Your Daily Countdown to Christmas 2018

How to enjoy Christmas whilst still saving money…

Advent calendars are big business these days. They have evolved from having just pictures behind the doors to chocolate and now to all kinds of things including candles, beauty products, gin and even socks!

But whatever they contain, there is always the slight thrill of opening that little door every morning – and the knowledge that, in doing so, you are one day nearer to Christmas.

Of course the approach of Christmas can also bring a sense of panic in that there is always so much to do. So we’ve put together our very own Christmas Countdown with suggestions of one thing to do each day to get you nice and ready for Christmas without any last minute panics.

Saturday 1st December

Time to get those decorations up. Yes you may well be the first in your street but go on, you know you want to! It is bound to take longer than you think – especially the dreaded task of making sure the lights are all working – so allow a full day to do it.

Sunday 2nd December

Now that the decorations are up and glowing, how about getting all your cards written? Go out and buy them this morning, if you haven’t already. Then this afternoon put on some Christmas music, pour a nice glass of your favourite tipple and get scribbling. You’ll feel smug about this – instead of irritated when they start dropping through your letter box and you haven’t even bought any!

Monday 3rd December

Finish off the logistics to do with Christmas cards today. For example do you want to print address labels and do you need to buy stamps? Or why not go the whole hog and actually post them today? Then you can forget all about them and just enjoy them flooding in!

Tuesday 4th December

If you are posting items abroad, be aware that the recommended posting deadlines for Royal Mail International Standard and Tracking services are from today until 18th December, depending on the country you are posting to. You have already missed the deadlines for Royal Mail International Economy! You can check out the list of dates on the Royal Mail website here.

Wednesday 5th December

So how is the Christmas shopping going? Whatever stage you’re at, sit down and make a list of all the people you have to buy for and all the presents you have already bought. Then you can make a list of what you still need to buy. You are going to try and finish it this weekend. Planning things out beforehand will help you to shop more wisely and not overspend.

Thursday 6th December

Talking of lists, today is the day to plan your menus for the Christmas period. Think about who is coming and when, and what food you are going to serve. Our recent article on Hosting Christmas on a Budget contains hints and tips about how to make a budget for Christmas spending to ensure that you don’t go overboard on all this. Make a list of all the food shopping you need so that you can get started this weekend.

Friday 7th December

Why not finish your Christmas shopping this weekend? Look through your list from Wednesday and see what you can buy online. Don’t just go to the big retailers but look at sites such as eBay as well, where you might be able to find what you are looking for at a better price.

Saturday 8th December

Make today the day you go out for a big shop. Get any Christmas presents you still need to buy, and also make a start on the food shopping. Buying as much as you can in advance will spread the cost and reduce last-minute hassle.

Sunday 9th December

It’s probably time for a big clean up of your home today. You are likely to still have some of the decorations boxes lying around, and also now have lots of Christmas shopping around too. So get everyone involved for a big declutter and tidy up, and give everywhere a good clean. If you do this now, there will be less to do nearer to Christmas so you can enjoy yourself more.

Monday 10th December

Now your home is nice and tidy, how about wrapping your Christmas presents? Allow yourself the next couple of days to get this done as it can be a pain. But just think how much nicer your home will look with tastefully wrapped presents under the tree rather than lots of shopping bags lying around.

Tuesday 11th December

Finish your wrapping bonanza today! Also if you’re going to be posting any parcels within the UK get those wrapped up and take them to the Post Office.  Job done 🙂

Wednesday 12th December

By now you are probably getting Christmas cards trickling in so start displaying them artistically rather than leaving them lying around. Whether you blutack them to doors and walls, clip them onto ribbons or tinsel, or buy a special card tree they can really make your home look even more Christmassy than it does already.

Thursday 13th December

Time to check back on your food shopping list. Tick off everything you’ve got so far and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Also this weekend is a good opportunity to make and freeze any food that is suitable for this – for example gravy, stuffing, casseroles and frozen desserts. So make sure your that shopping list includes all the ingredients you need to get on with this.

Friday 14th December

Do another food shop. Either call in with your list at a supermarket after work or sit down and do an online order for this weekend. Aim to get as much Christmas food and drink this weekend so that you don’t need to do it at the last minute, and make sure that you have everything you need for anything you are making this weekend.

Saturday 15th December

This is kitchen weekend! Now is your chance to get ahead of the game in terms of food preparation. Take your time and enjoy it; and also enjoy the knowledge that you will have less to do when Christmas comes.

You will probably also need to do a bit of re-organising of storage space to fit in the extra food and drink that you are buying and preparing for Christmas. This probably means you will end up having to do a bit more cleaning as you go – it’s amazing what you can unearth when delving into a kitchen cupboard!

Sunday 16th December

Kitchen weekend – Day 2!  While you’re busy doing this, get the rest of the family involved in planning any particular entertainment you are going to offer guests, such as games. Designate someone else as Entertainments Manager so you don’t have to do it!

Monday 17th December

If you are having guests to stay for Christmas why not get that guest room ready now? It’s only a week away and it will save you doing it at the last minute. It also gives you time to fix anything as needed: who knew that the bedside light was broken or the wardrobe full of yet more junk?!

Tuesday 18th December

If for some reason you still haven’t posted your Christmas cards, today is the last recommended date for posting Christmas cards 2nd class. What do you mean you haven’t written them yet?! That was supposed to be done on 2nd December!

Wednesday 19th December

Final check of the food shopping list today. You are preparing for the final shop this weekend. Hopefully it won’t be a mammoth task because you’ve been chipping away at it, but having that list at the ready will help you avoid last-minute panic buying.

Thursday 20th December

Today is the last recommended date for posting Christmas cards 1st class. So if you did miss out on Tuesday’s 2nd class deadline then you either need to pay a bit more to guarantee them getting there on time, or just take the risk and post them 2nd class anyway. Even if they’re late it’s still better than one of those ghastly email round robins!

Friday 21st December

With any luck you have now finished work for Christmas, and the kids will have broken up from school. So today is Christmas movie night. If there are likely to be squabbles about the choice of film then write titles on slips of paper, put them in a bowl and draw one out. Tell everyone not to worry – you’re going to see them all over the season anyway. Then snuggle up with popcorn or mulled wine or whatever else floats your boat and enjoy.

Saturday 22nd December

This is the day for your last food shop. Everyone else will be doing it tomorrow – because they will all be rushing around doing their Christmas shopping today. Which of course you’ve already done!  But it’s a good idea to get out early just in case there are other wise people with the same idea. So get in the supermarket by 8:00 at the latest and you will be back nice and early with your food shopping done and a day to relax. Maybe another Christmas movie even?

Sunday 23rd December

This is the day for doing something nice and Christmassy with the family. Whether it’s a country walk and pub lunch, a Christmas market or attraction, or a Christmas carol service or show, find something that you will all enjoy and have some quality time together. Because you can: there’s nothing else left to do!

Monday 24th December

Well by now your guests are arriving and you are probably as prepared as you will ever be. So put your feet up and enjoy the last day of your Christmas Countdown!


We hope that our Christmas Countdown helps you to get everything done that you need to, and enjoy yourself at the same time. Check back here soon for more lifestyle and money saving tips from Loans 2 Go.