Do you ever think to yourself, “I should probably get ready for Christmas early this year” , and then constantly find yourself scurrying around the last few days before Christmas?
According to Wikipedia, Preparation is a handling principle whereby people do specific designed arrangements to get ready for a final desirable product or for a successful experience.
In our case, the successful experience in question is Christmas. Why is it so difficult to get ready for Christmas early?
Every year seems more frantic than the last. Every year we promise ourselves that we will be more prepared next year, often that’s never the case!
Most of us start preparing only by December, assuming that we’ll be able to get the job done no matter how hectic the workload.
There are a lot of things you can do to get ready for Christmas early, so join me and let’s organize ourselves as early as we can this year!
When Should You Start Getting Ready For Christmas?
I firmly believe that it’s never too early to prepare for Christmas. It seems as if the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas get shorter busier every year.
September is a good month of the year to start getting ready for Christmas.
I’m not suggesting that you put up your tree, hang your stockings and prepare the egg nog by September (But if you want, I fully support your decision).
Little things that take up a lot of time, like Gift shopping, choosing your Christmas carol playlist etc.
These are great things to check off your list by September so you can get better deals on gifts as well as it will give you some time to relax during one of the busiest times of the year.
The goal is to have enough free time between holiday parties, Christmas card photo sessions, gift exchanges and last minute shopping trips, to breathe and enjoy the holiday season!
Start Saving Right Now
I would wager that the sneakiest thing about the holiday season, is how expensive it is!
Christmas comes around the same time every single year, not really a surprise! We can use this to our advantage and plan our finances ahead of time.
A huge part of getting ready for Christmas early is to have enough money for things like, food, decorations, gifts and the traditional ugly sweaters.
Consider opening up a separate savings account and putting some money into it every week.
If you start by September with $20 a week, you’d have an extra $300 to buy gifts with, decorate your house with or splurge on yourself with by the time it’s Christmas day!
Related Reading: The Perfectly Simple 12 Week Christmas Savings Plan
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Once September comes around, Head to the garage and pull out everything you have that screams Christmas. That will help you with determining how much you already have and anything else you need.
Once you figure out what you need, Go out and get it!
You get first pick on any additional decorations you need, consider that your reward for preparing so early!
If you wait until the last couple of weeks before Christmas, chances are that everything has been picked by others.
Don’t forget, We’re still in September so try and keep Thanksgiving in the back of your mind as well. If you need anything, make a note.
Another thing I’d recommend doing in September is brainstorming your gift ideas.
Once you organize your list, what you’re going to buy and for whom, it’s time to start buying!
Time To Start Ordering
The best part about living in today’s day and age is that all your gifts can be ordered with the click of a button.
Ideally, you’d want to keep a running list so you do not overbuy for one person (or yourself!), blow your entire budget, or maybe even forget someone.
By the fourth week of September, is when the Christmas hype slowly starts. You should aim to get your gift shopping done by then to get the best prices you possibly can.
If you’re reading this in October, It’s alright, Don’t panic.
You still have a bit of time left before Christmas Day, try and get the tasks that were supposed to be done by September done ASAP.
Personally, I use the month of October for Christmas Cards.
Start drawing out a list every year and refer back to it to check whether anyone needs to be added or removed from it.
I like signing the cards myself, It adds a personal touch and shows the people I am sending the cards to that I consider them an integral part of my life.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Does that mean you mail the cards in October?”, No, I do not.
Ideally I’d send them out a week or so after Thanksgiving.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, it’s time to put up that Fall decor (you can find some of my favorites
Well, now it’s November, and if you’ve stumbled across this post in November I’d tell you it’s time to pull your socks up and get to work!
In my personal experience, November is one of the busiest months of the year, not just because of Christmas but also Thanksgiving.
I used to have a huge majority of my shopping complete before Thanksgiving, just to lighten my workload as Christmas looms closer and closer.
On purpose, I’d leave a tiny portion of my shopping list for Black Friday, cause let’s be real, who doesn’t enjoy the possibility of getting your favorite items at a ridiculous discount?!
