival. If you don’t have a guest room, like us, you’ll need to plan where everyone will sleep. Trundle beds are a great solution and a good investment if you regularly have people stay. These beds slide under your normal bed frame and pull out for extra guests to stay. This means you can let the kids sleep in the same room temporarily and let the guests have a room of their own.
Offer the essentials
Make sure you leave plenty of clean towels out for your guests and enough room in the bathroom for them to place their toiletries. Why not buy some luxurious miniature toiletries and leave them as a gift on their folded towels upon the bed?
Stock up on tea, coffee and milk. Leave some near the kettle in case they’d like to help themselves.
You’ll not want to be tackling the household chores as much whilst you are entertaining so use the week before to tackle the bulk of the laundry and to deep clean the home. That way you can relax when your guests arrive and your home will be sparkling for them.
It’s a good idea to do your big food shop a few days before your guests are due, if possible. Avoid visiting the shops on Christmas Eve if you can help it as many of the Christmas essentials will be in high demand so you might miss out.
If you can, buy more than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have too much, than not enough. Plus, one of the best things about Christmas is picking at leftovers in the evening whilst sinking into the sofa watching Christmas films.
If your guests are coming on a day other than Christmas Day, then keep things simpler and less formal by presenting a buffet instead of another roast dinner. No doubt all your guests have had their fill of a roast dinner on the big day itself and they’ll welcome picky food much more than another full on heavy meal.
Hopefully the children will have plenty to entertain themselves with new toys they receive on the big day, but have a playlist of Christmas films and TV shows as back up. A festive playlist is also great to create a seasonal atmosphere.
Create a festive quiz and create charade cards in advance to make sure no one gets bored.
Hopefully these tips will help you to prepare for your Christmas guests in advance and make it a stress free holiday.