Preparing for Christmas

With autumn coming to a slow halt and the festive season being right around the corner it’s officially time to start sitting by the fire (or more likely, the radiator), with your woolly socks on and preparing for a stress free Christmas. Here are some things to consider…

By Lauren Haslett – Media Studies at University of Portsmouth


Write a list

You might relish in being organised or you might live for those last minute purchases, but there’s definitely no harm in developing check lists for Christmas. You could start by making a list of all your closest friends and family and noting down some present ideas for each of them. You could also make budget lists (especially important if you are currently studying at university – you still want some pennies left for Christmas drinks at your student’s union bar!). You could also write a list of present ideas for yourself. If you’ve been away from home for a little while, your family and friends might need some inspiration on what to get you!

Making plans with family and friends

Perhaps you’re planning to have Christmas morning in your pyjamas and lunch with grandma. Or maybe you’ll go on a big family outing somewhere. If you’re with a whole group of people for Christmas, why not bring up the idea of secret Santa? Whatever you decide, it’s better to plan earlier rather than later, just so you know where you need to be, what time you need to be there and what you need to bring.

Start a decoration collection

Start collecting decorations now if you can. There is nothing worse than getting half way through December and realising you haven’t even got a Christmas tree with baubles, tinsel and a star/ angel to go on top. Keep an eye out at local Christmas markets as well as cheap pound shops and you should be able to fill your home with all sorts of Christmas spirit!

Begin present shopping

With sales and new stock cropping up left, right, and centre, now is a prime time to start Christmas shopping. Head down to your local shopping centres and Christmas markets, keep an eye out for sales, and utilise that Amazon Prime account you justified paying for when you started uni! Don’t forget to stock up on extra wrapping paper, get yourself an advent calendar (because we’re all kids at heart) and little cinnamon and ginger candles for a subtle Christmassy touch.

Prepare Christmas Eve entertainment

Everybody loves a good Christmas film; so whether you’re spending the day in bed or with family and friends, get that playlist of Christmas classics ready to play in the background while you drink mulled wine and play board games. Here are just a couple of my family favourites to get you started:

Home alone


The Nightmare before Christmas

The Grinch

The Polar Express

If none of these tickle your fancy; you could start your own Christmas movie tradition. Some of my friends really enjoy watching Die Hard at Christmas and insist that it’s a festive film – whatever floats your boat really!

Most importantly, don’t forget to relax and enjoy those Christmas cookies and pumpkin spice lattes.

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