Christmas in 2020 is looking likely to turn out like no other in recent memory. Even for the most organised among us, the pandemic has made it difficult to plan more than a few days in advance – let alone a season. But there are still ways you can start gearing up to make the best of this festive period.

And in a year of widespread fear and uncertainty, planning ahead will help to reduce some of the common stresses Christmas can bring. Here are four key areas you can begin to prepare for.

Plan who you’ll be with
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the indulgence of Christmas, but it’s the people you spend it with that ultimately matter most. Speak to your closest loved ones about their plans so that, all being well, everyone can enjoy some company – even if you’re not all together on the day.

It remains to be seen what rules will be imposed on December 25th regarding the mixing of households. But creative solutions are already being discussed to allow university students to return home safely, and support bubbles look likely to remain in place.

Start buying (or making) gifts
The earlier you start thinking about presents, the more likely you are to come up with great ideas and find deals. Starting now will give you more time to spread the cost too - and save you feeling the pinch come January.
There are likely to be even more sales to take advantage of this year as retailers look to recover some of their losses. Now’s also a good time to start preparing any DIY gifts you’re making this year, like homemade jams or handknitted scarves.

Organise your travel
Do you usually travel around the country to visit loved ones at Christmas? Or perhaps your gang is one of those that likes to get away abroad? Even if everyone usually comes to you, figuring out the logistics might be extra tricky this year.

Thankfully many travel and accommodation providers have introduced flexible booking policies, so people may still be able to make plans without risking losing out. Remember to get your annual leave requests in at work too!
Think about food

Food is one of the best things about Christmas as everyone tucks in and loosens their diet plans a little. If you’ve upped your cooking skills during lockdown, can you start testing this year’s showstoppers?
Or if you normally go out to a restaurant for your Christmas dinner, it may be worth booking early considering many businesses will be operating with reduced capacity.

However you choose to prepare, you’re sure to find ways to make this Christmas a memorable one.