So, if you have been following me for a while, then you know that Christmas is my jam!! I start planning for it as soon as I take down my decorations from the previous year…for real! Today, I am sharing Ten Ways to Prepare for Christmas Early to help you be organized for the season.
Stay tuned for several FREE Printables that I have for you to help with your planning towards the bottom of this post! PLUS, I have a special gift for you at the end of the post!
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I think for most folks, planning for Christmas starts after Thanksgiving or even into December. There are actually so many things you can do earlier in the fall (like now!) to keep yourself organized and ahead of the busy game.
There are so many benefits to planning early…the number one being…to minimize stress as you get closer to the holidays. For me, once my kids get home for their holiday break, I want to spend as much time with them as possible…not buried in shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, etc.
While they are home and we are hosting other guests and/or friends, I want to be able to focus on the simple and joyful parts of the season. For me, that would be cooking, entertaining, baking (only a tiny bit…baking is NOT my thing!), menu planning, etc.
I understand that all of the elements of the holiday season can be daunting for so many. My goal is to help you be organized and confident that you “got this”! Getting organized early is the key!
Ten Ways to Prepare for Christmas Early
- Rethink your past holiday season.
- Clean out your existing Christmas decorations.
- Plan your color palette for this year.
- Create a budget.
- Plan hostess gifts and make ahead.
- Compile Christmas Card list.
- Order or create Christmas Cards early.
- Create your Christmas gift list.
- Shop your gift list before the seasonal rush.
- Stock up on your gift wrapping essentials.
Now, let’s break this down…(FREE Printables below!)
Rethink your past holiday season. Think about the things went well in year’s past and things that didn’t…things you might want to change…for the better. I regret not having the time to get a Christmas card out from us. That is definitely a priority for me this year.
Contemplate what stressed you out last year and make changes. Last year, it was my goal to have all of my shopping and wrapping done before the kids got home. Since I got most of it completed prior to their arrivals, it was such a relief. It allowed me more time to help them with their shopping and wrapping! 🙂
Another thing I do is look through pictures of past Christmas’s to remind myself of how I decorated my spaces since I change things up every year.
Clean out your existing Christmas decorations. I usually do this REALLY early because I always do a purge at the end of every season. It is good to be able to remind yourself of what you actually have. At my age, this escapes me regularly!
Plan your color palette for this year. I am one of those crazy Christmas ladies that builds several Christmas Trees every year and change them up every year. I do part of that for my readers to give you more ideas and inspirations. The other reason is that I thrive on change and creating new looks.
I will reuse some of what I did the previous and then make subtle (or even bold) changes. Here is how I transitioned our flocked tree over the last three years…
You can see the details of these trees by clicking on these links…
Create a budget. You could create an overall budget OR individual budgets. This is how I would break down budget planning…
- Gift Budget (including gift wrapping essentials)…for all gift giving (free printable below for creating your gift list!.
- Decorations Budget…for new elements you want to add to your existing decorations.
- Party Budget…if you choose to host a holiday celebration.
- Christmas Card Budget…this can dictate whether or not you send out cards or a letter to your list or if you choose to send an online option.
- Food and Drink Budget…for your Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day dinners (free printable below for your meal planning!)
Plan hostess gifts and make ahead. This is a great “plan ahead” project. Once the holidays come around, it seems like such a crazy busy time. If you make gifts ahead of time, then you won’t be running around at the last minute trying to figure something out.
There are so many great DIY/Homemade ideas out there that you can make even months ahead. Watch for a new idea coming on the blog!
These Easy Homemade House Seasoning Gifts are one of the hostess gifts I have made in the past and is always a hit. I have also made them for party favors. I still have guests asking for refills!!
Be sure to check out this post of My Favorite DIY Hostess Gift Ideas! They also make great party favors.
Compile Christmas Card list. Mine is in great need of maintenance! Working on your list is an effort that can be done as early as you can. Working on it also helps you have an accurate number of cards to send out. I usually throw a dart and end up wasting money. No bueno!
Order or create Christmas Cards early. Not only does starting early ease your stress as you get closer to Christmas, but you can also save money by ordering them early because of the discounts offered to those who order their cards early. It also helps spread out the expenses of the season if you order and send them out early.
I suggest targeting to get them out by the first of December either online or through the mail.
Create your Christmas gift list. Creating your list early will truly help you be more organized for the season. This also assists you in starting your shopping early which also helps spread out the expense of gift buying.
I created this FREE Printable for you to help with your planning. Click HERE to print this for your own use. Keep this with you. You never know when you will run across something that will be perfect for a loved one!
*Please Note: All printables and downloads designed by Home with Holliday are for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Please do not alter the file or claim it as your own. This file is not intended for resale, nor are there printed versions of this file.
Shop your gift list before the seasonal rush. Shopping early and/or online can help you avoid the lines, the last- minute shopping, the crowds, etc. Yes, please! Shopping early also helps you get ahead of the mountain that gift wrapping can be.
Stock up on your gift wrapping essentials. So many stores are already stocking wrapping supplies. I actually just bought some of the basics from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Smarty had a Party, and Paper Mart to get ahead of the game.
I also just ordered this Custom Self-inking Rubber Stamp from Zazzle so I could make a bunch of gift tags ahead of time and for different applications.
Ten Ways to Prepare for Christmas Early
An added bonus for your christmas planning…
Meal planning for holiday gatherings and dinners typically starts a little closer to Christmas. While I was on a roll putting together these printables, I created a FREE Christmas Meal Planner for you as you begin to plan your big meals. I am also throwing in a Thanksgiving Meal Planner as well as a BONUS!
A Special Gift for you for the Holiday Season…
If you are not a present subscriber, fill in this form below and you will have full access to my FREE Resource Library (which is password protected). Just for you, I created a full 8-page Christmas Planner for you that includes some of these printables and more!
Hopefully, this post of Ten Ways to Prepare for Christmas Early has gotten you motivated to plan more ahead this year. I am really hoping it will make for a much less stressful season for you! I would be delighted to hear about how you plan ahead each year in the comments below! Happy planning!!