Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tis The Season... To Be Planning

Falala-lala-lalalala! Yes, it's December so that means Christmas planning is in full swing. But don't worry, I'm here to lend a hand! Just call me Ms. Claus (actually, don't)... Throughout the month, right up until Christmas Eve, I will be devoting this blog to a series of Christmas-themed posts. From my favourite festive recipes, to fun party favours and gifts, to some rather thrifty ideas for table settings... Stay tuned for some really fun (and hopefully informative) posts!

Christmas is without a doubt the biggest event of the year in our household, and this time around we're having 18-20 family members over to our place. How they're going to all fit around a table or two, we've yet to figure out! I just love family gatherings, especially around the festive season, and this year we're determined to host the best Christmas to date. 

The first instalment is all about planning. Believe me, you cannot commit to something like this without making lists and planning ahead. It will save you so much time and effort on the big day so it's best to be prepared! 

Here are my tips on planning:

DECIDE ON A THEME - It's really handy to have a theme in mind, even if it's just a colour scheme. This year we're going for a white/silver/gold colour scheme to coincide with a sort of winter wonderland theme, and so our decorations and table settings are going to follow suit. We obviously can't afford brand new cutlery and plates (we want pure white posh dinner and side plates) for 20 people, so we're hiring some from a local catering company. We will also be making our own place cards and centrepieces for the tables, trying to use natural materials so it brings the cost down a little. 

GET INSPIRED - There are so many Christmas magazines in shops that focus on food, interiors and decorating for the festive period. I tend to pick up a new one each week while I'm food shopping, as they're usually around £3.99 on average, and flick through them while I'm relaxing on the sofa with a cup of tea. I stick post-it notes on pages that interest me so it's a quick reference when looking back and deciding on the final details. I also, as you know, love Pinterest for any kind of inspiration. There are some gorgeous Christmas ideas on my 'seasonal' board that I would love to eventually get round to doing.

MAKE LISTS - I cannot stress this one enough. When you're planning a big event, your notepad is your best friend. Write down everything. Seriously. It seems like a daunting task when you read them back, but it will save you forgetting something important. If you feel like being super-organised, you could make your lists and pin them to a board, ticking tasks off as you complete them. That way you can't possibly lose any important pieces of paper. 

SET REMINDERS - Much like above, write important things down and stick them to your fridge. Or likewise, set alarms on your phone so you make sure certain tasks get done on time. I'm doing both of these, just in case I forget anything. I've already stuck one reminder on my fridge!

START SAVING - We all know that Christmas is the most expensive time of the year so it's vital to save a little back from payday in order to afford all the nice things you want. My Mum has a Christmas fund that she puts money into all year round - even if it's just a fiver here and there. To spread the cost, it's also a good idea to pick up a few things from the Christmas aisle when you're doing your weekly shop. A big plus for me is that I work in a supermarket so I get 10% off and then 20% off on payday weekends, which is a massive help when you're buying food, alcohol and gifts for a lot of people.

ORDER THE TURKEY - As soon as it's available to you, and as soon as you know how many you're cooking for, get out there and order your turkey (or any other festive meat, of course!) This year we've ordered ours from our favourite farmer's market so it's local and free range. I love knowing where your food comes from, and if it's local then it's even better! Because we're catering for so many people, we had to order an 8kg bird at £8.99 per kg - pretty pricey, eh? But hey ho, it's Christmas and it's only an annual thing so it's totally forgivable. We just want to make sure our guests leave with happy tummies!

What are your tips on planning for Christmas?
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12 comments

  1. Such great tips! I really love the look of all the festive magazines, I need to get one on my next weekly shop! x

    SophiesMakeupBlog

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    1. Thanks beaut! Yeah, they have some lovely ideas for the holidays! Xx

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  2. I wish I had started saving a lot earlier, next year I will be better- promise ;) List are the most important thing too I think xx

    Blonde Of Carbs

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    1. Same actually! I'm really spendy and I wish I saved earlier - might need help with my car insurance in January too, sigh! Xx

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  3. Unfortunately Christmas isn't a huge celebration in my household but I do look forward to seeing your posts non-the-less!

    Heather, porcelainbeautyx

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    1. Ah thanks Heather - hope you enjoy reading the rest of the series! Xx

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  4. Hiring dishes and glasses is always a winner. Usually it's cheaper even if you break a ton!

    One year I'll actually get the Christmas fund started. I say the same thing every year though and still seem to have an empty bank account come December... whoops!

    Sorcha x Bright Field Notes

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    1. I know, I'm awful at sticking with things! Xx

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  5. Reading this now I really wish I'd been more organised haha! Christmas just sort of crept up on me.
    Really like your blog, thanks for leaving your link on twitter!
    lily x
    www.jolihouse.com

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    1. Haha, it seems to come round so quickly though! No problem Lily, thanks for reading! Xx

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