Monday, November 12, 2012

Get ready for Christmas ... 12 things to do now

Although many grinches people out there think it is still much too early to start thinking about Christmas, I am not one of them. Christmas starts flowing through my blood in September and it takes all I have to fight putting up my tree and decor that early!    Besides that, Christmas is now only 42 days away! 42 days people! That's not very long to get all that decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, singing, movie watching and crafting done!


I like to start collecting my thoughts in October and early November so I am ready to go about 5-6 weeks before Christmas.... I thought I would share what I do to organize and prepare.

I shared my Christmas list preparation back in October (see.. I wasn't lieing. I start preparing early! haha) but here are some more ideas to help!

1. Deep clean your house. The holidays mean people in and out, chaos, busy schedules, and lots of decorating, so do all your maintenance cleaning before you start preparing any festivities. Also, finish any of those things you've had on a to-do list all year. *Don't forget the guest room-- wash the linens, stock up on amenities, etc.

2. Do an inventory check.  Before you buy much for the season, check through your inventory or inventory list. I started to buy both greenery and Christmas cards already this year (but put them back hoping to find them on sale later!) but found both things in my boxes of supplies this weekend. Know what you have and know what you need. Check gift wraps, ornaments, lights, movies/CDs, etc.

3. Make your 'bucket list.' Have a game plan for the season. Know what you want to accomplish and put it into writing/text to help remind you of what is still to come.

4. Take your Christmas card photo early. If your family always puts a photo in/on your card, then take your picture early. There probably won't be snow on the ground, but your schedules will probably allow more wiggle room. Most photographers have sales in October and early November.   Don't be like me taking your photo 2 weeks before Christmas, trying to get everything printed and in the mail to make it to mailboxes before Christmas! Too much stress!

5. Stock up! You already know that the holidays mean more cooking and baking. Stock up your pantry and fridge now on the things you know you will need. You'll have them on hand, save a trip to the store, and possibly escape the problem of your local grocery store being sold out due to high demand. Check your spices, toiletries, and linens, too!

6. Organize. Organize. Organize. Plan your budget. Make your lists. Gather your coupons/ads. Brainstorm stocking stuffer ideas. Be organized. Save you and your loved ones much unnecessary stress. Have a game plan.

7. Plan your events. Set dates of parties and family gatherings early to eliminate double booking. Planning early allows more open dates on your calendar, and time if you need to rearrange some par-tays!

8. Prepare your family traditions. If you have a family tradition, go ahead and buy all the necessities you can for it. If you don't have a tradition, Google Pinterest some! There are lots tons. Find one now that you want to start and get ready for it. You are more likely to do it if you're prepared.

9. Gather addresses. It never fails. Addresses change throughout the year. Gather those addresses now, print your return address labels, pick up some stamps, and buy your pretty pens/stickers. You'll get them done sooner and in the mail faster if you have everything you need.

10. Buy a little extra. Find a good deal on a little gift? Buy a few of them to keep in the house. We always have those 'last minute' gifts we need to give--- mailman, hair dresser, co-workers, etc.

11. Shop for your new outfits. If you always want a new outfit for holiday parties, Christmas Eve service, etc.... find it now. Stores have sales and deals to help you out. Don't wait until the last minute only to find the 'perfect' dress in every size but yours.

12. Don't forget what Christmas is really about. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget what we are really celebrating.

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