Take a look at the news, or scroll through your social media feed, and it’s easy to find yourself down in the dumps. Add to that the bout of winter blues that’s about to strike after the clocks go back, and you might find yourself seriously under the cosh. At times like this, we might recommend preparing early for Christmas.

True, this year it’s going to be a Christmas like no other you’ve ever experienced. Social distancing and the much-maligned ‘rule of six’ mean that Christmas will be at least a little more low-key this time. But at least it’ll be something to prepare for and look forward to. So exactly what should that preparation look like?

Buy Gifts Early

It’s tricky to say how easy it’ll be to get the presents that you need in time for Christmas. Online retailers, obviously, are your best bet, as high streets are likely to be horrendous during the build-up to the big day. But even e-tailers might have difficulty meeting what is sure to be unprecedented demand; as such, the safest bet is to buy early. Advent calendars are likely to be in high demand, and so are game systems. As the saying goes, buy now to avoid disappointment.

Make a Donation

Many of your friends might have changed their outlook when it comes to what they want and value and may recommend that you give to a nominated charity instead. That approach does make life easier when it comes to rushing – still, you might want to pick a few items so that you actually have something to hand over on the day itself.

Have a Stock of Batteries

Now, there’s no reason to go overboard – the last thing the country needs is a shortage of triple-As. But with the same problem recurring every year, it’d be silly not to keep a pack of each kind of battery to hand in a kitchen drawer.

Sort the Tree

Before you go buying a tree, it’s worth performing a little audit. How big a tree can your home accommodate, and will you need any additional decorations? Are you going to go for something natural, or artificial?

Make it Yourself

Hand-crafted gifts and homemade treats are an easy way to inject a little bit of the personal into the season. When the house is filling every weekend with cinnamon and nutmeg spice, then it’ll start to feel a little bit like Christmas. Work out what decorations and baked goods you need to conjure up, and then get to it!

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