Be organised

The first step is to make a list. Whether you do so on your smartphone, laptop, iPad, or the old-fashioned pad of paper, the important thing is to create a visual cue for yourself. This will show you exactly how many people you need to buy gifts for. The good thing about keeping a list on your phone is that you can carry it around with you as a reminder. That way you can always have one eye open for suitable gifts. It’s much more productive to buy something as and when you find it rather than panic buying in December, because then it’ll be the right gift.

Assign a space in your wardrobe for your Christmas shopping. Keep a copy of your list there along with any left-over wrapping paper. That way you can add to your stash as you see things throughout the year. This will not only alleviate the pressure of having to shop at the last minute, but also make the Christmas period slightly less expensive. You can spread the cost throughout the year and take advantage of seasonal sales.

Try to wrap as you buy and attach tags to the wrapping so you don't forget which present is which! But keep your Christmas drawer secret so others can’t shake the boxes.

Shop online

Two of the most stressful things about shopping are the crowds and the queues. Nowadays most stores sell their products online. Spending a day looking around for the perfect gifts is easier if you look for things you like and then buy them online once you get home.

Sales assistants should be able to tell you whether stock is available via the website and give you a reference number so you don't have to scroll through dozens of pages. A good tip to avoid extra costs is to try to shop at big stores that have a lot of different departments, such as John Lewis or Debenhams. At these places you can buy everything in one go and only pay one set of delivery charges.

Plan alternatives

If you can't find one ideal present for someone, creating gift hampers can be an exciting way to put together a lot of small treats. Food and cheese hampers can also be an excellent option for friends and family members who are tricky to buy gifts for.

There are always people you want to give token presents to at Christmas. Making Christmas cards and treats can be a great way to show you care. It's easy to cut up some felt or pretty fabric and stick it on to a blank card in the shape of a Christmas tree. It sounds simple, but these small gestures can make people feel special.

Many homeware shops sell festive jars and tubs with Christmas motifs. Making batches of chutney or fudge is easy, can be done in advance and makes a lovely handmade gift.

Craft Creations - get inspired!

Chutney recipes

Get organised for Christmas

07/13/2012 13:36

Many thanks for information

09/27/2012 08:02

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