The Must-have Christmas Checklist

Getting organised and planning for the festivities is the easiest way to ensure you have the Christmas you deserve. Here’s what you need to do – and when.


Decide where you’re going to be spending Christmas and, if you need to fly, get your tickets as soon as possible.

Two Months Before

Start keeping track of events and invitations on your calendar and begin the baking. Make things that you can freeze to save on the last-minute rush.

Make the most of the best selection by shopping for cards and wrapping paper early. Once Halloween is over, stores from Marks and Spencer to Asda will be looking ahead to the festivities.

Start making plans for putting up guests. Do you need some great new bedding from House of Fraser or some towels from Matalan?

Perhaps you need to plan for your own trip instead? How about some new luggage from , or will there be room in your suitcase for one more party dress from Asos.

Six Weeks Before

Make a basic gift list, including everyone you have to buy for and an idea of what they’d like. Get some interesting ideas by browsing sites such as Groupon, Argos, Hotel Chocolat, The Entertainer and FireBox.

A Month Before

Order your gifts online to make sure you have plenty of time for wrapping and get out your decorations to take stock and check if anything needs replacing from the likes of B&Q, Debenhams or Next.

Make sure you’ve booked your food delivery slot with Sainsbury’s, Asda or Tesco and placed special entertaining food orders with the likes of Waitrose.

Three Weeks Before

Post your cards and buy your live tree. Get the decorations up and finalise your festive menus. You’re nearly there!

One Week Before

Give your house a good clean and buy batteries to power up the kids’ Christmas gifts. Look for bulk bargains at the likes of Amazon and Ebay.

Three Days Before

Pick up any last-minute, fresh ingredients and make sure occasion tableware and glasses have been dusted off and washed.

Two Days Before

Start cooking and buy fresh flowers, if you haven’t already arranged a delivery from the likes of Interflora or Marks and Spencer flowers.

Christmas Eve

Finish any last-minute wrapping and make sure the battery on your phone or camera is charged. Make a timeline plan for the next day, put out the mince pie for Santa, crack open the sherry and sit down. It’s time for the festivities to begin!