Today, we’re sharing simple ways to prepare now for the holidays!
If my math is correct, as of today (depending on where you live), there are approximately 128 days until Thanksgiving and 155 days until Christmas.
I know, that’s totally bananas, right?
Getting a Game Plan Together:
Right now, that might seem like plenty of time. Just for kicks and giggles, I want you to pause for a second. Think about the fact we’ve already celebrated 202 days in 2019. Now, I want to you to think about the most significant things that have happened during those 202 days. It’s flown by, hasn’t it?
Are you making the memories you want to make, or does it feel like life is passing you by?
Whatever your answer may be, there is always time to turn things around. In my opinion, one of the easiest ways to start is by getting a solid game plan together. Grab your calendar, a notebook and your favorite beverage and let’s get started!
Set Your Holiday Intentions and Priorities Before the Season Begins:
Start with a Holiday Brain Dump – Write down on a piece of paper everything you want or need to do for the upcoming season. This will probably be a long list. But put everything you can think of from buying presents to family adventures.
After you’ve completed your list go back through it and place a star, dot or check on the items you would be bummed if you missed this year.
Plan and Schedule Your Priorities – Place those items, tasks and events that are most important to you in your calendar NOW. The best way to ensure you accomplish the items on your holiday bucket list is to be proactive about how you spend your time.
Be sure to check your local Chamber of Commerce website or google the event’s page of a particular organization for additional information.
Prepare Now for Holiday Travel:
Decide Where You’ll be Spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – Talk to your family and friends about your expectations and plans to spend the big 3 holidays. This will save you future stress as everyone’s calendars start to fill up once the holidays arrive.
Make Holiday Travel Plans and Arrangements – I totally get it’s hard to imagine playing in the snow when it’s crazy hot outside. That said, now is the perfect time to start planning and making holiday travel plans. Don’t forget to make preparations and plans for your pets too!
Prioritize Your Holiday Budget:
Create a Budget & Stick to It – We all know how easily holiday budgets can quickly get out of control. Especially, if you have a lot of people on your gift list. Take the time to decide who you need to buy for and how much you’re willing to spend.
Make a Gift List – Gift giving doesn’t have to be complicated but sometimes finding the right gift can take time. Start thinking about what the recipients on your list are interested in or what would make their lives easier. Write those ideas down next to their name so you don’t forget them or use our Naughty and Nice Printable List here.
Shop Early – Summer sales are a great way to start stocking up on gifts and stocking stuffers. There are so sales many happening right now!
I know some of you probably have people in your lives that would rather have an experience than an actual gift. Start thinking about what adventures will be available now. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to plan something extra special.
Wrap Gifts as You Go – You don’t want to be stressed out at midnight on Christmas Eve in Santa’s Workshop trying to get it all done. You can check out how we organized our gift wrapping paper station here.
Get a Head Start on Your Holiday Cards and Letters:
Start Gathering Family and Friends Addresses – Now is a great time to update the addresses of friends and family members. You can easily create mailing labels from your home computer.
If you plan to send your cards to a calligrapher, updating addresses now will help save you an extra step later.
Make or Purchase Your Christmas Cards – Sending holiday cards and pictures is a fun way to reconnect with family and friends. Most big box stores will have holiday cards available to purchase early. You can also order cards online.
Have Your Family Photographs Taken Early – Now is a great time to have your family photos taken while everyone is relaxed, and you don’t have additional demands on your time.
Begin Preparing Your Home for the Holidays:
Declutter & Donate – Before you ever bring one holiday box down from the attic, declutter the most commonly used spaces in your home. These spaces include guest rooms, drawers, closets, the pantry and the refrigerator. Decluttering now ensures you won’t be caught off guard when holiday guests arrive.
Consider donating gently used items you no longer want or need.
Collect, Launder & Change Out Seasonal Items – If you’ve been storing seasonal items for the past few months, make sure those items have been properly cared for. Those items such as sweaters, jackets, blankets, boots, and bedding should be properly laundered.
Plan to Create a Cozy Home You’ll Enjoy All Season:
Take the Time to Find Holiday Inspiration – Looking through decorating books, magazines, blogs, Pinterest, shopping at your favorite stores, outdoor craft fairs or traveling will help you find holiday inspiration early.
Choose a color palette that will enhance your home by working with the existing colors you already have in place.
Check your attic and basement to see what seasonal decorations you already own that you can use again.
Start purchasing holiday décor items while they’re on sale. Most big box stores host early decorating events and offer coupons, discounts and sometimes seasonal craft classes.
Take advantage of early-bird sale prices when they’re offered to ensure you have first pick of holiday items from fabric to floral décor to ribbon, pillows, wrapping paper, and seasonal accessories too.
Begin Crafting Ornaments and Seasonal Decorations – Once you know your theme and color palette this will be much easier. I know a lot of people like to decorate and pick out a tree the weekend of Thanksgiving. Crafting seasonal decorations now will set you up for success when the tree arrives.
Prepping for Holiday Parties:
Collect and Try Out New Recipes in Advance of Holiday Parties – As you’re meal planning each week, begin trying out new holiday party recipes. When you’re expecting company or know you’re going to have a busy week, consider creating seasonal meals to put in the freezer to save you time.
If you’re hosting a holiday party, begin planning your menus, guest list, decorations and floral arrangements now.
Preparing Your Heart for the Holiday Season:
Practice Healthy Morning Habits – Begin your day doing things that will create a sense of calm and focus. For example, waking up around the same time each day, making your bed, reciting positive affirmations, and eating a healthy breakfast.
Get Moving Every Day – Focus on being active every day by taking a walk outside, lifting light weights, practicing yoga, or going for a bike ride.
Meal Plan and Begin to Incorporate Seasonal Ingredients – We meal plan each week especially during the busy holiday season. It really helps cut down on forgetting ingredients at the grocery store and saves time during the work week. Whether it be honey crisp apples, pumpkins, multiple squash varieties, soups or slow cooker recipes. There are so many different ways to incorporate seasonal foods into your weekly meal plan.
Practice Healthy Nightly Habits – End your day by doing things that make you feel purposeful and peace filled. For example, prepping for the following day, tidying your home before you go to bed, quiet time, keeping a gratitude journal, light reading and prioritizing good sleep hygiene.
Donate Your Time, Talent and Resources
Decide How You’ll Give Back – There are so many ways to give back during the holiday season from serving folks in the soup line to offering random acts of kindness to strangers. Most people assume the holidays are a joyous time of year for everyone. In truth though, they can be tough for a lot of people.
If you have been blessed in any way this year, give what you can. I promise your heart will feel instantly lighter!
No matter what your priorities and intentions, take the time to begin planning and preparing for the upcoming holiday season now. There is no better way to kick off a season of adventure like being prepared!