We’re well into the fall season, and there’s lots to look forward to with the holidays — especially Christmas, the big one at the end of the year. Although it might seem a far date away, much like any year it’ll sneak up on you before you know it. Right now, it’s a great time to start planning ahead for your Christmas festivities, no matter how large or small. Creating gift lists, planning dinner menus, shopping for festive decor, and working on your Christmas cards early are all ways you can avoid the stressful crunch you experience over the holidays when you wait until the last minute.
If you’re looking for ways to plan early for Christmas this year, here are a few tips:
Get organized — and write it all down. Writing and maintaining lists is a good organizational strategy that can help you a lot over the holidays. For instance, you’ll want to make a list of people to whom you plan to give a gift, and what you’ll be purchasing or hand-crafting; you’ll also need to make a dinner menu and grocery list for Christmas dinner if you are hosting one. These lists will not only help you with your budget for the holidays, but writing them out ahead of time allows you that time to ensure you can comfortably afford it. Other lists you can make as you plan ahead might include Christmas card lists with names and addresses, or lists that cover the expenses for any travel plans you might have.
Start your holiday shopping early. While the hype surrounding big deals and sales after the Thanksgiving holiday may be enticing, you may be better off starting your shopping early to ensure you can buy what you need before it sells out or possibly goes up in price due to demand. Use your Christmas gift list to scout out where to buy what you need, and use this time to compare prices to get the best deal. If you already have a Christmas menu in mind, hit up your local grocery store to purchase non-perishable food items for your meal ahead of time; during the holiday season, popular Thanksgiving and Christmas menu food items tend to sell out fast.
Use this extra time to craft homemade gifts. You don’t necessarily have to be super crafty to create a lovely homemade gift for a loved one — you have plenty of options! You can create a gift basket stocked up with gourmet goodies tailored to the tastes of a friend or family member, put together a scrapbook of memories for a significant other or close friend, or even provide gifts of service.