Get ready for Christmas 2023 – 8 weeks to go!

The weeks are flying by now – just 8 weeks to go until Christmas Day 2023. This week’s tips will help you make light work of Christmas planning!

A selection of gingerbread cookies including a house, a star and a Christmas tree, all iced with white sugar icing

The clocks have gone back, half term and spooky season are almost over, so after tomorrow it’s all systems go for Christmas planning!

Good planning is the key to any great event, and your Christmas celebrations are no exception to the rule. There are still a few weeks before everything starts to really get hectic, so here are some simple things to do this week that will make planning Christmas 2023 easy.

A pink china piggy bank wearing a red scarf and Santa hat. There are Christmas presents around it, and text reading 'Click here for Christmas Money Saving Tips'

Plan your homemade gifts

Hopefully you’ve made a start on your Christmas gift shopping or at least started to give some thought to what you want to buy. But hitting the shops and browsing the internet aren’t your only options when it comes to gift giving. Homemade gifts are a thoughtful and original alternative to shop-bought gifts and there’s a huge range of options.

You could make some foodie gifts and create a hamper, knit or sew something special or make a pretty decoration that will become a part of Christmas celebrations in years to come. If you’re thinking of making some gifts this year and you haven’t made a start yet, it’s really time to get going on that.

If you’re making food or drink gifts, you might need to wait until closer to the big day as they often have a fairly short shelf life, but you can start stocking up on the ingredients. But for anything else, it’s time to buy your materials and put aside some time to get creative over the next few weeks.

By the way, if you haven’t created your Christmas budget yet, it’s not too late. Our guide to planning a Christmas budget will lead you step by step through the process to help you avoid overspending and stay in control of your Christmas planning.

We also have a selection of Christmas gift guides to give you plenty of gift inspiration, and we’ll be sharing more gift ideas over the next few weeks.

Two glasses of pink peppermint martini cocktail with Xmas decorations and candy cane sweets on a white marble kitchen table

Start Christmas party planning

This time of year always ends up being a bit of a juggling act with so many demands on everybody’s time.

If you’re going to host a party over the Christmas period, it’s time to start planning things. Once you’ve agreed on a date that suits everyone that you want to invite, or nearly everyone, you can begin to choose your menu and drinks.

We’ll go into this in more detail in a later week but for now, have a quick check through your drinks and work out what you need to buy before Christmas. This will give you time to look around for the best possible pricing on any wines, beers or spirits that you need to stock up on.

Sites such as Laithwaites and Naked Wines often have special offers for new customers, and it’s also worth speaking to local wine merchants to see if they can offer you a discount off your shopping list.

Do a freezer audit

And while you’re in planning mode, this is also a good opportunity to do a freezer audit.

You’ll need plenty of space in your freezer over the next few weeks to stash things like party food, sauces and sides for Christmas dinner and an emergency casserole for when someone turns up for dinner unannounced. Not to mention lots of ice for all those festive drinks!

So make a list of what’s in your freezer now and try to use up as much as you can over the next month. Depending on how full it is by the end of November, you may need to draw up a freezer meal plan to get it empty!

Begin collecting for your Reverse Advent Calendar

If you’re planning to run a Reverse Advent Calendar at home or at work, now is the time to get organised. Starting your collection this week will give you plenty of time to collect all of the food items and deliver them to your chosen charity or organisation.

Not sure what a Reverse Advent Calendar is?
Click here to find out how to run one!

Printable Reverse Advent Calendar including 25 green baubles with suggestions for items to donate

Make your Christmas cake

And if you’re planning to make your own Christmas cake this year, it’s time to get busy in the kitchen.

If you’ve already decided on the recipe that you’re going to use and stocked up on your ingredients, soon your home will be filled with the gorgeous scents of Christmas. It’s a good idea to bake your cake now so that you can feed it with rum, whisky or brandy each week for the next few weeks, which will make sure that your cake is moist, boozy and delicious.

If you haven’t decided on a recipe yet, this Christmas cake recipe from BBC Good Food is a classic Christmas cake while this Christmas cake from Nigella is a rich squidgy chocolate and fruit cake.

A bright red post box in a snowy landscape

Post any overseas Christmas cards

Have you written your Christmas cards yet? If all of your cards are going to UK addresses, you still have a little more time but overseas cards need to be posted fairly soon.

So take a look at the last posting dates for Christmas, make sure you have the right stamps and get this job ticked off your list in good time.

Don’t forget…

If you’d like to win a gorgeous Yankee Candle Advent calendar as a treat for yourself or for a loved one, don’t forget to enter our fab Christmas giveaway. But don’t be late – it closes at midnight on Friday 3rd November, 2023!

And if you get all of those jobs done, why not treat yourself to a mug of hot chocolate and a new Christmas book. Take a look at our review of Jo Thomas’s new novel Countdown to Christmas – it’s sure to get you in the Christmas Spirit!

Tick these jobs off your list this week and you’ll be on the right track for a fabulous Christmas 2023. Come back next Monday for more tips and things to do!

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