Essential Christmas countdown checklist

Our to-do list will help you to plan every detail from now until Christmas Day. Follow these simple week-by-week tips for a perfect Christmas.

SIX WEEKS TO GO (early to mid-November)

Set a budget

It’s easy to go OTT at Christmas so set a budget and stick to it. Give a separate amount to food, presents, decorations and deduct from the total each time you buy something.

Write a Christmas gift list

Make a list of everyone you need to buy for, a budget for each one and any ideas you have so when it comes to the actual buying, you know where to start.

Start Christmas shopping

Six weeks will race by, so get cracking on the gift shopping now so you’re not still running around on Christmas eve. Make the most of buying online to avoid high street trips that may get very busy and lure you into spending more.

Plan your journeys

If you’re planning to visit friends or relatives, buy your train/coach tickets early for the best deals and availability.

Bake and freeze

Get ahead of the game when it comes to festive treats and nibbles. Make a big batch of mince pies and freeze them so they are ready when December comes. Discover more foods you didn’t know you could freeze ahead of Christmas so you’ll be well stocked up throughout the festive period.

Write your Christmas cards

Make a list and begin writing. Doing a few each night in front of the TV works well, just make sure you have a few spare cards for anyone you may have forgotten.

4 WEEKS TO GO (late November)

Get out the Christmas decorations

Root around the garage, loft or storage boxes and see what needs replacing. Untangle the fairy lights ready to test them, then make a list of any extra decorations you may need.

Send international mail

Make sure relatives abroad get their cards in time so post now via airmail. The Post Office has a handy deadline list for specific countries.

If you’re making your own Christmas pudding, Sunday 19 November 2017 is traditionally the last day to do it. Find a handy video guide on Tesco Real Food.

Bag Christmas deals and bargains

Black Friday is on 24 November 2017, and runs through to and including Cyber Monday on 27 November. Do your shopping research beforehand and only buy what you really need.

3 WEEKS TO GO (From 1 December)

Start gift wrapping

Get a head-start on the present wrapping now. That’s one less thing to do come Christmas Eve.

Time to put the Christmas decorations up, and try and get the whole family involved and having fun.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh pine in the house to signal that Christmas is here, so buy yours now if you haven’t already done so.

Order the turkey

Don’t leave it until the last minute to get your turkey and risk the shelves being empty.
Visit to order yours.

Send them now and keep your recipient list for next year, adding extra names for any surprise cards you receive.

2 WEEKS TO GO (From 11 December)

Buy non-perishables

Stock up on groceries that have a longer shelf life. Think pickled onions, cranberry sauce, drinks and stuffing mixture.

Save yourself time and hassle by making and freezing many parts of your dinner such as gravy, bread sauce, Yorkshire puddings, stuffing and desserts. Discover all the delicious Christmas recipes at Tesco Real Food.

1 WEEK TO GO (From 18 December)

Spruce up your home

Give the house a clean, especially now all the dust from the decorations has settled. Also think about extra chairs and giving your best china a thorough rinse.

Buy fresh food

Research suggests that the best time to shop for fresh groceries is on 23 December between 6.30am and 7.30am. But if you do it before, just wrap fresh fruit and vegetables in newspaper and store in a cool dark place until you’re ready to cook – it should keep produce in mint condition.

Recharge batteries

Make sure compact cameras, video cameras, iPads, stereos and other gadgets are fully charged and ready to go. Stock up on regular batteries in case any gifts require them.

1 DAY TO GO (Christmas Eve)

Prepare the vegetables

You can cook your carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts in advance, ready to re-heat on Christmas day.

Defrost the turkey

If you’ve gone frozen this year, don’t forget to give it time to defrost. This is usually a minimum of 24 hours in the fridge for the average bird.

Tick off last-minute bits ‘n’ bobs

Finish the wrapping, prepare the Christmas table and tidy areas where your guests will spend most of their time.

Sit back and relax

You’ve done the hard work and planned everything to perfection, now relax and wait for Old Saint Nick. Happy Christmas!

Make, create and decorate this Christmas Thanks to the great ideas on