Christmas Countdown 2012

20 days to go ‘til Christmas. What do you really want for the festive period? More time, more pleasure and less hassle? Welcome to Christmas countdown 2012! A calmer, more collected Christmas is on the cards, providing you follow the below day-by-day organiser...

5th December. Write Christmas cards.

6th December. Put up the Christmas tree, decorations etc.

7th December. Buy Secret Santa gifts for the office.

8th December. Post international cards.

9th December. Order a turkey or ham, or whatever else is the centrepiece of your Christmas meal so you don’t get caught short.

10th December. Do any online shopping now so you have lots of time to wrap them once they arrive. Plus, if you shop online, you’ll avoid the crowds on the high street and get the best deals and choice. Smiley face.

11th December. Make any hairdresser, dentist appointments etc. to avoid the Christmas rush.

12th December. Finalise your guest list plans for Christmas dinner and other visits.

13th December. Check out the Christmas lights and carol concerts in your area.

14th December. Get on top of the housework and garden work if you’re doing the entertaining.

15th December. Be honest about any craft projects that won’t get finished and buy alternative gifts

16th December. Order any remaining online gifts to allow time for delivery.

17th December. Buy alcohol and any canned goods or cupboard essentials you’ll need. Don’t forget to cater for the drivers – make sure you have a few soft drinks in store.

18th December. Make sure all presents are wrapped. If you're doing the rounds on Christmas Day, make sure all necessary pressies are packed.

19th December. Plan a day out with close friends or family. Go ice-skating at Hampton Court. Head to the cinema, or quite simply, watch some Christmassy classics like 'Home Alone', 'Miracle on 34th Street', 'Love Actually' or one of the numerous versions of 'A Christmas Carol'.

20th December. Recharge the batteries on your camera or video camera. Let’s face it; you want to capture all the fun on the big day and don’t want to miss out on all the memories, right?

21st December. Whether they’re for a party or a family meal, fresh flowers should always be purchased two days in advance. Blooms have time to open up, and they’ll still be lush and fragrant.

22nd December. Make sure you have all the provisions and toiletries you need. Do a final housework and garden check.

23rd December. Plan for bad weather. It’s possible that December will see the first snow of the year. Even if it doesn’t snow, it’ll be frosty. Make sure you have salt for paths and plenty of de-icer for guests’ cars.

24th December. Don’t forget to leave out those mince pies for Santa and Rudolph. Oh, and the Christmas stockings. And relax.

25th December. Avoid stress and have yourself a very merry Christmas!