Time To Decorate Too
You should use November to try and finish up as much decorating as you can!
I would start getting to work on my Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving.
Decorate the outside of your house first so you can take advantage of whatever little good weather you have left, before the cold kicks in.
Also, don’t forget to mail those Christmas cards!
Next, it’s time to decorate the inside of your house, you can find my favorite indoor Christmas decor
Assign family members for each room/each section of the house for maximum efficiency.
This is where your shopping in September has paid off since you won’t have to leave your house for more decor shopping.
Ah it’s December! Just a few more weeks to go, your determination to get ready for Christmas early has come to fruition, you’re the most relaxed you’ve been in years!
That doesn’t mean there’s zero work to be done, December is a great time to focus on gift wrapping.
Something magical during Christmas time, a piping hot cup of cocoa, the movie Home Alone playing in the background (It’s a Christmas movie!) and just sitting down and wrapping all the presents is such an amazing feeling.
Christmas was always family time in my household, so a week before Christmas I would get into my car and deliver all the gifts I had wrapped for my friends and neighbors.
Always made me feel like a mini Santa!
18 Tips To Get Ready For Christmas Early
Winter is just around the corner and shops are filled up with Christmas items.
Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the holiday season, it pays off in a big way to be prepared for it.
Preparation is key, if you know how to get ready for Christmas early, Once the New Year rolls around, you can look back at the memories you created with your loved ones rather than remembering how stressful it was.
1) Start your Christmas Budget
Avoid getting surprised by the cost of the holidays by creating a realistic budget of your expenses.
Look back to last year and make a list of everything you spent money on.
When I did this, I was shocked to see how far off I was with my estimate in my head and what I was writing down!
Common Expenses During Christmas include:
- Christmas Cards
- Stamps (you’d be surprised how expensive some Christmas Stamps are!)
- Christmas Sweaters
I also wanted to mention charitable donations but what I like to do is sort through my closet and donate any old clothes I might have!
This way you do not need to spend money and at the same time you are helping out somebody in need.
You might like: Best Budget Stocking Stuffers For The Whole Family
2) Create A Gifting List
Now it’s time to create a list of all the people you buy presents for every year.
Try not to forget to include “last-minute” people as I like to call them, this could be your doctor, your teacher, your kids babysitter etc.
Next to each name, brainstorm a few gift ideas and jot them down, two birds with one stone!
If DIY is more your style, I have a post 10 Simple And Beautiful Homemade Food Gifts For Christmas.
Check it out and I am sure it will help you!
3) Create Your Own Wish List
If somebody asks you what you want for Christmas? Do you usually draw a blank?
Maybe you’ve been so caught up with preparations and buying gifts for others that you haven’t had the opportunity to think about what you would want.
Every time you think you want something, just add it to your Amazon Wish list! You could also create a list on a simple Word document and send it to people if that’s more your style.
It’s so simple, you can just send people your wish list so that they can get you what you want.
4) Go Through Your Decor
Aim to get rid of anything that you no longer like or need. On the flip side, make a list of anything extra you might need.
Getting your decor early is not only a great plan to save you time and money, but it will also ensure that you get the freedom of choice in what decor suits you best.
You typically get the best options to choose from the earlier you start shopping for decor. Most big outlets like Target will sell out fast and move on to the next holiday.
5) Dump Your Brain!
Think about all the steps that are involved in getting ready for Christmas, everything that you go through in December.
Jot down anything that comes to mind that could help you get more organized this year, it could be the smallest of things like working around a spa appointment.
Dumping your brain can be the basis of your Christmas to-do list.
6) Get To Work On Your Christmas Card List
I used to have a list I’d make every year of all the people I’d send Christmas cards too. It saved me so much time not having to go through each persons address individually!
Create a spreadsheet (It can be on Google spreadsheet or even a piece of paper) of each person and their corresponding address.
After that it is a simple copy and paste job to send your Christmas cards to your friends, family, neighbors and other loved ones.
