Christmas prep in June: Spread the work and cost

Christmas prep in June what to do to perpare for a thrifty festive season this month

I regularly write posts about spreading the cost of the festive season, and although I could put those out every month of the year, anything earlier than mid June still feels a teensy bit like overkill – even though I’ve had quite a few requests to do year-round prep and I do tend to buy one or two things in the January sales. However, I do have to agree that a tiny amount of Christmas prep in June can be a very effective way to spread the cost and maybe reduce some stress.

Why? Because the mid-summer sales are on right now, and it’s one of the best windows of opportunity during the year for picking up gifts in particular. It’s also possible to find homewares and other items you might need to put to use before or during the festivities: bedlinen and towels for guests, furniture such as extra chairs, TVs and other electrical goods and gadgets, table linen, glassware and crockery, cookware, serveware, craft materials, jam and conserve making equipment and anything else related to that side of the preparations. They might not have pictures of pine trees or ‘Merry Christmas’ on them, but you can definitely find things around about now that are good quality and maybe have a little sparkle to them.

Of course, this approach – popular with many of this site’s regular visitors – is completely optional. Maybe you have other priorities right now, and could leave it a while longer. All options are valid here. Consider balance and your other commitments and don’t overdo it.

However, if you have time this month then you might like to take a moment to consider one or two ways to spread the cost and maybe some of the work of the festive season. Here’s a quick checklist:


Christmas in June checklist

  • Think about your budget, and what you can afford this month. It’s definitely a good time to look for bargains, but only if you have the necessary funds.
  • Check out my Big Summer Sales List for updated information about the best sales in the UK
  • Like the Penny Golightly facebook page to find out about new sales & offers as they launch
  • Think about your basic arrangements for the festive season – will you most likely be at home or away?
  • What type of Christmas do you want? Quiet? Low cost? Home made? Bright and covered in glitter?
  • Write a quick initial list of who you’re buying / making for, and whatever else you might need to get for your home
  • Make up batches of jam, conserves and other edibles with seasonal ingredients (strawberries, Seville oranges, cherries, summer raspberries etc) for homemade gifts
  • Look around for cut price or on-sale craft materials for making your own cards, decorations or presents later down the line

As you can see, there are a few little things you can do here and there this month to help yourself in the longer term. That might be as complex as getting all your ‘big ticket’ purchases made in the summer sales, or it could be as simple as setting the intention to have a particular type of festive break.

For example, we’re probably going to have a fairly simple, home made Christmas here and focus mainly on having some relaxing low key events to catch up with our friends after what’s likely to be a very busy Autumn season at work. I’m mostly taking it easy this month on the festive front although I will take probably advantage of one of the latest special offers on sparkling wines, and checking out one or two sales for small and thoughtful gifts if there’s any extra cash in the budget.

Next month will be when most of the main retailers do their festive showcases, so I’ll be attending as many of those as is reasonably possible and taking notes about all the new products and trends.


Are you one of the 4+ million Brits who have already started their Christmas shopping? If so, what sort of things have you been picking up?


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  1. I fear I started my Christmas shopping in January and I am already stocking up on dry fruit for Christmas cake and home made mincemeat. Family gifts are often food based so that needs planning. My badly damaged hip hinders me. Thank you for great ideas please keep going.

  2. Hi Harriet – I usually buy a few bits and bobs right at the end of the January sales too, in final clearance, as it makes things easier. So glad you’re enjoying the posts and hope you get better soon.

  3. I’ve already bought some special chocolate as a Christmas gift! Don’t worry – I checked the use by date – it’s not until February 2019!!

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