It’s coming! As of this moment, you have 17 days until Christmas. This means if you were planning on buying Christmas presents online, you should really think about upgrading your shipping option to expedited! Things are moving fast this month, and I have put together some tips on how to get ready for the big day. These tips are all for starting right now, because if I am honest you may be a little behind on your prep for the holidays. Hopefully some of these ideas will save you some stress over the Christmas season.
Tip #1: Start grocery shopping for your Christmas dinner over the next 3 weeks. Add a few items each week to your regular grocery list that you will need for your big Christmas dinner. This way you won’t be that person doing a last-minute grocery shop just before the 25th when the shelves are empty and the lines are long. It’s a great way to absorb the high cost of that big Christmas dinner you will be making as well by adding a few extra items to your grocery list each week. If you use boxed stuffing or canned cranberries, load up now while they are still on the shelves! Otherwise some of the fresh items will need to wait, but you can at least get organized with your Christmas dinner grocery list so you know where you are at.
If you are planning on making fresh cranberry sauce, check out this recipe I used last year at Christmas from Simply Recipes. I didn’t realize cranberry sauce was so easy to make!
Tip #2: Bake your Christmas cookies now and freeze them. Trust me, you cannot make Christmas dinner and expect to have freshly baked cookies unless you cheat a litte. You can bake your cookies now and freeze them, or even better do what I did last year and attend a cookie baking class where you can do all of your baking in a couple hours, and take home what you don’t eat to freeze for Christmas day. Lot’s of baking classes are happening right now for this exact purpose, so take advantage! Last year I took my holiday baking class with the Supercentre’s PC Cooking School, but you can also find baking classes with Le Dolci (they are having a Holiday Cookie Baking Extravaganza class!), and The Market Kitchen.
Even if a class seems expensive, think of all the ingredients you would need to make many different types of cookies. Pair that with a class full of people doing some of the work for you, and it’s a pretty effective way to get your holiday baking done all at once!
These raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies were a big hit for me last year as seen on Sally’s Baking Addiction!
Tip #3: Start planning your quick and easy Christmas morning breakfast now. If you don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn to make a fabulous breakfast for your family, find a recipe now that you can make ahead the night before, or something very quick and easy for Christmas morning. A few weeks back I blogged about an awesome crustless quiche recipe that takes 5 minutes of prep time which would be a great time saver.
I’ve also tested out Martha Stewart’s Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups and they taste amazing. They require very little prep, and they taste great.
Tip #4: I promise you, it’s not too late to order personalized holiday cards. But do it ASAP! Any Christmas card will do, but personalized ones add a nice touch. I usually order my holiday cards from Vistaprint, and they do a great job. I wasn’t happy with the batch I last ordered so I called their customer service line this weekend. The first thing they said to me was that they would replace my order for free! They have excellent customer service. They offered to send me my replacement cards within three days. They have lots of shipping options, and if you are really pressed for time you can choose the three or five day option.
Here is an example of our card from Vistaprint last year.
You can also order personalized holiday cards through the Walmart photo centre, and you can easily pick them up at your local walmart.
Tip #5: Start planning your holiday outfits now. You don’t even need to buy something new – just start digging through your closet to make sure you have your outfits planned and ready to go. Christmas time is the worst time to go outfit shopping! The malls are crazy, stores can hardly keep things in stock, and when you really need something you can’t find it anyway. Start going through your wardrobe now to see if you really do need to buy something, or if you can find something hidden in your closet. If you do find something in your closet, set it aside so you don’t wear it for the rest of the month so it looks new when you go to wear it on Christmas. This way it won’t look like so something from your regular rotation.
And finally, the most important tip…
Tip #6: Tell your significant other now what you want for Christmas. If you are hoping they are going to surprise you with exactly what you want, be prepared for strong chance of disappointment. Although you think your spouse should know what you want, odds are they haven’t been getting your hints. Make it easier on them so they have an idea of what you want, or at least strongly guide them in the right direction. You don’t have to write an itemized list, but make sure they have some strong hints so they aren’t freaking out on Christmas Eve under pressure to find you the perfect gift.
Good luck with your holiday preparations!