7) Brainstorm Party Ideas
If you have the intention of hosting a holiday party, it’s time to brainstorm some party ideas.
A few important things to consider are:
- Number of people you intend on inviting
- Your neighbors approval (you could invite them too!)
8) New Traditions, Maybe?
Were there some things you wish you had done last Christmas, but just never got the chance?
I don’t blame you! Christmas is a hectic time and it’s so easy to forget about traditions that you wanted to do.
You’d want to make a list of all the traditions you want to get done and use it as a type of bucket list.
Who doesn’t love new traditions?!
You may also like: 20 Wonderful Christmas Traditions To Start This Year
9) Who is Coming?
Figuring out who and how many people will be attending will help you tremendously in getting organized.
Make your guest list (make sure to check it twice) and send those invites! The sooner the better. It gives you and your guests more time to plan your schedules accordingly.
Even planning for other things, like how many guests might stay over, or will they bring a few friends of their own who you don’t know etc.
You can never be too organized!
10) Analyse Last Year
Try recollecting what happened last Christmas, what worked well and what didn’t.
Try and come up with ways to work around what didn’t work last year, I’ve found sitting down and brainstorming solutions helps, cause a lot of times it’s small and common problems that annoy you the most!
11) Book Your Travel Arrangements
If you travel away from where you live for Christmas, start booking those travel arrangements now.
The difference between booking a flight during Christmas time in September and booking one in December is laughable. It’s crazy the kind of markup that you need to pay if you are caught slacking in booking your travel arrangements.
So, Book early, Book cheap and enjoy the trip!
12) Shop For Those Gifts!
Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift (see what I did there?).
The smartest of shoppers buy their gifts during sales, that could be Black Friday, Boxing Day of the previous year or even in June during summer time.
Remember, between now and Christmas is Black Friday, this is the perfect opportunity for you to go on a gift shopping spree!
Try not to go over budget as most outlets during Black Friday are so stimulating that majority of the time you leave with a lot more than you intended on buying in the first place.
13) Start Designing Your Christmas Card
This is one of my favorite things to do during Christmas time, start designing your cards as early as you can and they will come out great!
You can use a family photo, or maybe even a photo you already have, remember there is no hard and fast rule that the photo has to be Christmas-themed.
I’ve had friends use pictures of them and their family on a boat out at sea with the sun beaming down on them as their holiday card and it was one of the best Christmas cards I’ve ever gotten!
14) Clean Your House
There are probably a few things around the house that need to be cleaned or repaired before the holidays come rolling.
You’d want to get that cleaning done early so that everything will be clean and tidy for when your guests arrive.
15) Get The Christmas Movies Out!
One of my favorite things to do is to organize my Christmas movie collection.
Nothing beats waking up on a cold morning and watching a Christmas movie with your loved ones in your PJ’s.
Some of my personal favorites are:
- The Home Alone Franchise
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
16) Meal Planning
There are always components of a big Christmas feast that can be prepared in advance and then frozen to preserve it.
Foods such as gravy, can be prepared, cooked and frozen a few months in advance.
All you need to do when Christmas comes around is defrost and reheat.
Maybe you have certain family members or guests that have certain dietary restrictions, plan ahead always!
Related Reading: 15 Irresistible Christmas Cookie Recipes
17) Plan New Recipes
Maybe you want to make something new this Christmas, there are so many elements to consider.
Is it a Main dish? A side dish? How long will it take to prepare? Can I make it in bulk?
Ask yourself all these questions and see how viable your new recipe is, there isn’t any point in breaking your back to prepare something that takes 3 hours to serve 10 people (you could argue that turkey is worse, ha!)
De-cluttering your home is so important to make your home appear more elegant and cleaner.
The less clutter you have around you, the more your Christmas decor shines!
Choose a shelf or a space in your wardrobe to store your clutter, this will help in making the process a lot more efficient.
Having a clean and balanced home can help in alleviating some of that holiday stress.
Now, Are you prepared to Get ready for Christmas early?
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
Last Updated on 27th August 2022 by Emma