Why October is the Perfect Time to Start Christmas Shopping

Starting to plan in October or even earlier, for Christmas can seem a bit extreme. However, planning ahead and doing a little bit at a time leaves a lot more time to enjoy the season and makes it a lot easier. You also can save money by shopping all year.

As it is starting to feel Autumnal and my central heating has just clicked on, we look forward to what Autumn has in store for us. This season will bring crisp mornings, leaves falling and Christmas prep? Well, yes. Summer’s end is the perfect time to think ahead to Christmas; start Christmas planning now, and you’ll reap all of the benefits come December.

I have to say I can’t see why people get quite so worked up about Christmas items being in the shops early. It isn’t like anyone is forcing them to celebrate Christmas in October or to forget about Halloween. I think it’s for preparers. Those who like to prepare far in advance and then actually rest, relax and enjoy Christmas with parties, festivities and excitement.

Enjoy it without running around in too crowded shopping centres looking for presents at the last minute. If you are like me then getting started and finished early sounds like a great idea!

As a self-confessed Christmas-a-holic, my festive switch is never off. I plan at least eight months ahead, stockpiling stockings, crafting and buying up baubles. By November I’ve bought the stocking fillers, decided on a budget and completed our Christmas menu. This month is for Christmas drinks, family events and final Christmas shopping. I’ll have already wrapped most of the presents. All that’s left to do is access the decorations from the basement and decorate.

This probably sounds like a nightmare before Christmas, but for me it’s a simple equation: maximum sparkle for minimum stress. By mid-November, with all the dull stuff ticked off, I can have some relaxing me time. Cue baking, a lovely roaring fire and a Christmas cocktail.

So go on, join me in planning ahead. I promise it’s worth it! Here are some things to get checked off your Christmas to-do list before the Christmas season even starts:

• Buy a Christmas planner. This will help you stay on track and stay organised.

• Pick out chocolate advent calendars early to avoid disappointment!

• Make a gift list. Decide who you are buying gifts for and start writing down ideas. Keep an eye out for sales on great gifts.

• Start saving money. If you haven’t already, start putting extra money aside for Christmas expenses. Skip a coffee and save that money instead, or sell some things that are just cluttering up your home and put that aside.

• Make your Christmas card list. I’ll be honest, this year I won’t be bothering to send Christmas cards. Freeing up time for much more important family traditions.

• Make sure you have addresses. Both for cards and gifts you may be sending, you want to be sure you have current addresses. Go ahead and get them written down.

• Plan parties. If you are having any parties start planning now. Make a list of what you will need and keep an eye out for sales on the items you can buy ahead.

• Pre-make baked goods. Many baked goods are just as good made ahead and frozen. Don’t start quite yet but a month or two ahead is fine for most things. Cookies are the easiest to make and freeze. Just make up the dough, scoop balls onto baking trays lined with baking paper, freeze, and once they are hard transfer to tupperware until you’re ready to bake.

• If you enjoy DIY and crafting, make your project list and start gathering supplies.

This list can seem overwhelming if you have to do it all in a week or two but if you have a couple of months it’s not hard at all. Set aside just a few minutes each week to work on Christmas prep, or even just sometime each month, and you will be ready in no time. I’d also love to know, when do you start preparing for Christmas?

Welcome to Vivre Le Rêve, an online lifestyle magazine for all those who are or who want to be living the dream! I’m Rose, the lifestyle editor here at Vivre Le Rêve.