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 Christmas might seem a long way away but now is a great time to start thinking about your holiday travel and decorating plans.

Especially, since it’s such a busy time of year for everyone.

As we have shared so many times in the past, if you don’t control your calendar, your calendar will control you. 

And since the time is going to pass anyway, you might as well do the things you enjoy most.

So, don’t let life fill in the blanks!

The earlier you start planning, the less stressful the holiday season will be.

Ways to Ease Into the Holidays-Ice Skate Wreath-The Crowned Goat

Here’s a look at 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.

Now is a great time to shop the holiday and Christmas sections of big box craft stores, home decor stores, and boutiques.

That way, you can get first dibs on everything from ornaments to garlands to trees!

Ways to Ease Into the Holidays-French Country Mantel-The Crowned Goat

I know it can be overwhelming sometimes because everything is so pretty and well-curated. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny things.

Set yourself up for success by having a plan before you shop!

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

Ways to Ease Into the Holidays-Wrapping Paper Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Get in the Holiday Mood:

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

  • Spend some time combing through magazines, blogs, and searching Pinterest for inspiration
  • Shop local boutiques, cookie tours, and holiday open houses for fresh ideas
  • Watch your favorite holiday movies
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Turn up your favorite Christmas CD, put on a record, or ask Alexa to play “Holiday Favorites”
  • Sip a gingerbread latte or a salted caramel mocha

These things might seem like small things. But they’ll work together to get you in the holiday spirit.

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.

Ways to Ease Into the Holidays-Decorate the Tree-The Crowned Goat

No matter what camp you’re in, crafting seasonal decorations in advance, like these vintage-inspired air-dry clay ornaments, will help make sure everything is at the ready once you’ve picked out the perfect tree.

Start Making and Shopping for Presents Now:

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

To keep your Christmas cheer intact this season, consider these helpful tips…

  • Make a list of the people you want and need to buy gifts for
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people if they want anything special or specific, it will save you so much time
  • Create a budget of how much you plan to spend before you shop
  • Take note of coupons and discount codes related to the items or the stores on your list
  • Keep an envelope in your purse or a folder in your inbox to easily access tracking numbers and receipts

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:

Ease into the holidays by taking the time to check out your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what seasonal events will be offered in your area.

Then start planning a holiday bucket list filled with adventures. 

For example:

  • See a holiday movie, musical, or show at your local 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 or cookie tour
  • Visit a craft bazaar, outdoor extravaganza, or an antique fair
  • Attend cooking, baking, decorating, or wreath-making classes
  • Learn to make a seasonal signature drink
  • Cut your own Christmas tree

Keep in mind a lot of events will require tickets and 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. That way, everyone is on the same page. 

Remember to include your pets in your travel plans and preparations. Especially, if they need to be boarded or will require a plane ticket.

Keep in mind, as neighborhood parties, home tours, holiday activities, recitals, and choir engagements get in full swing, our calendars will start filling up fast.

Talking with your family now will help ensure you get to experience the things you treasure most. Even if you’ll be celebrating the holidays in a different state or new location.

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.

Clear out items in guestroom closets you no longer need, and give your guestrooms a refresh.

Be sure to fill linen closets and bathroom cabinets with essentials.

Create a gift basket for your guests to make them feel welcome.

You don’t have to go all out but a little creativity and thoughtfulness go a long way when you’re hosting.

Prepping frequently used guest spaces in advance will allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family once they arrive.

It will make your guests feel more comfortable too!

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

Ease into the holidays by sending cards to reconnect with family and friends.

One of my girlfriends sends us an “adventure holiday card” and it’s always fun to see what continents she’s visited each year.

Now is a great time to be creative and make, or buy your Christmas cards.

It’s also a good time to have your family photographs taken since everyone will be celebrating the holidays together!

Start Gathering Updated Address Information for Family and Friends:

While you’re picking out your holiday cards, take a few extra minutes to update the addresses of friends and family. 

You’ll likely be seeing them over the next few weeks anyway.

Ease Into the Holidays by Meal Planning and Trying Out New Recipes in Advance of Parties and Events:

We follow a meal plan each month but especially during the busy holiday season.

It really helps cut down on decision fatigue each night and forgetting ingredients at the grocery store as well.

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

Ease into the holidays by taking a few weekends to make or prep freezer meals in advance and by trying out new recipes you want to make for parties and 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.

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, exercising is a great stress reliever.

And let’s face it, as exciting as this time of year can be, it can also be stressful. So, make sure to take extra special care of yourself.

Ease Into the Holidays by Deciding Now How You’ll Give Back:

There are so many ways to ease into the holidays by giving back!

You can serve people in the soup line, surprise your neighbors with random acts of kindness, or even volunteer at your local pet shelter. 

