Make your Christmas cake - this will allow you to feed the cake and for it to mature properly. I keep mine in an old sweet tin wrapped in greaseproof and foil, and feed it every week until the cake is moist but not over spirited.
Make Sultanas in Brandy or Raisins in Rum for drizzling over ice cream
Make a decision as to whether you are buying Christmas Cards or making them.
Once decided if making source your craft materials once this is done start making your cards and gift tags - the sooner these are made the sooner you can start writing out your cards rather than leaving it until the last moment.
Make some extra jars of preserves to give as "pressies" to friends and relatives.
Start buying stamps, buying a few at a time is less stress on the purse. Or if like us you have extended family we have present and card drops with a particular relative who distributes the cards to us.
If buying cards start locating those cards you wish to send, buy and put them up until you have your full choice available. Then do the cards to get them out of the way.
N.B. In January each year I source Christmas cards and put them up for use later in the year I buy them at greatly reduced prices.
Make Christmas present tags.
Make litle gift boxes to put small pressies in or sweeties in. They can be covered in pretty paper or fabric.
Save cereal packaging as it is useful as a base for making your own card boxes or for patchwork inserts.
Make Redcurrant Jelly
Make Rowanberry jelly
Make Damson Cheese (if you can locate damsons)
Make Damson and Orange jam (this is extremely yummy)
Make Damson Vodka or Gin
Try and get hold of Quince to make Quince preserves such as Quince Jelly and Quince cheese
Make compotes for freezing or bottling
Make Apricot and Apple Chutney
If you have access to Hazlenuts, preserve them in salt or in honey.
Blackberries for lots of different preserves.
There is so much to do and so little time to do it.
Start crafting small Christmas presents
Pot Brown Shrimps and Prawns and store in the freezer
Don't forget if you have produce given to you and you don't have time at that precise moment in time to do anything with it prepare it for the freezer and put it in there until you can have a play day.
Remember you create your own traditions and own customs and if you want to eat home made mint jelly with pork sausages - then that's absolutely up to you.
Start sorting out those recipes you intend to have a go at come Christmas time and put them into an A4 folder in a plastic sleeve - you will then have all your recipes in one central place and it will make it easier to plan your shopping list as you will be able to scoot through the ingredients list a lot quicker than dragging stacks of books out. Because it is stored in a plastic sleeve it means you will be able to use it from the folder and it will keep the recipe sheet clean.
Enjoy the time you get to play
Start collating items to dry for making home made garlands, such as lemon and orange rings, slices of pomegranate, dry bay leaves and other assorted leaves. Once all the items are collated start to collate your garland/decorations.
Have a go at making salt dough decorations/table decorations and then painting them.