I'm a Christmas party planner – this is what you need to prep NOW to ensure you don’t blow the budget

I'm a Christmas party planner – this is what you need to prep NOW to ensure you don’t blow the budget

October 8, 2021

CHRISTMAS is fewer than 100 days away and while people might moan and groan about talking festivities in October, now is the time to start your prep. Yes, really!

According to expert Christmas party planner, Sajel Patel, manager at Pines and Needles, we should already by trying to beat the rush and planning our parties.

She said the reason we need to do this is because it actually makes Christmas cheaper and less stressful. 

The festive expert said: “This year we’re predicting everything to do with Christmas will be bigger and better than ever before. 

“People can finally go out and about again, properly, after 18 months of restrictions. Christmas is a time for celebration in general and we think even more so this year. 

“We think people will want to do more activities rather than just drinking – why not organise ice skating or festive decoration making classes?

“Decoration-wise we’re noticing a huge upturn in themed decoration – especially rainbow themed or jungle is also popular. 


“If restrictions do come back in for winter, we’re imagining a big trend of Zoom Christmas parties – virtual quizzes, crafts and cocktail making classes.”

Sajel revealed the top 8 things you can do to take the stress of the festive season off your shoulders… 


Christmas expert Sajel says: "Make a list of everything you need for Christmas now and allocate a budget

"Stick to it, otherwise January will be miserable!"


Another thing that can be prepared now to make Christmas cheaper and avoid stress, is to order your tree. 

She said: “Order your Pines and Needles Christmas trees and decorations now to save any last minute panic.

“This will also reduce the chances of you being disappointed that you can’t get the tree or delivery slot you want.”


Be really organised and arrange getting rid of your Christmas tree in advance.

This will reduce your stress after the big day, advised Sajel.

She said: “At the same time, order your Pines and Needles collection for January to save you time and stress trying to take down and recycle your tree.”


You can also prep your Christmas food order in advance – plus this means you might get first dibs on the Christmas deals. 

Christmas expert Sajel said: “Pre-order your Christmas food now to make sure you get the delivery date and time slot of your choice.

“You can always add to your order later!”


Go present shopping in the sales, encouraged Sajel. 

She explained that the end of season sales are still on at most retailers. 

So have a look and see if there are any presents you can get ticked off your list early!


Another way to prep in advance for Christmas to reduce stress is to sign up to lots of mailing lists, revealed the Christmas expert.

She said: “Make sure you’re signed up to all your favourite brand’s mailing lists to be the first to know of any Black Friday offer and deals ahead of time.”

This will help you save money on Christmas presents!


Get crafty! Have a go at making your own decorations or Christmas cards this year and do them in advance to avoid any last minute stress or postal delays. 

Sajel encouraged: “Make sure to save off cuts of your Christmas trees to decorate the table, and why not get holly and mistletoe for place settings?”


The Christmas expert pointed out that you don’t need a completely new set of decorations each Christmas, but most people think it’s nice to add something new each time. 

A way to avoid spending lots of money on new decorations near Christmas is to dig out your old ones early. 

Sajel explained: “If you dig out your old Christmas decorations now, you can work out what will work this year and what you want to replace.”


The Christmas expert also revealed her top tips for planning the ultimate Christmas party for the festive season. Unfortunately – they have to be covid secure! 

She said: “No one knows what restrictions will look like come winter, so have two or three plans just in case things need to move around. 

“Also, make sure you’re checking cancellation policies at venues and party suppliers. If you do need to cancel, can you get a refund?”

Sajel also shared her tip that people should locate their closest Pines & Needles or general Christmas store to stock up on any last minute additions to the party. 

Simple lights make a huge difference!


The expert also revealed how to avoid common mistakes when planning your perfect Christmas.

  • "Double, triple check your reservation before heading out," reminded Sajel. She said there’s nothing worse than some members of the team getting the wrong time or location.
  • She also said don’t leave your party planning to the last minute, it’s the busiest time of year after all and the most popular spots get booked up, be quick!
  • Sajel added: “Don’t buy your Christmas trees or decorations too early as if the room is warm or it’s not looked after correctly, the tree can die.”
  • Use your tape measure, encouraged the Christmas expert. She said: “Make sure you measure your space for your Pines and Needles trees and decorations – we often get people who have a tree that’s too big or small because they didn’t check!”

In more Christmas news, this woman reveals she’s already put her Christmas tree up & decorated her home so her kids can ‘enjoy it longer this year.’

And this woman spent £2k stockpiling for Christmas – she's £1k in debt & got 200 loo rolls, people who aren’t doing it are bonkers, she says.

Plus these were the best & worst celeb Christmas decor from last year, from Luisa Zissman’s ‘chaotic’ effort to Michelle Keegan’s chic ‘winter wonderland’.

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