It’s probably just about ok to start talking about Christmas now, isn’t it? With the big day only a little over a month and a half away, now is a great time to start preparing.

While many people don’t like seeing Christmas decorations go up in shops before Halloween – and we’re no fans of that either! – starting early can take the stress out of it, which means you can spend more time enjoying yourself with friends and family.

Here are our top tips for gently easing yourself into the festive period…

Write a list
Take some time this week to get all your lists written out. Jot down who you want to send cards to and who you want to buy presents for (and make a note of any gift ideas you have!). Make another list of jobs that need to be done – this could cover everything from putting up the decorations to doing the Christmas food shop. This way you can divide the tasks up and not feel you have to do everything yourself. It can also be handy to jot down who you won’t see on the day so you can make plans to swap presents before or after.

Check it twice

Keep your list to the bare essentials – you don’t have to make your own paper chains to have a successful Christmas! – Consider who is on your list of cards and think about Be honest about what time you’ll have and – most importantly – what you’ll actually enjoy doing.

Make fun plans
Having fun and spending time with the people you love is more important than how well decorated your house is – no matter what the magazines say! Be sure to make your fun plans first. Book a dinner with friends before you make plans to spend the evening writing cards. And remember – not everything has to be done before Christmas. Your friends and family would prefer to spend time with you rather than a flying visit to deliver presents.

Share the workload
With a little imagination, it’s easy to share out the workload – and have doing it! Invite your friends over for a decorating party. This way you get to see people you love, swap presents and get a vital job done. Know any children? Get them involved with Christmas crafts – it will keep them occupied and help you get a little more done!