Today I’m sharing my best tips to start planning for Christmas. I’m all about planning! It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and craziness of the holiday season and miss out on what the season is all about.
The best way to avoid that is to get a plan and start early!
Now that November has arrived it’s time to set those holidays planning wheels in motion. With Thanksgiving just over three weeks away, all of the holiday festivities will be upon us before we know it.
Today I’m here to help ease (or prevent) your frazzled holiday mind by sharing my best tips and tricks as you start planning for Christmas, so you can get your home and all the things ready without all the overwhelm!
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General Christmas Planning Tips
1. Set a budget. No one likes this one, but it’s essential to set some parameters to stay on track and avoid an outrageous bill in January! Remember all the extras besides gift lists — food, decor, entertainments, etc.
2. Schedule everything on your calendar now. Check kids’ and school calendars, church events, special concerts, holiday events, gatherings and parties, and make sure everything is on the calendar now.
3. Order tickets and make reservations for any special events. Is there a special concert or play you’d like to see? Plan it now so you don’t miss out.
4. Plan and schedule your Christmas photo shoot, even if it’s just a friend taking your photos. Plan out what you’ll wear, and buy those outfits now.
5. Select your Christmas cards and purchase stamps. As soon as your photos are available, order your cards.
Prep Your Home — Declutter and Organize the Essential Areas
Prepare Your Kitchen:
6. Clean out and organize your kitchen pantry. Pull everything out. Throw away anything that’s out of date or that you no longer use. Then group and organize like items and place back in your pantry. This isn’t the time to get cute! Just create a space that will be clean and organized so you can find what you need quickly for all of the holiday baking and cooking. Check your supplies and restock your pantry with essential baking staples.
7. Straighten and organize your kitchen drawers and cabinets.
Prepare Your Guest Rooms:
If your extra bedroom has become an extra storage room it’s time to clear it out and prepare it for guests.
8. Refresh your guest room bedding. Wash and purchase any needed linens or pillows.
9. Clear out drawers and closets for guests to use.
Prepare Your Guest Bathroom:
10. Clear out vanity drawers and clean under cabinets.
11. Make sure to have fresh towels and toiletries on hand.
12. Now is the time to sort and donate clothes and toys your child has outgrown or no longer uses to prepare space for new gifts.
13. Deep clean the living and dining spaces before you start to decorate. Wash windows, toss magazines, vacuum and dust under furniture, and clean under cushions.
Start Planning for Christmas Gifts
14. Prepare your gift list. Brainstorm ideas and ask for wishlist suggestions. Start shopping and ordering now.
15. Write out your own wish list ahead of time, because people will ask you when you ask them.
16. Prepare a gift wrap station stocked with all the essentials — papers, ribbon, bags, tissue paper, tags, boxes, tape, and scissors.
17. Set aside time to order, shop, and wrap gifts. Or, wrap as you go!
18. Remember the extra gifts — for hostesses, teachers, neighbors, etc.
19. Plan any baked goods or homemade gifts. Gather supplies and start as soon as possible on those homemade crafts.
20. Gather recipes and purchase non-perishable baking items now.
21. Plan guest lists for parties or holiday meals.
22. Extend invitations — whether by phone call, mail, text or email.
23. Plan your menus. Even though a lot of my recipes are online, I like to print out recipes ahead of time and place them in page protectors. Even if it’s an online recipe, I like to keep the printed copies clipped together for easy reference while cooking or baking.
Plan your Decor — This is my favorite part!!
24. Take inventory of your current decor.
25. Determine how many trees you will decorate and make sure you have enough lights.
26. Choose your Christmas color scheme for the year.
27. Purchase ribbon, balls, ornaments or florals to carryout your color scheme.
29. Purchase oasis floral foam. I use this for arrangements of real greenery, and it’s so nice to have on hand.
30. Make sure you have plenty of floral wire on hand — for bows, wreaths, and any floral arrangements.
31. Purchase gift wrapping supplies in your color scheme — if you’re like me and like for it all to coordinate!
32. Plan your centerpieces and tablescapes for your dining table. What dishes and table linens do you need?
33. Purchase any paper products in your color scheme.
34. Plan your outdoor decor. Will you use real greenery or faux? Purchase ribbon for wreaths. Clean out pots that you’ll use for greenery arrangements.
35. Clean off your front porch so you have a clean slate.
36. Purchase a new door mat.
37. Purchase any new lights you need. Remember your landscape grows each year, and you always need more lights!
I hope these tips help you get a jump start on your holiday planning so you can enjoy the holidays more with your loved ones. There is always an endless list of things that can be done, but just remember to keep it simple and enjoy the people in your life. You do NOT have to do it all!!
Treasured time with family and friends is far more important than all of the stuff and fluff.
Happy November and Happy Planning!