And check when the last posting days are, particularly for those friends and family who live abroad
It also gives you time to choose things that people will really love, and shop around for the best deal. You can also take full advantage of online shopping with no check it out worries about things not being delivered in time.
If you’re after something specific then don’t forget the Black Friday sales in November. Do your research and you just might be able to pick up a real bargain. If you are focused on one or two items and are prepared to look around you are much more likely to succeed than if you are randomly trying to find just anything for anyone.
- Wrap as you go
But you can reduce the impact of this by wrapping as you go along
For many people wrapping Christmas presents is a huge chore that they would rather do without. Set aside a cupboard or shelf or box, and every time you buy a present wrap it, label it, and put it there so that you gradually build up a collection of completed presents. Also take advantage of gift wrapping if it is offered – many online companies do this, sometimes for free.
If your present needs to be posted then also get it into its postbag, addressed and ready to go. If possible get it posted really early to avoid the December rush. You then have no worries about missing the last postage dates before Christmas.
- Buy and write your cards
Christmas cards are another chore that many people hate. The first thing to do is to go through your Christmas card list to make sure that everyone is on it that you want to be, and that you cross off people that you don’t need to send cards to any more. This is different for everyone: some people don’t send cards at all now, preferring to donate to charity instead. Others post most of their Christmas greetings online. So you need to make decisions about which cards you do want to send.
Then get your cards bought and written. Depending on the numbers you may want to do this bit by bit – eg one a day – or in one go. If you are doing them all at once then why not make it a bit of a celebration with some Christmas music on and a glass of something lovely to keep you company. You will enjoy it much more if you make an occasion of it rather than grudgingly scribble away when you’d rather be doing something else.
If you have a lot of cards to post then make the logistics easier by printing address labels if you are able to do this – or perhaps someone could help you with this in return for you helping them with something. Also make sure you buy stamps well in advance to avoid the Christmas rush.
- Sort your house out
If you start Christmas shopping now and aim to get it finished by the beginning of December you will feel so smug when everyone else is rushing around at the last minute!
Now is a really good time to get on top of all those niggling little jobs that you know need doing. Because at Christmas we usually have more time at home, and if those jobs still aren’t done they could begin to annoy us and possibly spoil the celebrations. So make a list of what needs to be done and get all the family involved. Whether it’s decluttering, replacing light bulbs, fixing toilets, hanging curtains or cleaning the oven – start getting everything sorted now.