Christmas is just 6 weeks away. It will be here before we know it. When December rolls around, things can get crazy. From holiday parties and playdates to finishing up your shopping to family gatherings to tree lightings and much more. For me personally, I love Christmas so much, I don’t want to spent my month running around getting things done, I want to ENJOY the season. In order to do this, there are a few things I do early on, before December rolls around to help eleviate some of the stress that waiting until the last minute can bring. Doing all of this really helps me enjoy December. I can spend my time with my family and focus on making memories and the true meaning of Christmas.
- Organize your calendar. This is the most important thing to do to help with a smooth sailing holiday season. Make sure to get all the parties on there, give yourself a night for wrapping gifts, maybe a date night out for shopping.
- Make a list of everything you want to get done. I have a master Christmas list. What I want to bake, create, experience, etc. I try to think of everything and from there I can plan time to get things done. I love this printable from The Polkadot Posie. They have an entire set of printables that will make planning for the holidays easy!
- Make a gift list. Make a list of who you have to buy for. From there, start planning, shopping and checking those names off your list. Don’t forget teachers, party hosts, neighbors, etc. Handmade gifts can also be included in this list. My goal is to have almost all of my shopping done by December 1st. Here is another printable from The Polkadot Posie.
- Set a budget. Now that you have a gift list, think about your budget. Think of everything you’ll need to purchase from gifts to food to decorations to stamps and cards. The good thing about planning and starting to shop early is that you can take advantage of sales. If you know you need something, shop the sales or wait for it to go on sale. Planning and shopping in advance also spreads things out financially so all the money isn’t coming out in a one month time frame.
- Plan your outfits. Go back to your calendar and take a look at those events you have to attend. Do you need any fancy dresses? If so, start shopping or get yours cleaned. How many festive outfits do you little ones need? Put them aside so they’re ready to go on the day of the event. Girls Outfit Boys Outfit
- Order cards! Christmas cards are one of the things I look the most forward to in December. I love checking the mail and even more, I love sitting down to send out our cards each year. This year, I used Tiny Prints for my cards again. It was hard for me to decide which design to go with. I adore all of their foil prints, but opted for something different this year. The winning card was one from their beautiful laser cut designs and made sure to dress up our cards with matching address labels and gorgeous envelope liners. Ordering early will give YOU more time to stuff, label and address them, so as soon as December rolls around, all you have to do is put them in the mail! I always plan a quiet morning to get my cards ready to ship. I make sure a red cup, christmas movie and a festive candle are involved. It’s a little tradition I look forward to. If you’re in more of a rush, you have the option of having Tiny Prints address your cards for you! Here is a little sneak of our cards for 2015.
Get set with gift wrapping supplies. Wrapping paper, check! Tape, scissors, tags and ribbon….check, check, check! I buy a specific wrapping paper for everyone in our family. When it comes time to open presents on Christmas morning, everyone knows where their gifts are. My mom did this when we were growing up and it’s a tradition I’m happy to continue. If you’re really on top of things or have some extra time, start wrapping gifts are you purchase them. If you want to add an extra special touch on your wrapping paper this year, take a look at the custom gift wrap from Tiny Prints.
- Plan your holiday menu. This is the time I head to Pinterest and create a secret holiday board. I pin all of the recipes I want to make for Christmas Eve and Day. From there, I set a final list and make my grocery list. While I won’t shop until the say gets closer, I have what I need when the day comes around.
- Decorate. Since we’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year I plan on starting to decorate over the next few weeks. I host a cookie exchange the first Sunday of December each year so I like to have all of my decorations up by December 1st.
- Relax, Breathe and Enjoy! There is no use doing all of the above if you don’t enjoy them. This time of the year comes and goes in the blink of an eye, enjoy it!