A little planning now can reduce a lot of stress later. Take just a little time this July to get ready and you will have a better Christmas this year.
I love Christmas, it’s such a joyful and fun time of the year. Christmas can also be a very busy time and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Many of the things that overwhelm us can be prevented though, by planning ahead.
Starting to plan in July or even early, for Christmas can seem a bit extreme. However, planning ahead and doing a little bit at a time leaves a lot more time to enjoy the season and makes it a lot easier. You also can save money by shopping all year.
Here are some things to get checked off your Christmas to-do list before the holiday season even starts.
Christmas To-Do List
- Make a Christmas planner. This will help you stay on track and stay organized.
- Make a gift list. Decide who you are buying gifts for and start writing down ideas. Keep an eye out for sales on great gifts.
- Start saving money. If you haven’t already started putting extra money aside for Christmas expenses. Skip a coffee and save that money instead, or sell some things that are just cluttering up your home and put that aside. Every little bit counts.
- Make your Christmas card list. I like to have a list of people who sent me cards the year before and I use that to help me plan for who to send cards to the next year.
- Make sure you have addresses. Both for cards and gifts, you may be mailing, you want to be sure you have current addresses. Go ahead and get them written down (unless you know that person will possibly be moving before Christmas).
- Plan for your Christmas cards. If you are taking a photo for your cards go ahead and get it booked and plan outfits. If you write a newsletter, start making notes. If like me you make your cards, start making them now.
- Plan parties. If you are having any parties start planning now. Make a list of what you will need and keep an eye out for sales on the items you can buy ahead.
- Pre-make baked goods. Many baked goods are just as good made ahead and frozen. Don’t start quite yet but a month or two ahead is fine for most things. Cookies are the easiest to make a freeze. Just make up the dough, scoop balls onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper, freeze, and once they are hard to transfer to a freezer container until you are ready to bake.
- Start making gifts. If you enjoy DIY and crafting, make your project list and start gathering supplies. Craft stores like Michaels have sales all the time and great coupons, stock up on supplies as you can get good deals.
- Check out the Hallmark Ornament Debut. July 14th-22nd is the 2018 Hallmark ornament debut. It’s a great time to start buying ornaments for yourself or gifts. You can also just window show and start filling out your ornament wish list.
This list can seem overwhelming if you have to do it all in a month or two but if you have 4-5 months it’s not hard at all. Set aside just a few minutes each week to work on Christmas prep, or even just sometime each month, and you will be ready in no time.
I’d also love to know, when do you start preparing for the holidays? If you have any tips share in the comments.
Want more ways to reduce holiday stress? Check out A Stress-Free Christmas: A Complete How-To Guide.