You shouldn’t have to think about Christmas until December, but there are many things that need doing before Christmas, and others that are just fun. Once December arrives you probably do want to get prepared. If you are feeling overwhelmed already, or you need a reminder of things to do, try this list of of 24 Things To Do Before Christmas. This list will help you make the most of Christmas and get ready for the day.
1) Buy/Make Advent Calendars
Gather Advent calendars for everyone in the family. Kids especially love these – not just for the chocolate or other contents, but because they help little ones grasp how many sleeps there are until Christmas.
2) Buy Matching Family Christmas PJs
It can be cute and fun to have matching PJs, especially ones designed with the Christmas theme. If, like many, you are up early on Christmas morning opening gifts in your night attire, your family will still manage to look cute in photos.
3) Cards/Gifts for Family and Friends
Be sure to get your Christmas gifts, cards and messages out to your family and friends early in the month to ensure they’ll reach their destinations before Christmas. You can show others how you care for them, plus you can let them know about what you’ve been doing in the past year.
4) Get Your Tree Ready
Whether it involves finding a new Christmas tree from a local farm or getting an artificial tree from past years back out, be sure you set up your tree in enough time. You can spend a day later decorating the tree or do it early to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy it longer. The lights may be tangled, so you want to find them early so they can be detangled first.
5) Buy Gift Wrap and Batteries
While you might struggle to think about what gifts you should buy your friends and family, you should get the gift wrapping together. These include wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, gift bags and boxes, and plenty of tape to keep things together. Don’t forget about the batteries for whatever gifts require them. It’s also a good idea to have some extras in case received gifts require them on the day.
6) Plan Christmas Dinner
Think about what you want to get for your Christmas dinner well in advance, or work out where it will be and who is coming and what they will provide. You might even want to plan what you’re doing for breakfast too.
7) Set Up Your Outdoor Decorations
Get your Christmas lights and other outdoor decorations set up and test those that light up or move to see that they work. If lights are tangled, untangling them will be a job you want to get out of the way early.
8) Gather the Tablecloth and Centerpiece
After planning what you want to serve for Christmas dinner, get the other materials for the table ready. You might like to have a tablecloth, centerpiece, decorative cloth napkins, placemats and other items of preference. Don’t forget the Christmas Crackers. The jokes might not always crack you up and not everyone will want to wear the hat, but they’re a fun addition.
9) Set Up Your Indoor Decorations
Now that you’ve got your outdoor decorations ready, you can start getting the indoor ones ready. Prepare whatever candles and other décor pieces you want to use inside the house. You might also like to find your Christmas stockings or bags if you use them and make sure is obvious who each is for.
10) Put Out Your Wreath and Santa Sign
Get the wreath for your front door ready for display. The wreath should offer a festive look that will celebrate the season in style. If you have a “Santa Stop Here” sign, you might like to find that too.
11) Finish Your Christmas Shopping
Be sure you finish your gift shopping before stores run out of inventory or the timeframe for shipping items passes. If kids have requested particular gifts, it may be a good idea to buy those before they sell out or order them with enough time to receive them.
12) Prepare the Elf on the Shelf’s Visit
The Elf on the Shelf is a popular toy tradition that is exciting for kids. Prepare a few spots where the elf can appear in your home and be prepared for the mischief for him/her will get up to.
13) Plan the Christmas Day Itinerary
Decide the schedule for what everyone will do on Christmas. You can schedule times when the kids can unwrap their gifts, when dinner will take place, who you might visit and so on.
14) Prepare Gift Baskets to say “Thank You”
You also might like to prepare and deliver gift baskets for teachers or others that you’d like to thank for their help or kindness throughout the year.
15) Christmas Photos
You might want to take a Christmas day photo with the entire family. Plan where you’ll take your photos, booking ahead if necessary, and look at whether you want to include any pets.
16) Make Space
You will need to make some space in a refrigerator or freezer to store some of the foods you’ll serve on Christmas. This might also be a good time to sort through all the kids' toys - putting all broken toys in the bin and the rest into a box to be donated to charity.
17) Find a Christmas Playlist
Christmas music is a nice touch. Look around online for a Christmas playlist to play leading up to and on the day.
18) Look At Christmas Lights
Drive around your local area looking at Christmas lights. Kids love to see the lights and also being out later than usual. You might want to ask around about the best places to go and make sure you've found out how to get to those places.
19) Read Christmas Stories
It’s a nice tradition to read a Christmas book on the nights leading up to Christmas, with “The Night Before Christmas” being the obvious choice for Christmas Eve.
20) Wrap Gifts
You’ll not only need to find a good time and place to wrap gifts, you’ll also need a good hiding place for them. If kids have chosen gifts for each other or other family members, they might want to wrap those themselves.
21) Watch Some Christmas Movies
There are plenty of Christmas-themed movies available for all ages. After all the rushing around doing other things, movies can be a good time to relax.
22) Candy Canes and Cherries For the Tree
This might be a good time to add candy canes and/or cherries to the decorations on your tree. The cherries might stay fresh for long enough, and the candy canes might not all get eaten before Christmas?!
23) Carols By Candlelight
Carols by candlelight events might already have taken place, or they might happen on Christmas Eve, so be sure to find out where this activity is being held locally earlier in the month. You might want to check whether you need to book too. You might even like to have some candles or nice torches ready.
24) Christmas Eve Preparations
Christmas Eve requires a list of its own!
- Make sure all the family presents are under the tree. You might like to help your kids wrap presents for each other.
- Have batteries have rubbish/recycling bags/bins handy for the morning.
- Put out a cookie and glass of milk for Santa, carrots for the reindeer. It might even be nice to bake the cookies yourselves.
- Kids might like to write a letter to Santa to leave out too.
- Say goodbye to your Elf on the Shelf
- Read “The Night Before Christmas” or another Christmas book.
- Make sure the kids are asleep so Santa can bring their presents.
Now that you are worked your way though the list, you are well prepared and ready for Christmas, so go to sleep early so you are well rested for all the Christmas Day fun!