The Ultimate Christmas Countdown Checklist

Christmas is the best time of year for many people, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Thinking about the list of jobs from present buying, cleaning the house for guests, decorating the house, sorting out the Christmas day meal, getting your Christmas cards sent in time and figuring out how to pay for it all can suck the joy out of it. However, having an organised approach can really help you achieve it all in with much less stress so when the big day arrives, you can enjoy it to the fullest.

We have put together this ultimate Christmas Countdown checklist for you to work through and make sure you don't run out of time to get everything sorted.

End of October / Beginning of November (6-8 weeks before Christmas)

  • Confirm your plans - Whether you are spending Christmas with family or going away, make sure your plans have been decided and try not to change them.
  • Add activities to your calendar - This time of year quickly gets filled with family activities, work events and invitations to parties etc. Ensure you have all these dates written down on your calendar, whether this is on your phone or a physical calendar is up to you. Think about getting a family planner if you don't already so you can organise the whole family and know what everyone is up to.
  • Update your Christmas Card list - There's nothing worse than sitting down to write your Christmas cards and then being unable to find an address. Update your address book and create a list of people you want to send Christmas cards to this year. Having the list ready for when you get around to writing the cards will be a great timesaver.
  • Get your wrapping paper and cards - Buy your Christmas cards and wrapping paper now, even if you think it's a bit early. It means you can start wrapping your presents as and when you buy them without the worry of running out during your Christmas Eve rush wrapping session. Getting these early also means you have the best selection to choose from.

November (6 weeks out)

  • Start baking things that you can put in the freezer (Jams, Chutneys and Cookies).
  • Check if people are staying over. Do this now so that you don't end up with more guests than you were expecting.
  • Make a master gift list and always have a spare gift - Don't forget Secret Santa at work or and teacher gifts.
  • Make a budget - Ensure that it is realistic and don't rely solely on credit cards if you can avoid it as it is not worth the stress in the new year.
  • Start Shopping – This way you will beat the crowds. If you are wanting to buy an electrical item or something more expensive, try and hold off until Black Friday to save more money.
  • Have a look at what decorations you have and make a list of anything that you are missing or whether you think you need to buy more.
  • Check what cutlery and plates you have. Do you have enough for all your guests?

End of November / Beginning of December (4 weeks out)

  • Start online Shopping - Start this on Black Friday if you think there will be deals. If you know there won't be then start earlier. Do the majority of your online shopping at the beginning of December at the latest. This avoids any panic that your presents won't be here in time.
  • Write and Send your Christmas cards
  • Order your turkey
  • Buy stamps and batteries
  • Clean your oven

3 Weeks before

  • Send presents that need posting. Leave it no later than 2 weeks before to make sure your friends and family get the gift in time for Christmas Day
  • Buy a tree if you are going for a real tree.
  • Decide what you are going to serve on the day.
  • Decorate the tree and your house.
  • Do a deep house clean. Try and do this before you put your decorations up.

2 Weeks before

  • Make a list of food you need. Also think about Boxing Day and New Year's plans as you should aim to get as much as possible now to save you multiple trips to the shops after Christmas.
  • Start food shopping for anything that won't go off before Christmas Day. Splitting your food shop like this will make it much less stressful and less daunting.
  • Check last delivery dates.

1 week before

  • Check you have all your presents. Go into town and buy the last few bits.
  • Do a final clean of your home.
  • Clean out your fridge.
  • Get your spare room ready for your guests.
  • Do some Christmas baking.

3 Days before

  • Finish your food shop - including your fresh ingredients. Try and avoid the 23rd and 24th of December.

2 Days Before

  • Set the table - Don't leave it until the last minute.
  • Start cooking

Christmas Eve

  • Finish wrapping your presents.
  • Finish prepping food - Make sure food is defrosted, peel your vegetables.
  • Make timeline for the next day.
  • Do last minute vacuuming and small cleaning jobs.
  • Relax!

Although each family is different and will have their own traditions to add to this list, our Ultimate Christmas Checklist has been designed to help organise your mind and break up all of those Christmassy chores into manageable chunks. Having a list like ours to reference will help you stay on track giving your more time to enjoy Christmas with your family.

Do you have any other tasks that must go on your ultimate Christmas countdown list? Let us know where by connecting on social media @TimeForYouGroup.