How To Get Christmas Planning & Shopping All Wrapped Up In 10 Days
Sponsored Post with Aldi
When it comes to Christmas are you a planner or a panicker? Every year I vow to get more organised but still end up leaving everything – food, presents, decorating the house – to the last minute. And it would seem I’m not alone. Recent research from Aldi shows that nearly 50% of shoppers class themselves as “planners” and only 20% as “panickers”.
This year however is different as I’ve created the ultimate plan to get Christmas all wrapped up in 10 days so you can enjoy the festive season stress-free!
Less and less people seem to be sending Christmas Cards these days so make a list of those friends and relatives to whom you want to send a card. Get these written and posted now but keep some spare cards and stamps in case you have any last minute to send. This will save you queueing again at the post office. For everyone else think about creating a fun e-card or giving a small donation to charity instead.
Don’t forget the last posting dates for cards and presents; Tuesday 18th December for second class and Thursday 20th for first class!
2. CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES & APPOINTMENTS
Grab your diary and start planning all your activities and get-togethers. Make sure any visits to see Santa or activities like ice skating are booked in advance. Message family and friends and get all your festive parties and events organised and booked in. It’s also a good idea to plan your route ahead of time watching out for any road closures or public transport issues.
Whilst you are in planning mode make sure all appointments are booked. Beauty appointments fill up quickly this time of year and you’ll also need to book restaurants and cabs in advance too.
3. PARTY FOOD
Start to plan all your food now. Write a list of which days you need to cater and whether it’s a proper sit down dinner or informal food and drinks. Get organised for parties by stocking the freezer with party nibbles. They’re super easy to whip out and cook for a crowd or when guests pop in unannounced.
You can also stock up on dried nibbles like crisps, nuts and mince pies a couple of weeks in advance.
Aim to get as much of your present shopping done as possible this week. Look online for what you need to save trekking round the shops. Order from small independent businesses early to ensure gifts arrive in time.
Consider experience-style gifts or tickets for shows or gigs. These are easy to buy online and print at home. Personalised presents like framed photos or edible gifts always go down a treat too.
Make up a box with wine, chocolates, a nice candle and a few kids selection boxes. Then if you receive an unexpected present you have a supply ready to dip into!
Wrap each present as it arrives. This will save last minute panic wrapping on Christmas Eve. Buy a big roll of brown paper and use that instead of traditional wrapping paper. It’s cheaper and it’s recyclable and you can jazz it up with some red ribbon.
If you’ve not got round to putting up your decorations yet then don’t worry. Less can really mean more so concentrate on putting up the tree and draping some fairy lights in a couple of the main rooms in your house. This will be enough to give a warm festive feel without going overboard.
7. THE BIG SHOP
This is the week to organise your sit-down meals and do a big food shop.
First up, Christmas Eve. Do you plan to be out all day or do you have guests arriving? If you are a catering for a crowd on Christmas Day then you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen on Christmas Eve too. Something like a slow cooked ham is ideal as it can cook away during the day then serve it up that evening with some crusty bread and salad.
Then Christmas Day itself. Planning and cooking a 3 course meal doesn’t need to be difficult. Why not try one of these delicious starters from Aldi:
Aldi’s Specially Selected King Prawn and Scallop Gratin (£3.99, 240g). On sale 19th December.
For mains go traditional with a Specially Selected Exquisite Rumburgh Farm Hand-Finished Free-Range Bronze Whole Turkey (4-6kg): £8.99 per kg. On sale from 19th December.
For afters wow your guests with a truly special Christmas dessert like this Aldi’s Croquembouche Patisserie Kit £6.49. On sale from 19th November, that the whole family can get involved in assembling.
You can make loads of the side dishes ahead of time – gravy, stuffing, mashed potato, cranberry sauce. Then freeze and defrost on Christmas Eve ready to heat up on Christmas Day.
Leftovers are the best bit of Christmas dinner in my opinion! Save the stress of cooking all over again on Boxing Day by serving up cold slices of meat with lots of cheese, crackers salad and a selection of chutneys and pickles.
Specially Selected Exquisite 1000 Day Aged Gouda, £2.99 (200g). On sale 12th December.
8. LAST MINUTE SHOP
The last couple of days before Christmas is the time to pop to the shops for fresh food such as fruit and veg, milk and cream. And don’t forget batteries! If you have children then make sure you have a selection of batteries at home. Well-meaning family and friends will often give children gifts but without any batteries. Avoid disappointment and tears by having your own stash!
Aldi is open as usual 8am-10pm Monday to Friday. Please see below for the standard opening and closing times over Christmas and New Year.
Sunday 23 Dec: 10am-4pm*
Christmas Eve: 8am-6pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: Closed
Thur 27 Dec: 8am-10pm
Fri 28 Dec: 8am-10pm
Sat 29 Dec: 8am-10pm
Sun 30 Dec: 10am-4pm
New Year’s Eve: 8am-6pm
New Year’s Day: Closed
Wed 2 Jan: 8am-10pm
30 minutes browsing time prior to opening will be applied across stores in England and Wales.
For times at your local store visit aldi.co.uk
On Christmas Day itself don’t be afraid to delegate jobs. Get a couple of guests involved in peeling and chopping potatoes and veg and ask others to be in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher. You can even ask guests to bring some food with them which will cut down your workload on the day.
Put someone in charge of wrapping paper and packaging, tidying it up as presents are opened and making sure no important instructions are thrown away!
Finally, sit back and enjoy the festivities smug in the knowledge that you’re completely prepared for Christmas this year!