Monday, 11 September 2017

Artline Monday - Christmas planning

I am sorry if you aren't feeling ready to deal with Christmas just yet but it is September and I always find my mind wondering towards Christmas planning around now.  You might be thinking "Ahhh it's ages away!" but we're already nearly down to double digits when it comes to the number of shopping days left!  I find the more I plan ahead and get things out of the way early means I have more time to relax and enjoy the season when December rolls around.

My Christmas planner, notebook and festive Artline pens

I have a special Christmas planner that I have been using for years.  It contains everything I need, from Christmas card lists, gift ideas and recipes to shopping lists and a record of our traditions.  I usually take it down from the shelf in September and have a flick through it to get me in the mood for starting my Christmas prep.  If you have a notebook or a ring binder you can make your own planner to help you stay on track of festive things each year too.  I recommend the following to help you get ready for the season ....


Now is the perfect time to have a clear out.  If your house feels cluttered you’ll want to simplify things.  You will need room for your tree, decorations and festive nic nacs soon enough!  Start small, a room at a time, consider if you need everything.  Sort things in piles – toss, donate or keep. Organise everything that you’ve decided to keep into drawers, cupboards and wardrobes, keeping them out of sight. 

If you have children get them to sort through their toys to find things that are broken or have missing pieces, these can be thrown away.  Any toys they have outgrown or no longer want can be donated to a charity shop if they are clean and in working order.  You want to make space for the new toys, gadgets and games they will be receiving.

If you have too many books in your house (I'm not sure that anyone can have too many books but that's just me!) you can donate some to your local library if they are in good condition.

Gift ideas

Work out your budget for gifts this year and who you need to buy for.  Do you have an idea of what they would like for a present?  If not you still have plenty of time to find out, either surreptitiously or just ask them directly.  

I usually keep a notebook in my bag, if I see a gift I think someone would like I can make a note of it.  I also write down the shop it is in and the price, this means I can either find it again later when I am ready to do some Christmas shopping or I can search online and see if I can find it for a better price elsewhere.

Making lists is a great way to get organised


If you can start some of your present shopping now it will save you some stress later on.  Ordering things online in December is a bit of a nightmare, will it be in stock?  Will it arrive on time?  Will I be home when they try to deliver?  Will it get caught up in the Christmas post backlog and disappear? Shopping now means you will have lots of time if things go wrong and you will avoid the Christmas rush.

Shopping in actual stores is a lot nicer now too, yes there's no Christmas music blaring through the speakers yet but you will avoid the queues, the hustle and bustle and panic buying.  If you don't find something today you still have time and you won't be tempted into buying something you wouldn't usually just because Christmas Day is looming and you can't face hitting the shops again!

Lastly, don't forget to cross them off your shopping list once you have purchased their gift/s.  It's quite easy to buy someone a present earlier in the year and then forget about it so you end up shopping for them twice!

Christmas cards

No, I'm not suggesting you buy, write and post your Christmas cards right now but it is easier to write them in small batches over a period of time so your handwriting stays nice and neat and you won't get cramp in your hand.  If you can buy the cards earlier (after all they will probably be in the shops just after Halloween!) you can take your time getting them done.  

Sometimes the only contact I have with some people is a Christmas card once a year so I like to make them look special.  I use metallic pens and I add some decorative tape and festive stamps and stickers to the envelopes to spread a little extra festive cheer.  If you are going to use a gold or silver pen to address your envelopes make sure it is a waterproof one like the Artline900XF or Artline999XF so the ink doesn't run in bad weather as they make their way through the postal system.

Metallic pens, tape, stamps and stickers add a touch of fun

Friends and family who live abroad

If you know anyone who lives abroad it is worth checking the last postage dates for parcels and cards before December.  Some countries need the items shipped within the first week of December to arrive on time which is cutting it fine if you haven't planned ahead.

Do you have any hints or tips for Christmas planning?  I would love to hear them! 


  1. Haha I have already printed my christmas tn. I may have to have a clear out of the decorations they are starting to look a bit tired. Thank you for giving me a few ideas to get my october and november on track for Christmas. Thanks Amanda!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only person starting now Sam!

  2. Awww love this. I set mine up last month and am already using it and filling it in. It's never too early, only too late! xx

    1. Yes, you are right Kerrymay! I'd much rather be finished by November and just enjoy December.

  3. Great tips thanks for sharing! I love Christmas and I've already started Christmas shopping! My first Daughter's birthday is Christmas Day too so it's extra crazy! Xx

    1. Thank you so much Bonnie! Oh wow, you must have a lot of fun on Christmas Day then xx