I know. I know. It’s only the beginning of November.
We are still munching on candy corn and savoring our pumpkin spice drinks. But NOW is the time to start planning for Christmas. Otherwise it will come at you quickly and stress you out.
None of us want to stress out on the week of Christmas, do we?
We want to enjoy the season. Savor the moments. All without running around like crazy women trying to get to all of the last minute “must-dos” done.
Here are four things you can start doing this month to save your sanity in December.
The first thing to do is set a 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
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? (Kudos to those of you who have been saving all year!)
I recently read the ebook A Zero Budget Christmas by Kristen Glover.
In her book she talks about finding ways outside of the regular budget to fund Christmas.
Here are a few ideas:
- sell things you don’t need (Craigslist, Facebook, Consign, Garage Sale)
- offer a service to your friends and family
- sell handmade items/food
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.
In the book, Thrifty and Thriving by Victoria Huizinga*, she suggests writing down the person’s name, gender, and age but not gift ideas. That way when you are out shopping you can scan the sale and clearance racks and find a gift that matches the person and get it at a great price.
I like this idea so much better than looking for a specific gift!
Write a NOT Doing List
There are SO many things that feel like they must get done each year. Either they are pressures that we put on ourselves or pressure that others put on us.
Decide now what you are not going to be spending your valuable time and money on this Christmas. Write it down so that you are more likely to stick with it!
You can see my not doing list from a couple of years ago.
Fill out a Christmas Planner
If you like to write things down, refer to checklists, and mark things off of your to-do lists, than Christmas is a great time to use a planner.
That way you get all of the million different tasks and ideas floating around in your head on paper. Once it is on paper it is much easier to keep track of. This year I spent many hours creating a Christmas planner with everything you will need.
Here’s what is in it:
1. Christmas Countdown Checklist
2. Master Budget
3. Home Preparation List
4. Card List
5. Gift List
6. Stocking Stuffers
7. Food List
8. Menu Plan and Schedule
9. Grocery Shopping List
10. Christmas Bucket List
11. Decor List
12. Storage Bin Labels
You can purchase yours for only $5 and download it immediately via my Etsy shop.