12 Ways to Ease into the Holidays

Today, we’re sharing 12 ways to ease into the holidays!

This time of year is always exciting because it feels like the week of Halloween marks the unofficial kick off to the holiday season.

I know it might seem a long way away but now is a great time to start thinking about your holiday travel and decorating plans. Especially, given it’s such a busy time of year, you know?

As we frequently share if you don’t control your calendar, you calendar is going to control you.  So, the earlier we all start planning, the less stressful the holiday season will actually be.

Here are things to keep in mind and 12 Ways to Ease into the Holidays…

Create a Holiday Theme and Color Palette

My number one tip for making the holidays less stressful is to start planning your holiday theme and color palette first.

I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to shop the Christmas and holiday sections at big box stores lately, but they have some beautiful things out right now.

That said, all those pretty trees, ornaments, garlands and tableware can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan in mind before you shop.

Knowing your color palette and theme in advance will help you to stay focused on how you want your home to look this holiday season.

Get in the Holiday Mood

One of the easiest ways to ease into the holidays is by getting in the spirit!

  • Spend some time combing through magazines, blogs, searching Pinterest
  • Window shop for seasonal ideas
  • Watch your favorite holiday movie
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Turn up your favorite Christmas CD
  • Drink a gingerbread latte or a salted caramel mocha

These things might seem like small things but they’ll all work together to get you in the holiday mood.

Begin Crafting Ornaments and Seasonal Decorations

Once you know your theme and color palette it will be much easier to craft ornaments and seasonal holiday decorations.

I know most people are basically in two camps when it comes to putting up the tree Christmas tree.

You either like to have your tree up by the first of November so you can enjoy it as long as possible or you  like to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving weekend.

No matter what camp you’re in crafting seasonal decorations, like these vintage inspired ornaments,  in advance will set you up for success when time come to pick out the perfect tree.

Start Making and Shopping for Presents Early

Making and buying presents for the holidays can get really expensive really quickly.

To help keep your sanity this season, stick to these 3 things…

  • Make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for
  • Create a budget of how much you plan to spend in advance before you shop
  • Stick to your plan

Once you start bringing gifts home, create a wrapping station and wrap as you go!  That way, you’re not stressed out on Christmas Eve in Santa’s Workshop at midnight trying to get it all done.

Make Plans for Holiday Adventures

Take some time to check out your local chamber of commerce to see what seasonal events will be offered in your area.

Then start planning a holiday bucket list filled with adventures.  For example:

  • See a movie, musical or a show at a holiday dinner theater
  • Ride around the neighborhood looking at lights or visit one of the 45 Best Christmas Towns in the US
  • Go on a holiday home tour
  • Visit a craft bazaar, outdoor extravaganza or an antique fair
  • Attend cooking classes or cookie decorating classes
  • Learn to make a seasonal signature drink
  • Chop down your own Christmas tree

Keep in mind a lot of events will require tickets or additional planning so make sure you book in advance.

Decide Now Where You’ll be Spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s

Now is a great time to get with your family and decide where you’ll be spending the holidays.

It’s a busy time of year for everyone.  As office parties, home tours and holiday activities get in full swing, our calendars will start filling up fast. So, make sure the things you want to do most are on the list!

Save yourself future stress and talk to your family and friends about your plans now so everyone is on the same page.  This includes making travel plans and preparations for your pets too!

Clean Out Closets, Prepare Guest Rooms and Create a Cleaning Schedule 

One of the easiest ways to ease into the holidays is to start cleaning and prepping your home.

Obviously, if people are coming to visit they want to spend time with you and don’t care in the least if there’s a lone dust bunny in the corner of the guest room.

That said, you’ll want to make them feel welcome. So, start cleaning and clearing things out of the closets, stock the linen closets and prepare the guest rooms now.

Prepping those spaces in advance, will allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family instead of fretting over the state of your linen closet.

Make or Pick Out Your Christmas Cards or Have Your Family Photographs Taken Early

Sending holiday cards and pictures is a fun way to reconnect with family and friends. One of my girlfriends sends us a card of her adventures and it’s always fun to see what continents she’s visited each year.

This is a great time of year to be creative and to either make or pick out your Christmas cards. It’s also a good time to have your family photographs taken since everyone will be celebrating together!

Start Gathering Family and Friends Addresses

While you’re picking out your holiday cards, take a few extra minutes to update the addresses of friends and family.  Especially, since you’ll likely be seeing them over the next few weeks.

