For most of us, Christmas is a hectic affair with relatives adding on last-minute dietary requirements, friends dropping in and children knocking over prize antiques with lightsabers. We all know the festive season can have its stressful moments – but with our survivor’s guide to the typical scenarios you could face, you can take each development in your stride and actively enjoy the chaos of Christmas
Planning ahead is key to enjoying the festive period and is a must if you want to ensure you sail through everything this season throws at you. At Victoria James we love Christmas and knowing how to prepare for Christmas early is practically in our blood. Here are our top tips to get started…
A simple but effective way to start is to make a list. Once you have a list, everything is so much more manageable. Advance planning truly puts you in charge and can help alleviate all those unpleasant things that can come with Christmas. Plan for all eventualities and tick off items on your list as you complete them to stay on top of things.
Dates in the Diary
Get your dates in the diary for Christmas parties and events that are taking place, or your hosting. Make sure you add everything including school events, family gatherings, term times and anything else that might slip your mind. If you have children at school, make sure to include when they break up and any festive plays you may have to attend. Planning on ordering a turkey? Make a note of when you can order and when it will be delivered.
When it comes to Christmas gift shopping, the sooner you start the better. Organisation is key, make your list and check it twice - for the computer literate, a spreadsheet is a must.
For those that don’t have time to do the Christmas shopping among everything else, personal shoppers are worth their weight in gold. They can help with…
- Worldwide sourcing
- Imaginative luxury gifts for personal and business occasions
- Exquisite gift wrapping
- Special occasion jewellery
- Artwork commissions
- Unique experiences
- Christmas gifts sourced, purchased, constructed, wrapped and delivered or placed under the Christmas tree
Top tip: Make sure you remember to get spares gifts for children and gender-neutral adult gifts. There will be someone you forget or someone that gives you a gift you weren’t anticipating.
If you despair when it comes to wrapping gifts, find the sellotape sticks to itself and not the paper, consider outsourcing this to save yourself a headache. A giftwrapping service can take away all the stress and will wrap all your gifts for you so that they look beautiful and ready to be placed under the tree.
The Festive Feast
A personal Chef for the day is a must if you’re seating more than 4 at your table and cooking isn’t your strong point. Take the stress away and enjoy gourmet Christmas food as a treat for all the hard work everyone has put in over the previous year.
Make sure you stock up: fridges, freezers and pantry. Our top tip: why not order the bulk of it online to avoid the supermarket rush?
Source your meats, cheese and wine in advance. Select food and drink of the highest quality from hand-picked, British producers, such as Dalesford Farm, Fortnum & Mason, H.Forman & son, Nyetimber.
Make sure you have enough glassware, cutlery and crockery for the big day too! A few weeks before, sit down and count everything to make sure you’re not short when guests start to arrive.
You want your home to be full of Christmas joy inside and out ready to welcome your guests. Rather than cause extra stress for yourself, consider bringing in the professionals. Christmas decorators will come and ensure everything is done for you. From decorating the outside of your house, to putting up and theming your Christmas tree, they will have it covered.
Next up is the Christmas parties, and for some you might find you have multiple functions and events to attend at this time of year. If you are pushed for time, be selective about the parties you attend, and go all out when it comes to your hair, outfit and makeup.
When it comes to attending Christmas parties, plan outfits and book your hair and makeup as soon as you receive your invite. Stylists, makeup and hair artists will be a huge help especially if you’re short for time before the event. For extra special event having your hair and makeup done leaves you feeling your very best. For men, have a barber come and trim your hair and have a wet shave, leaving you looking sharp.
Avoid making things more difficult for yourself and plan your travel to and from your parties ASAP - get your transport booked for your journeys shortly after accepting your invite.
Grab a few family members to help, turn on the holiday music, and start writing. If you are tech-savvy, you can send digital cards or order pre-printed cards and mail them online - don’t make things overly complicated for yourself during this busy season.
There is nothing worse than being bored over Christmas and even worse children end up restless. Make a note of what’s going on in the local area, so if it gets to a point you need to spontaneously leave the house you all have something to do.
Our team know everything that’s going on so they can help you plan any Christmas outing. Some ideas include…
- Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park,
- Southbank Centre’s Winter festival.
- Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace.
- Christmas at Kew.
- Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
- Royal Opera House Live: The Nutcracker
- Ice Skating at Sommerset House
- Lapland UK
Plan a special treat for yourself and the family to a magical outing they will remember forever.
On Christmas day, don’t forget family board games… and even the TV guide!
Travel can be a bit of a nightmare during the festive season, so it’s well worth planning your travel arrangements well in advance. Flights and train tickets can all book up fast before the festive season, so it’s worth being prepared. Don’t forget to get your cars booked for airport transfers too.
Leave plenty of time to get everywhere, allowing for traffic. Don’t let travel be the thing to stress you out…the family will do that instead.
Finally, think about just packing your bags and going to catch some sun. Leave the stress of Christmas behind somewhere hot. Why not have a stylist service help plan those all important holiday outfits too.
Make a plan of when you’ll be taking down the decorations and how you’ll dispose of the Christmas tree. If you have family coming to stay, consider booking a cleaner to come and do a deep clean to save you the last minute dash around the house. After Christmas, another clean is a must so that you can finally find some time to relax without worrying about changing beds or mopping floors.
How Victoria James Concierge can help you this Christmas
Over the years, we have helped many of our clients with their pre-holiday checklist, as well as everything in between. We know it’s important you make the most of the time with your family and friends, which is why we are on hand to make the festive season run as smoothly as possible. With our services you can let Victoria James Concierge take care of what you need to get done so you can have a happy holiday season.
With just a little forward planning, and perhaps a helping hand, you can survive the Christmas period, and possibly even enjoy it. Merry Christmas x