Now is the time to prepare for Christmas early.
Otherwise it will come quickly and stress you out.
None of us want to stress out on the week of Christmas.
We want to enjoy the season.
Savor the moments.
All without running around like crazy women at the last minute! Here are 6 things you can do right now to prepare for Christmas before the crazy begins.
How to Prepare for Christmas Early
Set a Christmas Budget.
How much are you going to spend on Christmas this year?
Include the following:
- gift wrapping supplies
- cards and postage
- charitable contributions
- special events
- travel expenses
- baking and holiday food
- special occasion clothing
Next, figure out where that money is coming from. Is it going to come from your monthly budget or will you find other ways to come up with the money?
Here are a few ideas:
- sell things you don’t need (Craigslist, Facebook, Consign, Garage Sale)
- offer a service to your friends and family – cleaning, dog walking, baking, babysitting, organizing
- sell handmade items/food
Purchase Christmas Cards in November and Mail after Thanksgiving.
As you get your cards ready to send out, decide on the following.
- Are going to include a family picture? Will you use one you already have or get the pictures made?
- Make a list of people you plan to send a card too.
- Decide where you will purchase your cards.
- Make a date to stuff and address envelopes.
- Set a date to mail the cards.
Read in more detail about Christmas Card Planning.
Plan Your Christmas Menu and Cookie Baking Early.
Think about your particular situation and make plans according to what food you will be responsible to make and bring to events.
Here are some things to think about:
- Treats at home
- Parties (work, school, church, ect.)
- Food gifts for neighbors and friends
- Special drinks
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas morning
- Christmas dinner
You don’t have to go crazy making all the family recipes or ones you see on Pinterest. Keep it simple and ask each family member for one favorite cookie or treat.
Pick one or two new recipes to try, but don’t make cooking baking a burden.
Once you have your menu planned and treat list made, make a shopping list. That way you know what to look for in the coming weeks as you see the sales at grocery stores.
You can pick up a little each week from now until Christmas.
Want more Christmas food tips? Read this post Christmas Meal Planning.
Make a Gift List.
Write EVERYONE you can think of down. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates. Anyone and everyone who you know you will need to purchase a gift for.
I’ve found it super helpful to give theme gifts. So all of the kids get a board game or a blanket with their favorite sports team.
Maybe all the men in your family receive hats that reflect their interests.
Having theme gifts means you don’t have to come up with a bunch of different ideas, but you can still personalize each gift.
One more thing – there is always some last minute gifts that you will remember or be told by your kids or spouse! 🙂 So have some easy, generic gifts on hand. I like to have some $5-10 gift cards and candy or popcorn gifts ready.
Decide early on what Christmas activities are a priority and what are not.
There are SO many events, activities, or opportunities that we could do each Christmas. Either they are pressures that we put on ourselves or pressure that others put on us.
But you don’t have to do it all.
In fact, you will be able to better enjoy the Christmas season when you schedule isn’t packed with energy-sucking activities.
Of course this time of year is busy, but that doesn’t mean you have to run yourself and your family ragged. Choose the things that will bring your family the most joy, and say no to the rest.
Create your NOT DOING list with the free printable in this post Christmas Planning- What Not to Do.
Use a Christmas Planner to Prepare Early.
There is so much to remember during the holidays. Free up your brain space and use a planner instead.
That way your thoughts are all on paper and organized, so you know exactly what you need to do next.
In my Christmas planner, I included a Christmas countdown checklist. You can easily refer to it and do a few things at a time during November and December instead of running around overwhelmed right before Christmas.
Savor the Christmas season knowing you’ve got it all planned out with the Christmas planner and early preparation!