My favourite time of year is almost upon us, but I have to admit I usually start my Christmas prep way before December hits.
I like to think I’m a pretty organised person, and that quality seems to go into over-drive when I start planning Christmas.
One of my favourite things about Christmas is actually the present buying. I just love buying gifts, and I really love shopping for them. Searching out that perfect gift just gives me a little buzz, especially when I know they are going to love the gift.
But this means preparing early as one thing I have learnt from becoming a mother is shopping centres, kids and crowds are a cocktail for catastrophe, even if the pushchair does give you ample storage for all those bags.
Personally I’m a big online shopper and get a good amount of our present ordering done online in the evenings and then delivered to our home. Or if there is a local store I’ll have it ordered to store (lets be honest, it’s usually far cheaper) and do a big parcel collect run with my boys in the car. Having an itinerary of places we need to go to really helps keep us focused and means less straying into the stressful Christmas crowds. The sane applies to the Christmas food, we book early for a delivery slot and have it delivered about a week before, and then pop into our local store a day or so before the big day to grab the veggies and any other perishables. Luckily we have a fridge-freezer and a chest freezer so storage isn’t a problem for us!
I also find shopping in the late afternoons and early evenings to be a far easier experience than the middle of the day. We like to make a trip of it, including dinner out, and visit all the shops that we can’t find products online for (hi Primark… please get an online store!!).
We’re also really big fans of places like John Lewis which have a range of services aimed at helping you do all your shopping in one place, including gift wrapping, git receipts, extended returns policies (because we all know someone who is just impossible to buy for), store collections and designated delivery dates (particularly for those of us that work specific days of the week). Nothing makes life during the festive season easier than having one place that looks after you entirely.
Once we have the presents, I love nothing more than an evening of wrapping presents with Christmas treats and mulled wine… is there a better way to get into the Christmas spirit?
This year we’ve decorating brown paper with Henry and tying with string, and I am pretty damn excited about it all to be honest. Although sometimes the gift wrapping in store definitely feels like the better option when the cat is trying to “help” with the presents.
Here’s a few little facts, and some very helpful dates for the Christmas period!
What are your tips for preparing presents for the festive season?
*in collaboration with Contact Numbers UK – all opinions, as always, are my own.