I know, I know. You don’t even have to tell me that’s it’s just the start of November and not even time to think about Christmas. Except that, in my world, it’s always time to think about Christmas!
Not only do I love that most happy of holidays, but if I didn’t think about it so much I would never get anything finished. Today I am going to share some of my best tips and tricks for Christmas holiday preparation. Hopefully, these tips will help you get as much done as early as possible and allow you to more fully enjoy the holiday season.
First of all, I am a big believer in making lists for everything. If you are like me, you will probably lose them, but at least it puts the idea in your mind and if you’re fortunate enough to hold on to them, they can be very valuable! Also, despite the many objections you will run into, start as early as possible. Even if it is just a small thing, it’s better to have it done and over with early on and leave more time and energy for something else.
My Best Tips & Tricks for Christmas Holiday Prep!
- Make a list of all parties, get-togethers, or special events you will be required to provide food for. Also, make a list of all edible gifts you intend to give, i.e., cookies, cakes, candy, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what food you want to have for each celebration, especially if you are like my family and like to try new recipes, but work on narrowing it down before the event. Make menus of possible foods and grocery lists based on the ingredients you will need. Then, start shopping. If you shop the sales and stock your kitchen before the holidays, you’ll be less likely to make frenzied grocery store trips during which you drastically overspend!
- If there is anything that needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired, or replaced and it is within the realm of possibility to clean, paint, repair, or replace it, do it now. It makes it so much easier to be satisfied with your decorating efforts if you aren’t hating on your paint color or spending all of your time batting away the cobwebs!
- Speaking of decorating, I’m a firm believer that the earlier you can do it, the better! I know it irritates some people when Christmas decorations go up before Thanksgiving, but if you decorate every available surface like I do, you need more time. If you don’t want to put everything out before December, add a few touches here and there. If you need help or want to make decorating a family affair, plan a day. For instance, I usually get everything else decorated before we put up the tree and the family has the option of helping if they want. (They used to always want to, but now it’s usually just me and Spizzie. *sad sigh*) Flip through magazines and craft books, peruse the internet–whatever gives you ideas–and then start drafting a plan. Even if you can’t draw, don’t want to write it all down, or do the exact same thing every year, you need to at least have some idea of what decorations you want to use. And definitely check all of your lights as soon as possible. Nothing is more frustrating than getting Christmas lights up only to discover that half of them are out!
- If you are having family photos done for cards or gifts, schedule them now. Plan your outfits and take inventory of any pieces of clothing your family members might need. It’s also a good idea to look at card templates if you are planning on using your photos for this. There are quite a few websites that offer great card ideas and several that offer free templates if you want to print your own.
- Make a list of card recipients (if you are sending them) complete with addresses. If you can make an address list on your computer and print it out onto labels, that’s great. Otherwise, keep the list and a few envelopes with you and address a few whenever you have a free minute.
- Gifts can be a difficult thing. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve bought a last-minute gift card because I simply couldn’t think of anything else. It’s never wrong to ask the recipient if there is a particular thing they want or need. Homemade gifts and the gift of time are also always appropriate. Strive to give meaningful gifts if you can–it truly is the thought that counts.
There are so many ways to share Christmas cheer and celebrate the season. Add these tips and tricks to your own to help you plan for a wonderful Christmas season. More than anything, remember to make plans for joy filled experiences–not just for the presents that will be under the tree!!