The third in our series of how to have a stress free Christmas.


Once you’ve handed over as much as you can, review and prioritise your task list. People get booked up early, so get invitations to social events out first. Decide which events you will cook for and consider booking caterers for the rest. Shop for presents you’re going to post – especially those going overseas – and get them off in good time. Be organised about gift shopping. Use a list and decide if you’ll buy two presents a day in your lunch hour, or take a day off and do it in one go.

Think about what you’ll wear, but avoid clothes and present shopping on the same day. Menu plan for all your festive meals and buy wine and dry goods in advance – online and for delivery, where possible. Order fresh ingredients to be sent from local suppliers the day before you cook to avoid supermarkets at their busiest. Allow time to decorate and wrap. The more you prepare in advance, or delegate, the more you will be able to relax and enjoy the festive season itself.

Top Tips

  • Shop at recipients local websites fro overseas presents. For example, will gift wrap your presents for Canada and send with a card at local postal rates.
  • Shop on a Monday morning, by far the quietest time. Avoid weekends. if you can’t take a day off, use your lunch hour.
  • Stuck for present ideas? Buy time. I’ve been bored to upload all someone’s CD’s onto their iPod as a Christmas present. Buy beauty treatments, wardrobe detox, computer spring clean.
  • Even if you buy presents at the shops, get wrapping, cards and stocking fillers online so that they are all delivered to your home.
  • Consider one-stop shopping, either out of town somewhere quiet or at a good department store.



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