It’s the second half of November and there are only 5 weeks until Christmas 2023. Make preparing for the big day easy with our tips!
How are your preparations going? Does it feel like you have got everything under control or are you just making a start now?
If you’ve been following our weekly tips, by now you should have your Christmas budget set, your present list and menu planned and your gift shopping and wrapping underway.
The next few weeks will probably feel quite hectic but our tips will help you to get everything organised in good time for the big day.
Here are this week’s tasks to help you prepare for Christmas 2023:
Stir up Sunday
Next Sunday (26th November) is Stir Up Sunday, the day when families would traditionally come together to make the Christmas pudding. Making it now gives the pudding time to mature over the next few weeks so that it will taste even better on Christmas day.
This classic Christmas pudding recipe will give you a traditional finish to your Christmas dinner.
So if you’re planning to make your own Christmas pudding, remember to check that you’ve got all of your ingredients this week. Also make sure that you’ve got foil, baking parchment and string on hand ready to steam the pudding, and a coin or charm to stir into the pudding.
It’s traditional for everyone to gather around the mixing bowl and give the pudding mix a stir while making a wish for the year ahead. Don’t tell anyone what you wish for those, or it won’t come true!
Once you’ve made and steamed your Christmas pudding, wrap it well in baking parchment and foil and store it in a cool, dark place. The flavours will develop over the next five weeks and when you re-heat it on Christmas Day, it will be the perfect end to your Christmas dinner.
And if you’re not planning to make a pudding, why not buy your Christmas pudding this week instead?
OK, it’s a few months early for Spring cleaning, but the intention is still the same. Any area where you’re planning to put a Christmas tree will be hard to clean once the tree is in place. So late November is a good time to clear out any junk and give your home a good spring clean ready for when the Christmas decorations go up.
If you have children, you could also ask them to go through their toys and sort out any that they don’t play with any more. Anything in good condition can be donated to school Christmas fayres or charity shops.
Make stuffing and sauces
One way to make Christmas Day easier is to freeze some of the food ahead of time. That cuts down the work when you’re juggling pots and pans and makes the day less stressful. So take a look through any Christmas magazines or recipe books that you have on hand and make a start on preparing the accompaniments for Christmas dinner.
Stuffing can usually be frozen as long as the recipe doesn’t include egg, and it’s best to squish the mix down into a flat sheet to make defrosting quicker. Sauces such as cranberry sauce, bread sauce and rum sauce also freeze well. If you make a milk-based sauce, laying a sheet of cling film right on the surface of the sauce will help to prevent a skin forming on it.
Write to Santa
If you are planning Christmas Day for children, writing to Santa is a time-honoured tradition that really helps to build the anticipation.
The cut off date for letters to Santa this year is 30th November, but it’s a good idea to get them in sooner if you can. You’ll find full details of where to send your letters over on the Royal Mail website.
(And taking a peek at the letter before it’s sent off can be a great way to get some gift ideas…)
This week also sees the last posting dates for Christmas cards and gifts that are heading to Europe by Economy service. So make sure you have everything packed up and ready to go in good time!
Enter my new Giveaway
The next few weeks are going to get pretty busy, so it’s important to take time to relax as well. Why not check out one of my Christmas Book Reviews or enter my fab new Christmas Book giveaway to win a bundle of Christmas reads – your only dilemma will be whether to share them or keep them or yourself!
Things are going to be hectic over the next few weeks but it will all be worth it on the day. Getting organised now is the key to making Christmas Day as relaxing as possible, so if you haven’t started yet don’t panic. Make a start now and you’ll soon be feeling fabulously festive!
Tick these jobs off your list this week and you’ll be another step closer to a wonderful Christmas 2023. Don’t forget to pop back next Monday for more tips and things to do!