As the clock ticks down to Christmas, everyone is focused on getting together with family and friends, sharing great food and drink, exchanging presents and generally just spending time with loved ones. But if you’re stuck for what to buy all those people to show them how much you care, or are having difficulty finding the ideal decorations, there are plenty of Christmas ideas out there to get your party started.

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PRIORITISE!

Whether you’ve been making lists and shopping for months, or not even thought about the big day, there are things you can do right now to make your Christmas perfect. Preparation really is the key, so be honest about what you can and can’t achieve in the coming days – and don’t be afraid to write off anything that just won’t be possible, like that 12-course Christmas taster menu or that budget-busting gift for the kids!

Instead, focus on the absolute necessities and concentrate on doing those as best as you can. It’s worth remembering that Christmas is not only about the food and the gifts. Spend some quality time with those who are important to you. Make that your focus and the festive season is bound to be a success.

SHOP!

Make a list of the presents you need to buy and head online to get them, as avoiding the busy high street and having everything delivered direct to your door very much takes a weight off the mind. During Boxing Day and January sales, stock up on wrapping paper, cards, labels and sticky tape.

Check how much food you need to buy and how long it will take to cook. The British Turkey Information Service guidelines say you should allow 20 mins per kg, plus 90 mins for birds over 4kg. So get preparing and cooking at the right time to avoid keeping everyone waiting at the table! You can tell the turkey is cooked properly when the juices run clear.

DECORATE!

Check that all your decorations and lights have survived the last 12 months in storage. If you want to make your own decorations you need to start soon, so get the kids to help out. It’ll keep them busy and quiet if you give them some paper chains to make or festive pictures to colour in. And let them go wild with snow spray on the windows!