If you’re anything like me you have a terrible memory memory when it comes to remembering what gifts you’ve given friends and family. I was once at a friend’s house and admired a glass paperweight on their coffee table. My friend thought I was joking because, as she reminded me, I was the one who had given her the paperweight in the first place!
Why not make a note of what you gave to who, and if you tend to carry a small notebook with you perhaps assign a page to each person? Whenever new gift ideas come to you, write them down. With a list readily to hand you will never risk buying the same, or a similar item twice. You can also buy gifts at times that are more convenient to you, for instance at times like seasonal sales, avoiding the panic of the ‘Christmas scrum’.
Have you thought what you might cook on Christmas Day? Whether it’s a turkey, a goose (or whatever else takes your fancy), don’t leave it until the last minute and buy it from a supermarket. We were vegetarian for many years and I vividly remember seeing the meat section of the supermarket entirely bare at 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve with shell-shocked women standing and staring in disbelief that there were no more turkeys to be had. I thanked my lucky stars that year that I wasn’t one of them.
Your local butcher will start placing orders with suppliers for the Christmas period very shortly now believe it or not. Go in and have a word with him (or her!) to see when you need to place your order and what you can pre-order. It may also be possible for the butcher to make a note to set aside any extras you have in mind like chipolats and bacon for ‘pigs in blankets’. Make a note on the calendar, on the computer, on the back of your hand if you like but get that order in on time.