The lead up to Christmas 2023 has officially started and we’re here to help you get on top of it …
Christmas has crept up on us and as a busy woman (or man!) it can be hard to even wrap your head around the Christmas prep ahead – let alone pack it all in as you try to juggle everything else going on this time of year. Hence why we have compiled an all-encompassing checklist to avoid the seasonal stress – just take it step by step from now until December 25…
Book your Christmas Lunch / Dinner: Now
This is your first priority people, these things book up fast. Whether you are looking for a full blown Christmas lunch at The Butchers Grill in Ranelagh, a sit down dinner at Peploe’s atmospheric cellar or to book drinks and nibbles with the girls at 9 Below bar on Stephen’s Green – now is the time to do it. Corale your friends and family, pick the date and get booking. If you need food and drinks recommendations, we have that covered, visit this page to pick your foodie vibe or read Ciara McQuillan’s Ultimate Christmas Dining Guide.
Photographed by Veronika Faustmann, styled by Corina Gaffey.
Pick up the Advent Calendars: This Weekend
Advent calendars are next. From luxury beauty advent calendars to jewellery to chocolate, they are on sale now and that means they will be snatched up quick! We recommend to add this task to your list soon. If you need some inspiration we are loving these ones; L’Occitane, Space NK, Charlotte Tilbury, Missoma and for chocolate there is Butlers of course!
Buy your Christmas Crackers: Early November
We’re not messing around… if the crackers are bought in early November that is one less thing to worry about as the tablescaping-time comes around on December 24 and you realise you never picked them up. Crackers are the forgotten items, always at the bottom of the list and always bought last minute, so help your future self and avoid that mad scramble, pick them up soon!
Book The Bird: Early November
The time has come to book the bird and when it comes to ordering – size matters! We salute anyone hosting a large group of 12-15 people and if you are, a 6 to 6.5kg bird will feed the masses. For a smaller group of 8-10 (still a lot of hungry mouths to feed!) a 4.5 to 5kg turkey is your answer. A turkey crown at 2 to 2.5kg will work perfectly for 6 people – and if there isn’t that many coming this year order a crown anyway if you can – think of all the turkey sandwiches afterwards. Chef Mark Moriarty shares his top tips for fuss-free feasting in the M&S Christmas food guide.
Giftmas Day at Dundrum Town Centre – November 9
Shop early, shop smart! On Thursday November 9, you are invited to Giftmas Day at Dundrum Town Centre. At this all-day shopping event, a gift to all Dundrum Town Centre’s customers, a 20 per cent discount applies at participating stores and seasonal pop-ups, including Brown Thomas, Harvey Nichols, L’Occitane, Kiehls, LK Bennett, Dune and new pop-ups Sinead Keary and Photos by Jen. It is the perfect day for the organised woman to get her shopping started. Sign up at www.dundrum.ie for Dundrum’s newsletter, to receive updates on all participating stores. Image; Hobbs.
Black Friday Shopping – Friday 24 November
Whether you’re a website surfer or prefer the rush of the high street – note this day of all days in your diary, it will be a big one. Image; www.hm.com
Make your Christmas Pudding / Cake: November 26
Traditionally the Christmas pudding is made five weeks before Christmas, on the last Sunday before the first Advent. This is known as Stir Up Sunday and this year that falls on November 26. Now you’re a busy person and you may only get a moment to do this the week before or the week after – that is ok. However, traditionally each family member helps stir up the Christmas pudding and they can make a wish; so why not make this Stir Up Sunday a special one with family? For Christmas pudding inspiration see Trish Deseine’s recipe here.
Putting Up The Decorations: November 24 – December 3
According to tradition, one should put up their Christmas tree and decorations on the first day of Advent – which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. That makes this year’s dedicated decorating day Sunday December 3. However, The Late Late Toy Show airs on November 24 – so why not decorate then, get into the festive mood and tick another job off the list? Plus parties and lunches are going to start building up in December – you need to make sure your schedule is free and the tree is waiting for you at home! Photographed by Veronika Faustmann, styled by Corina Gaffey.
The Toy Trip: Late November
Late November (post-Toy Show) to early December is the best window of time to get the tikes their favourite toys and games. It is when children know what new toys they would like and the toy shops will actually have them in stock. There is a finite amount of time in which these two moving parts will be still and that’s when you need to make your move! One range to note is Ikea’s new exciting and colourful range of toys that support imagination and creativity through play. www.ikea.com. According to a study, the busiest times for shopping in a Smyths Superstore are between 12pm and 4pm so your best bet is to shop around these hours. www.smythstoys.com
Stocking Fillers, It’s Time: Early December
The trip for purchasing stocking fillers has to be in December – if it is any earlier what’s the fun in that? The whole joy of pulling out items from a stocking is that with each bizarre item, you can feel the stress of the person who bought it in the moment they did. Body sculpting tights, perhaps a candle, mini reading lights, a nail scissors – bizarrely useful, that is the beauty of a stocking filler. However, we do have some inspiration for you – no need to panic, here is a selection of stocking fillers all under €30.
Plan A Family Day Out – Mid-December
Make sure to make time for a family shopping day out, take a trip to Kildare Village, or maybe Avoca, and enjoy being out and about with your loved ones – while getting that Christmas shopping list whittled down. Kildare Village has just launched its Christmas festivities so that will satisfy all your festive cheer needs. Have a lovely lunch after browsing around the stores. www.kildare-village.ie. There is nothing that says Christmas more than Avoca, where you can pick up last minute gifts, festive food supplies, visit Santa or meet up with extended family ahead of the festivities, we love the Kilmacanogue store at this time of year. www.avoca.com.
Time To Tablescape: December 24
One of the most exciting parts about Christmas prep is setting the table. Whether it is for the hoards of family coming for dinner or it’s just the two of you, making the table look beautiful will help brighten up your Christmas Day. You can make a centrepiece from garden foliage or style your napkins in a new way, and candles are a must. And remember you have already bought your crackers – so no worries there. thedesignedtable.com