HERE comes Christmas! Unless you get yourself organised you'll be stuck with the unsatisfying, last minute rush all over again.
This never achieves anything other than panic. Avoid panic this year - here are a few tips to hep you on your way.
Have you got your advent calendar up yet?
This is a good weekend to get your lists drawn up. Start with the food. List every item of meat, grocery, fruit, vegetables, and booze you'll need.
The second list should be your card list. Those being sent abroad by air mail should be posted tomorrow, that way you can be sure your greetings will arrive well before Christmas.
The gift list should come next. List all your targets and put all you know about them in the space beside.
Plan the days on which you will be buying the gifts on the list you prepared yesterday. Buy the awkward items first and those that might be out of stock so a special order may be made.
Plan your Christmas decorations.
Time to start spending money. Mince pies will keep. The best ones are available now so buy sufficient and store them away in a tin, out of reach of the family. Could be a good day too, to discuss with your butcher what meat / poultry you intend to have on Christmas Day, and place an order.
The Christmas pud will also keep. Go shopping for one today. If you want to make your own, buy the ingredients and get mixing.
Brandy butter is quite delicious with Christmas pud. You can buy it but it's cheaper and tastier to make at home.
Start putting up those decorations. If you plan to include fresh greenery like holly, ivy, mistletoe and a real tree, leave spaces.
You should be buying the cards today if you haven't done so already Get them written and addressed this evening ready to post tomorrow.
Card posting day. This is a good day also to make that final Christmas appointment at the hairdressers and/or beauty salon.
Parcel posting day.
You could start to do your grocery shopping today.
This is the day to buy the booze.
Today you should buy your cake unless you made one a while ago.Take unwashable suits, dresses, etc., that you'll need for the celebrations, to the cleaners.
This is a good day to decorate your chocolate log.
Time to go shopping for greenery.
Make a note of all the fresh foods you'll need to buy and plan on which days you will buy them.
Check you have all the gifts on your list. If you have the time, pop round the shops for those last minute stocking fillers.
If you have cool, dark storage, you can afford to get those fresh vegetables and fruit in now, before they get sold out.
Go shopping for those perishable groceries. Consult your lists.
Make doubly sure you have absolutely everything you need. Make sure you have petrol/diesel in your vehicle if you are travelling about over Christmas.
This is preparation day. Start to sort out your food - meat, vegetables, fruit and groceries. Are there any last minute purchases you want from the supermarket. Remember today they will close early.
Christmas has arrived!
Have a great one.