It’s never too soon to begin planning for Christmas. In fact, some people make a point of shopping for gifts and decorations well ahead of the holidays. After all, if you see a Christmas gift for someone you know they’ll like, why not buy it on the spot even if it’s only summertime?
With so much to do in the final months of the year, it’s useful to prepare now, by making a Christmas planning checklist. It will focus your energy and help you have a great holiday season with minimum fuss and stress.
1. Devise A Holiday Budget
Figure out how much you can afford to spend this year (don’t be tempted to run up big credit card bills, which will only give you more anxiety). Brainstorm for gift ideas based on your budget.
2. Create a Holiday Calendar
The first task on the holiday calendar will be to begin ordering online presents. You’ll then want to start planning your Christmas cards (how many to get and what kind of message and look).
3. Check Your Christmas Supplies Inventory
A list will save you time and worry. You probably need wrapping paper, tape, bows, gift tags and decorations, for example. Maybe you require new lights or would like to get a timer to control when the lights turn on and off.
4. Plan your Christmas Holiday Menu
Once you’ve determined what food you’ll be serving, it’s a snap to create cooking timelines. Some items can be cooked or ordered well ahead of time, while others, such as a roast, can take all day to prepare.
5. Put up Holiday Decorations
Some folks start putting up holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving! While you may not be that ambitious, set aside some time early in the holiday season to put up the Christmas decorations. (Doing so early will prepare you if something is missing or broken and needs replacing).
6. Buy and Decorate Your Christmas Tree
You may already order trees from your favorite Christmas tree farm according to a schedule. Or perhaps you just prefer to wing it and look for available trees in the community when you’re ready to buy.
7. Go Grocery Shopping
Take care of as much food shopping as you can early on. Then cook dishes that can be frozen, such as casseroles and pies.
8. Begin Wrapping Gifts
Before you know it, Christmas will almost be here! Instead of putting this activity off until the last minute, wrap gifts well ahead of the holiday and hide them so your kids can’t find them before Santa’s arrival.
9. Perform Final Inspection
To set your heart at ease, perform a final inspection of your home, checking if all decorations are in place and that you have all of the serving dishes ready and meals are in their final stages of preparation.
Christmas Eve — Display Presents and Take Photos
On Christmas eve, it’s an ideal time to take some photos to preserve memories of the holiday. You’ll want to display all the presents and check that the tree is looking its best before you make a single image.
Christmas Day — Open Presents, Create Thank You Cards and Enjoy the Season!
The easiest part comes next. Have fun opening gifts! Part of the joy of giving and receiving gifts is the opportunity to thank your loved ones for all of their consideration. Then it’s time to relax and settle into enjoying the holiday season.
On this most joyous of occasions, writing out a Christmas planning checklist will help you stay organized, preventing pressure and stress from ruining your good times!