Meal Plan and Try Out New Recipes in Advance of Holiday Parties

We meal plan each week but especially during the busy holiday season. It really helps cut down on forgetting ingredients at the grocery store and decision fatigue each night.

In addition, it also saves time when we’re expected to be at multiple events during the workweek.

Take a few weekends to prep by making freezer meals in advance and by trying out new recipes you plan to make for parties or house guests.

Practice Mindful Eating and Continue Exercising

I know this might not seem like it should make the 12 ways to ease into the holidays list but hear me out before you think I’m a total total buzz kill, ok?

I’m not saying not to indulge a little bit.  I’m saying if you continue to practice healthy eating and exercising habits now you’ll be that much further ahead when January 1st rolls around and you start making New Year’s Resolutions.

Plus, excising is a great stress reliever and as exciting as this time of year can be, it can also be stressful!

Decide How You’ll Give Back

There are so many ways to give back during this season of giving.

You can do anything from serving folks in the soup line to offering random acts of kindness to strangers.  Most people assume the holidays are a joyous time for everyone when in truth they can be really tough for many.

If you have been blessed in big ways or small ways this year, give what you can.  I promise your heart will feel instantly lighter this season!

We hope these 12 ways to ease into the holidays has helped you feel a bit more organized.  Let us know what you’re looking forward to most! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I appreciate that Jane, thank you! It’s been a lot of fun to start looking for new ideas and to pull the decorations out from the attic and rediscover old favorites 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  2. Super, super tips, CoCo. I especially love the color palette idea, as well as ideas for getting in the mood! I start the Christmas music really soon, which drives everyone crazy! But planning and setting a budget are things I need to do for sure.

    One head start I do is to start writing and addressing my holiday cards at the beginning of November. A little note is always special and we are often too rushed in December. This way all I have to do is drop them in the mail in mid December.

    Thanks always for your ideas, my friend!


    1. Thank so much for your sweet words, Jane! I’m totally with you on the Christmas music too. The earlier the better ha ha. Your idea about writing and adding Christmas cards early is so smart. It’s one of those simple projects that can easily be accomplished in an afternoon or two and is a special way to let someone know you’re thinking about them. I hope you’re enjoying your Fall season so far. I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year and I hope you are too. Hugs, CoCo

  3. CoCo,
    Christmas is on my mind year-round since I love it and because of having a small business open for the Christmas season. Your collection of tips have so many good suggestions. P.S. I am WAY behind in commenting on blogs and missed the chance to comment on your Embracing Fall Home Tour post. I loved your purple mums on the porch and had to pin them to my Fall Pinterest board!

    We are entering the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! Looking forward to seeing more of your Christmas posts in the weeks to come.


    1. I appreciate you so much, Judith, thank you! I’m really looking forward to the Christmas season this year and I know you are too. It’s always fun to change things up from Fall to Winter. I’m definitely going to miss those purple mums. I’m definitely a neutrals kind of girl but it was so much fun to add a rich pop of color to the porch. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us too. I know it’s going to be amazing. Hugs, CoCo

  4. CoCo – we are chuckling because we just wrote a post that is very similar to this LOL. Great minds think alike. We definitely like having our Christmas decor up by Thanksgiving. You know, as a professional home decor blogger, time is of the essence. Being ahead of the game with your checklist is so very helpful! Much love!

    1. Yes, yes, yes! I can’t wait to read your post too. I know it’s going to have all kinds of valuable information in it. Plus, I love to look back and see how you guys have decorated. It’s always so gorgeous. Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much Amber, I really appreciate it! Hugs, CoCo

  5. Thanks so much for this great game plan for the holidays. They come so quickly and gone too soon without me truly enjoying family and friends and well as a cozy home. It’s an all day rainy day here in Michigan so I think I’ll take sometime this afternoon and set a plan.
    Could you please tell me where you got the beautiful iron bed in the section on preparing guest rooms.
    Your home is beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much for all your sweet and kind words, Ann, I really appreciate them. It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us! I love that you’re taking some extra time to get a plan together. It’s one of the number one things that keeps me grounded every year. I’ve searched high and low for a receipt for the bed but can’t find one it’s been so long! The closest resource I can point you to is a company called Charles P. Rogers. While they don’t have our exact bed they do have some really pretty antique-inspired options to choose from. If I ever come across our exact model though, I’ll share it immediately. Hope your week is filled with all good things and thanks for the extra time to respond to your comment, CoCo

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