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 have 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

    1. You are so welcome, Rachel! I can’t get over how fast it’s coming. I swear it will be here before we know it. Hugs, CoCo

  6. Hi CoCo! You know I love a good list to help me prepare for the holidays and yours is right on point! I love all 12 ideas you shared to help us into the season! I’m so excited the holidays are right around the corner! Pinning this now! Blessings, Donna

    1. So sweet of you, Donna, thank you! Being and staying organized definitely helps make the holiday months more manageable. Especially, when there is so much travel involved. I’ve LOVED everything you’ve shared for the Fall season and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for Christmas. I know it’s going to be amazing! Hugs, CoCo

  7. Hi CoCo would you please share where you found the horse wall hanging. Is it still available? Thank you.

    1. The wall hanging in our entry is actually a very affordable print from a company called Great Big Canvas, Kathryn. I couldn’t find that exact one but the framed prints hanging in the primary bedroom at Bliss Barracks from artists George Stubbs and Harry Hall are all still available. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for our exact one and let you know if I find it. In the meantime, you might want to check out Great Big Canvas as they have a huge selection, budget-friendly prices and have been really easy to work with. Hope this helps, CoCo

  8. What a wonderful and thorough post. I will definitely keep this one in my Christmas tips and ideas folder. You are so right when you mention that not everyone’s Christmas is happy or like the one you may be enjoying. Not everyone’s timeline for when they do this or that is the same. Even though the calendar declares when the season hits, there are many people, for many reasons, who do not celebrate at all or the way some of us do. When I first mentioned to people that I do all my shopping before November 1st, people were appalled. But now, many people shop and wrap everything up early so they can enjoy the whole month of December and not just the one day. We also set our tree up on November 1st to acclimate our cat, though it isn’t decorated until the day after Thanksgiving. Many thought I was nuts. But it works perfectly for our cat as he’s never once touched our very elaborately decorated tree (s) and he’s almost 16 years old. Thanks for the wonderful holiday inspiration!

  9. Hi CoCo! You offer such advice. I actually start my holiday shopping during the summer and aim to have it all done before thanksgiving. Crazy – right? I love to try to enjoy the holiday season and all it offers. I love the photos you included in this post. That dot wrapping paper is adorable and I love the Christmas tree.

  10. Really great ideas! I shop all year long and tuck away items I know people will appreciate–it stretches my budget to buy off season and I can get someone a much nicer gift if it was 70% off! I Christmas craft all year long; my church’s bazaar is in Mid-November but I am still making myself crazy doing some last minute crafting and sewing. One tip I would add, is DELEGATE! I have asked my SO to write out Christmas cards for his family and people at church (we have the equivalent of a Valentine box to save postage!). One year I asked him to help decorate the candy covered pretzels and the resulting mess took ages for me to clean up! He usually mails packages for his grands, too.

    1. I love that you buy goodies, craft, and sew throughout the year, Kathy! It definitely helps to make the holiday season less stressful. I’m SO glad you reminded us to delegate things too. I always forget about asking for help during the holidays because I know everyone is busy but goodness writing out cards and mailing packages would save so much time. I’m definitely going to take your lead this year. Thanks for the fabulous suggestion! Hugs, CoCo PS: Thinking about your SO making a mess in the kitchen gives me the giggles 🙂

  11. These are great tips! I especially like the color palette tips. It is so easy to get distracted by all the beautiful things, especially if they are on sale. Staying focused on the color scheme could save a lot of time and money.

  12. CoCo, I love how intentional you are in everything you do. I love, too, how thoughtful you are in how you approach the seasons and the way you encourage us all to prepare but also slow down and enjoy our lives in small ways, which, when we think about it, are really big. I will be referring to this post several times in the next couple of weeks.

    Blessings to you!

  13. PS Last week, I went vintage-shopping with my mom (one of my favorite things to do with one of my favorite people!). I was on a mission: brown transferware plates like I’ve seen in so many of your posts. I scored three dinner plates for $12 or less each, all of them in different patterns. I ordered a fourth from Etsy. There are just three of us in my family (my husband, my daughter, and me), but I’m going to continue looking for and adding more plates as I find them so that when we host our big family Thanksgiving lunch, we will have enough for everyone. Such a fun project! 🙂

  14. SUCH amazing ideas, CoCo!!! This was super helpful. Thanks so much for putting this together!! I love your point about continuing to exercise. That’s like the first thing that gets put to the way side during the busy seasons when it actually should be top priority!!
    Happy November, friend!

  15. These are wonderful ideas. Hugs and blessing to you.

  16. I LOVE lists of all kinds (especially the crossing off of the items I get done) and just started today to make my Christmas Countdown list. I bake and freeze ahead of time, but always forget to prep and freeze some of our meals ahead, so thank you for the reminder! Just added that to my list! My goal is always to have everything done, except for the last minute cooking, by the 17th of December – that way I can enjoy the week before the big day.

    1. Speak to my heart, AJ, I feel the same way! I’ve been wanting to incorporate more posts like this so I really appreciate your feedback. I love that you have a Countdown to Christmas list. It really does make such a big difference to do a little something each day because the holidays can be overwhelming at times. I’m always thankful we have a little “back stock” of freezer meals for busy days. Another thing we do that might help you is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the deli because you can use those for everything from soups to tacos. I’ll definitely be cheering you on as you work to reach your goal of the 17th.Taking time to rest and relax before all the hustle and bustle feels like the perfect treat. Sending you hugs, CoCo

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