Planning for Christmas is an entire year process. But it’s not supposed to make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It should be fun and exciting! I start planning for Christmas in January. And I don’t only do this to avoid the holiday stress. No, I do this because January is the best time to go Christmas shopping. Everything is on sale, from Christmas decorations to presents. Now is the best time to get your bargains for the next Christmas party. Here is my personal all-year-round Christmas planning guide for the upcoming festive season:
January is the month to go Christmas sales shopping. But before I hit the shops, I reflect on everything I needed and forgot last Christmas. Did everyone have enough food? What feedback did I get about the Christmas decorations? Did something break? Did we waste too much wrapping paper? What will we need more or less for the next holiday season?
I also pack up my Christmas decoration. Proper packing will make it easier to unpack for the next season. However, I only pack what I will reuse. Everything else will go to charity.
If you plan to host a large party, you can start looking for venues in January and book them as soon as possible.
February is the month when I start budgeting for Christmas. I use a Christmas savings account to put money aside monthly. Since I have been doing this for many years, I know the budget I feel comfortable with. For everyone new to this, I recommend looking at your household spending and coming up with a Christmas savings plan that will not hurt your monthly spending.
March / April / May
This is the low season. I usually start putting together a gift list. If you have kids, ensure they are involved in the process so they feel more excited about their Christmas presents.
Start thinking about food and beverages you will serve at parties or holiday celebrations. Decide if you want to go all out with elaborate dishes or keep it simple by preparing easy appetizers, finger foods, desserts, and drinks that everyone will love.
June is the month when I start trying a new Christmas menu and new recipes. We are all vegetarians in my family, and luckily, vegetarian Christmas is slowly becoming more popular. When I try new recipes, I invite my family and friends over for dinner and hear their feedback on the new dishes.
If you do not like to cook and bake, you might consider getting a caterer in so they can handle everything independently. It will also save you a lot of time cooking and cleaning up afterward!
Booking flights in July means that you’ll be able to get lower prices for your flight. You can also find some fantastic hotels and car hire deals at this time of year. If you’re planning on booking plane tickets before August, then think about getting hold of some travel insurance as well. This will protect you if anything goes wrong with your journey, such as first-week cancellations or delays, which can cost you dearly if no cover is provided by the airline!
Start looking at catalogs or online gift shops for gift guides so that by October, you’ll have some good ideas about what gifts or Christmas cards people might like.
Spread the word that Santa’s list is open now! You can do this by putting up ‘Christmas Shopping’ signs in your house, writing notes on envelopes and sticking them on the fridge at work, and making sure everyone knows you have a Christmas planner for their presents.
On the 16th of October, we mark 10 weeks to Christmas! Now the Christmas countdown has officially started in my house. Look at your planner and start ticking things off the Christmas checking list. Start buying Christmas gifts! If any last-minute deals come up, then take advantage of them!
We are nearly there! There are a few very important things to do for Christmas in November:
- Buy or make an Advent calendar for the 1st of December
- Get your house ready for sleep-over guests
- Be ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (this is when I buy the more expensive gifts)
- Start your arts and crafts projects
Shop around for Christmas decorations such as lights and tinsel that suit your style and taste. Decorating early allows you to enjoy the festive atmosphere without feeling the big rush at the last minute!
It is the 1st of December; you can open your Advent calendar’s first door! Since you have been planning Christmas all year, December will be the quietest month for you. Everything should be planned by now. All you need to do is ticking things off your list and make sure you don’t forget to:
- decorate your house
- go food shopping
- wrap Christmas presents
- attend or decline Christmas parties
- send Christmas cards
- get a Christmas tree
On Christmas day, don’t forget to take family photos!
Last Christmas Planning Tips
I have three main Christmas planning tips for you:
- Make a list of the things you need to do
- Set a budget
- Allocate time each week to start planning for Christmas
The key is being organized and ensuring you have everything covered so that you can stay fresh and enjoy the season when the time comes.
If you think about it, there are so many things that involve planning for this event that it makes sense to start thinking about Christmas planning. For example, if you want someone else to help with cooking or decorating, ask them early! You can even use a Christmas planning checklist tool if it helps! The only rule is that everything must be done by December 1st at the latest!
If you’re planning to host a family get-together or have several friends coming over for an evening, you’ll need to prepare for Christmas in advance.
Hopefully, this guide will come in handy as your Christmas planning progresses. While there is often a lot of excitement with the early planning, it can also be stressful. Take your time in making your decisions and do what works best for you and your family.
If you begin your Christmas planning in January and list things you need to accomplish each month, you will feel more put together this holiday season. Once you have everything written down in clear/concise steps, you’ll be able to adjust and adapt as necessary throughout the year. Plus, if you like to be organized, this will help ensure that nothing gets left behind.
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