1. Take stock
Now is a good time to take stock of your current financial situation, so you can make informed budget decisions this Christmas. Have a look at any outgoing expenses for the months of December and January, any incoming cash amounts, and any outstanding bills or tasks that need to be done. Make a plan to get everything paid, and ensure money is allocated to cover necessary expenses.
Everyone knows that kids get heaps of gifts at Christmas, so now is the time to declutter the toys and clothes that have accumulated over the year, and donate unwanted items to charities. Now is also a great time to declutter your kitchen and determine any utensils you may be lacking for your lanned Christmas cooking.
3. Note down important dates
December is a time of Christmas parties, end of year school events, sporting group season break ups and family catch-ups. Note down any important dates on a calendar the whole family can see, so everyone knows where they need to be at any given time.
4. Make arrangements for pets
If the family plans on taking a holiday away from home without the pets, now is the time to make arrangements for your pet. Get a petsitter or housesitter, ask a family member or friend to drop in on your pets or consider a well-respected cattery or kennel.
5. Make plans for the kids over Christmas
For parents who need to work throughout the Christmas period, now is the time to get in early and make arrangements for babysitters, day care or playdates.
6. Set a budget
After taking stock of the financial situation, now is the time to set a Christmas budget. Determine how much you can spend on food, gifts and holiday activities and stick to it. This will guarantee you won’t emerge from the holiday season with more credit card debt than you bargained for.
7. Plan a menu
If you’re the host, now is the time to work out your food arrangements. Work within your budget to plan a Christmas menu or family lunch, and decide if you want to cook for everyone, or if every person should bring a plate to share – then let all the attendees know well in advance.
8. Write a gift list
Write a list of the people you need to buy gifts for, and allocate each person a dollar amount you can spend on their gifts. Ensure the total falls within your available budget. If you do this early enough, you can maximise sales such as Black Friday Sales, Cyber Monday Sales and any other retailer-specific promotions in advance.
9. Locate the decorations
Last, but certainly not least, is locating all the Christmas decorations. Now is the time to dust-off boxes of baubles, air out stuffy trees and ensure no creepy-crawlies have made a home in your tinsel stash.
10. Give the house one last deep clean
We all know the first thing to fall by the wayside when life is busy is cleaning. Select a weekend before Christmas to do one last deep clean of the household before the festive spirit really sets in.