In my opinion it’s never to early for Christmas, but then again, I run a site dedicated to the holiday all year round!
For most people though, Christmas isn’t even thought about until at least November rolls around.
You definitely don’t have to start celebrating Christmas early and putting up your tree and decorations, but there are some ways that you can get ready for Christmas early.
By preparing months (or at least several weeks) before the holiday you can drastically cut back on the stress of the holidays and actually make some time to relax and enjoy this time of the year. Maybe this is the year you start preparing early and actually get to enjoy spending time with family and friends without all the stress.
10 Tips For Getting Ready For Christmas Early This Year
Make A List Of Everyone You Need To Get Christmas Gifts For
Forget about the stress of having to do last minute Christmas shopping for someone you forgot by making a list of everyone you need to get a gift for this year. Take some time now to really think about who you actually need to buy Christmas gifts for and what type of gift you may like to buy or make for them.
Some of the main people on your list may include kids, grandkids, spouse or significant other, parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews, close friends, and aunts and uncles. Of course there may be other people in your life that you may want to consider (these tend to be the ones that are mostly forgotten until last minutes) including teachers, mail delivery person, neighbors, your boss, coworkers, and your children’s friends.
Prepare Your Christmas Budget
Once you have made your Christmas gift list, you should start setting up a budget for your Christmas spending. Of course the gifts will probably be the main expenses for the holiday but consider other items like decorations, a Christmas tree, wrapping paper and accessories, baking goods, Christmas cards, Christmas party expenses and any donations you may make.
It’s good to set up a budget early for Christmas because you then know how much money you have to still save and you have that concrete number so you don’t end up spending more money than you planned on Christmas. Truthfully, the holiday should be no reason to go into debt.
You can even find free printable Christmas budget sheets that you can use to help keep track of your budget. Or another idea is to use Microsoft Excel to keep track in a worksheet on your computer or any other budgeting software you may already have.
Research Some DIY Crafts And Gift Ideas
Get a head start on your Christmas crafts and DIY gifts by researching some new things you want to make this year. All year long you can find ideas on sites like Pinterest (follow me on Pinterest as I pin Christmas crafts and ideas all throughout the year).
Once you have found the projects you want to make this year start making a list of the items that you need. This way you can shop the sales and get the best deals on the items needed for all your crafts.
Craft stores tend to start putting out their Christmas items before most traditional stores so you can start your shopping as early as August or September. Plus, you can always shop online and find all sorts of craft items for the holidays.
Check Out The Clearance Aisles and Sales For Gifts (Especially For Toys)
Since you have already made your Christmas gift list you know who you need to buy gifts for and what potentially you may get them. This allows you to shop all sorts of sales before the main Christmas shopping time even starts.
For example a lot of stores that sell toys like Target, WalMart, and even Toys R Us tend to have twice a year clearance blowouts. These happen after Christmas in January and then again towards the end of July and into August.
If you are already prepared with your gift checklist you can shop the clearance events in the end of summer and get some awesome deals that can save you a ton of money.
This doesn’t just go for toys though as there are other stores that run clearance events and large sales during the end of summer as well.
Another idea is to start an Amazon Wish List and then you can keep track of the items you plan on buying to see if they randomly go on sale before the holidays. I actually have quite a long list of holiday gift items already on my Wish List and in the years past have been able to save a significant amount of money doing this.
Make A Christmas Card List
If you don’t have a master Christmas card list that you use every year, start making one now. You can simply write down the names of the people you will send the cards to or you can even use a spreadsheet or printable worksheet to add names and addresses so you are all set to go.
If you do have a master Christmas card list that you use year after year, look through the list to see if there are any changes in addresses or anyone you may want to add or take off the list this year.
Get A Christmas Planner To Keep Yourself Organized All Holiday Long
If you don’t already have a Christmas planner I recommend you get one now. It seriously is the best way that I keep organized and keep stress away during the holidays.
For me I use a three ring binder (with a pretty cover) and use the printables that I find online as my Christmas planner. Some of the printables that I have in my planner binder include a Christmas gift checklist, budget worksheets, Christmas card list, Christmas party needs and ideas, any recipes that I want to try, and a to-do list area.
If you are looking for Christmas planner printables I recommend this complete 72 page set from Peoples Life On Paper.
I also will keep certain sales flyers in the binder as well as any event flyers or holiday event guides that I come across for my area that look interesting for my family.
Along with my planner I also use a regular day-to-day planner so I can easily keep track of the parties, events, and other important dates that come up for my family in the month of December.
Prepare For Your Family Christmas Pictures
Depending on how early it is you can at least start planning out your family Christmas pictures. You can check out some photographers that you may want to check prices with as well as start coming up with ideas with what everyone will wear.
If possible you can schedule your photos as soon as possible so that you know you will have them back in plenty of time for Christmas cards and possible Christmas gifts.
Start Coming Up With Ideas For Any Christmas Parties
Lots of stress comes from having a Christmas party or your family’s holiday gathering. You can make it a bit less stressful on you and start planning your party as soon as possible.
If you are stuck on ides for your parties check out my Christmas party theme ideas to help you come up with something unique and special this year.
These parties can be simple kid’s holiday party with a few neighborhood friends, a classroom party, a party for just adults, or a party for everyone including friends and families. Write down your ideas or keep track of them in one place and make sure that you are sticking with your budget you prepared as well.
Plan Out Your Christmas Baking
If you plan on doing any baking this holiday, you can easily plan it out ahead of time to make things a little less stressful.
Start planning what you may be baking as well as when you may want to do the baking. You can even schedule in your baking days right onto your planner or calendar so you know you will have the time.
Of course you should also prepare for the baking by making sure you have all the ingredients for the goods. You can start preparing your list of needed ingredients as early as you want. This way if you happen to see something on sale at the grocery store you can pick it up and save some money.
Make A Batch Of Christmas Cookies To Freeze
Depending on how early it is you can always save yourself some time closer to Christmas and do a few batches of Christmas cookies now and freeze them for the holidays. This can be your fun way to prepare early for Christmas and get you into the holiday spirit.
There are lots of different cookies that can be baked and then frozen such as chocolate chip, gingerbread, and sugar cookies. You can also simply make the dough for the cookies and then freeze that instead of the actual baked cookies as well. This allows you to still have your fun Christmas cookie baking during the holidays but all you have to do is bake the cookies and not prepare all the dough.
Check out his article at TheKitchn.com for more information about freezing cookies.
By starting your Christmas planning early you can be sure to lessen the stress of the holidays as well as get to relax and enjoy more of the days leading up to Christmas. You don’t have to go all out, but if you pick a few items off this list you are sure to make your holiday a lot more enjoyable for you and your family.