In years past, we tended to prepare for Christmas from mid-December (yes, we know for some that makes us a bit last minute). In the past, we've tended to feel the Christmas dread – all that prepping and planning, all that hosting and shopping, all that eating.
But this year, the planning and decorating starts right now. Yup, our wallets are out and Michael Bublé is on our playlist. We all deserve the joy, after all.
So, we reveal our secrets for getting ready for Christmas now – or at least starting to – so that we can enjoy the big day, and the run up to it, in style.
1. Shop Christmas gifts on Black Friday
Black Friday is here and it's the absolute best opportunity to get your shopping done a) at a discount and b) early. So, start popping buys into your basket, ready to press 'pay now' today or over the weekend. Like to buy local? Lots of local stores are finding inventive ways to have their own sales now, so help them out if you can.
2. Get guest beds and bedding sorted now
IF you're hosting this year (safely), you've just about got time to order that sofa bed you've been toying with the idea of buying for ages (there are tons of sofa bed sales on now and great deals to be had).
While you think about it... have you got enough pillows, duvets and bedding? If not, the Black Friday sales are the time to order those. Or, of course, you could ask your guests to bring their own bedding if they're coming by car. Find all the best bedding sales in our guide.
3. Start adding all those extra bits to your grocery list
You know, napkins, cranberry sauce, extra dinner plates. Whatever won't go off and can be stored (even if under the bed for now) can be ordered in advance. Make a list, tick them off as you go along and you'll find your Christmas lunch shop sooo much easier.
Crackers? We think there's a great excuse to do without this year (difficult to recycle, full of plastic toys), but if not, why not shop eco-friendly, reusable crackers online? We like Etsy's Eco-friendly Cracker range (above).
4. Make sure the TV works
Yeah, we know, seems obvious, but if yours is on its last legs, it's time to replace it. Or rather, Black Friday is the time to replace it. You don't want to be trying to do it on Christmas Eve. Use our TV sales page to find the best deals going.
Need extras, such as the best streaming device? We've got a buying guide for those, too.
5. Make your home smarter
Everyone needs a little help around the home, Christmas or not, and what better help than someone who won’t talk back to you, and will do exactly what you ask? Smart home gadgets are taking over household to household in the UK; whether it’s a smart speaker to help with your to-do lists, a video doorbell so you don’t miss important Christmas present deliveries or a smart thermostat to ensure you never enter a freezing cold home again. Use our guides to find the best buys. Best time to buy? Er, Black Friday obvs.
6. Get the boiler serviced now
It's not all glamour, you know! However, you do know that your boiler will, undoubtedly, choose Christmas Eve to break down. So, getting it serviced in advance is a really, really wise move.