Prepare for the big day

THE days are flying by and there are now only 11 weeks to go until Christmas.

Now is the time to start planning for the big day to make sure it is extra special for loved ones, family and friends.

Follow our handy guide to tick off all the things you need to do.

d Draw up a list of all the people to whom you want to send Christmas cards. Don’t forget those distant aunts and uncles and those friends you’ve lost contact with.

Christmas is the time to keep in touch with everyone.

d Work out how much money you are planning to spend on presents and also on food and drink for the holiday.

d Plan your visits to friends and relatives and work out where you need to get to on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Don’t forget to pop round to the neighbour to give them a mince pie!

d When you are shopping for presents don’t forget the little stocking fillers that may raise a laugh.

And don’t forget the wrapping paper and gift tags.

You will also need plenty of sticky tape and ribbon to wrap the presents.

If you want to send presents overseas then check the last post date.

d Ladies, make sure you have booked a date at the hairdresser ready for the big day.

d Work out the menu for Christmas Day if you are doing the entertaining, make sure you cater to all your guests’ tastes and dietary requirements. It can cause problems if a vegetarian is served with a stuffed bird on the day.

Food such as mince pies and sausage rolls can be cooked ready in advance and put in the freezer until needed.

d You will need some bottles of wine to take if you are visiting people for a meal or party.

d Make sure you know what clothes you are wearing for each meal and party.

d Check the fairy lights are working in good time before you put them up.

d Set a day to decorate the tree and the rooms with friends and family. This can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the season.

d Plan ahead in case you need to use the car and the weather turns bad. Make sure you have de-icer in the car.

If you work out what to do and when then you are on the way to making the holiday go with a swing.