35 Weeks To Christmas Day 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas Day 2017 is on a Monday and there are 35 Sundays to go before we reach Christmas. It doesn’t sound so long until we get there, huh? Maybe now is the time to start planning if you want a stress free Very Merry Christmas this year.

Spring

It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment (April) and conifers are dropping any extra pine cones. The earlier ones are small, the later ones are larger. If you want pine cones for your decorations, then now is the time to collect them. It’s easy enough to carry a plastic bag with you if you are walking anywhere near pine trees or even put a few in your pocket each time you are out. Store them in an open bowl to make sure they are dry and you will then have your own pine cones to add to a pot pourri with cinnamon for a Christmassy smell nearer the time or you can get gold paint or craft glue and gold glitter and decorate them ready for use around the house. Both ways of using cones are useful, they don’t cost much and you can use them as a children’s craft if you want to keep the kids busy on some weekend or just enjoy the decorating yourself!

Watch a Pine cone decorating Video

Some people are highly creative and there are a great many ideas for using pine cones in the video below!

Ugly Christmas Jumper

If you are a keen knitter and like the idea of creating your own Ugly Christmas Sweater, then now is the time to start collecting ideas for a pattern and costing out the wool. If you are not a knitter and can’t persuade anyone to knit for you, then you will be able to find Ugly Christmas Sweaters on line to buy nearer the time. It would be good to start saving for it now, if budgeting might be a problem.

Prepare For Christmas – Steps 5, 6 and 7

Cards, Decorations and Food

Step 5 – start of November

Christmas Cards

christmascardsnowmanDo you send and receive Christmas cards? The start of November is a good time to check over your Christmas card list, or prepare one if you don’t have one. I keep mine in an Excel spreadsheet because that can be used to print out address labels – very handy. During the year, I update it if I hear of someone moving or a death, so it’s always ready for Christmas. Updating is very quick. How many cards do you send? I normally expect to send about 80, so I start looking out for budget boxes of cards I can buy, as well as checking to see whether I have any left from last year.

If you send cards and use a list for printing labels, you will need to check your cards, labels stock and printer ink. Of course, you can always send an ecard and there are many firms that provide this service.

Stamps

If you send snail mail cards, you will need postage stamps. November is the time that Christmas stamps often come out and it can help with budgeting to buy a packet of a few each week during November.

Step 6

Decorationschristmas-161316

If you have decorations left from last year, it is a good idea to check them over, especially lights or any electrical items, for damage or wear and tear and to get fresh ones if necessary. If you buy a fresh tree each year, you could also look for Christmas tree sellers near you and ask when their trees will be ready to select from. The start of December is a good time to get a tree, to keep it fresh for Christmas. An artificial tree can be kept from year to year and doesn’t suffer from needle drop. Again, it is time to check the tree and see if a new one is needed.

Step 7

Food

Local shops will often start taking orders for food during November, especially for large items like Turkeys and hams. You may be able to start a savings plan with your local supplier, though you need to be careful with this to ensure your money is safe. Have you ordered or baked your Christmas cake and Christmas pudding? Some people also make their own mincemeat. If this is not for you, start looking out for cakes, biscuits and puddings you can buy now and store safely until Christmas.

Christmas Preparation Steps 3 and 4

get the guest bed ready

get the guest bed ready

Accommodation for Guests

I usually find mid to end October is a good time to look at any accommodation needs if I have guests coming. I check that I have enough bedding (and beds) and do a clean of the spare bedroom. It can tend to get used as a dumping ground for all those projects that never seem to get finished! It’s also a good time to check whether any duvets or blankets need to pay a visit to the launderette or dry cleaners for a spot of tender loving care.

If you need more bedding, you may find that a friend or relative can help you out with loaned items, if you give them some notice.

Christmas Clothing

sweater

Christmas sweater

Christmas is traditionally a time for getting a new outfit, especially for all those Christmas parties. It’s also the time for those ugly Christmas jumpers! Did you know that there is a world-wide International Ugly Christmas Sweater Day? It’s on the 3rd Friday in December and in 2016, will be celebrated on 18th December, exactly one week before Christmas. But now is the time to think about, buying, borrowing or creating an ugly Christmas sweater ready for the big day. Some people use the day and the sweater to encourage donations to children’s charities.

Christmas Pajamas

It’s also time to think about whether you want to get some special Christmas Pajamas, even matching pajamas if you are part of a couple or family. Nothing like everyone being dressed in matching green or red pajamas, keeping toasty warm, while opening presents under the tree on Christmas morning.