The holiday season is right around the corner, and with great events comes great responsibility!
As such, when it comes to ringing in this joyous time of the year, preparing in advance can save you time wasted in overcrowded shopping malls and the headache of doing things last minute.
Moreover, setting and sticking to a plan early on allows you to focus on actually enjoying the holiday season. With this in mind, here are six Christmas prep hacks to get you on track to enjoy your best Christmas ever.
1. Create a Budget
As cliché as it may sound, creating a budget should always be your first step in planning for any seasonal celebration. Holiday décor, gifts, events, and food add up quickly, setting the stage for financial struggles in the coming year.
By setting a solid budget and sticking to it, you’ll be better positioned to make sound financial decisions — and less likely to go overboard on spending along the way!
2. Update Your Calendar
With all the events, travel, and overall busy nature of the holidays, this special time of year can go by in a blur. To ensure you’re not forgetting anything and to truly enjoy it all, mark your calendar in advance for all the important dates, like family dinners, photoshoots, school pageants, travel, and more.
When you lay out everything beforehand, you’ll get a better idea of the bigger picture, which makes it easier to plan and prioritize all the fine details, all while staying present in the moment.
3. Send Photo Christmas Cards
Gone are the days of long, rambling holiday letters. Instead, sending photo Christmas cards is now a staple of the season. After all, these holiday cards tend to serve as a reminder of your sentiment and a keepsake for your family and friends.
As time draws closer to Christmas Day, it will become more challenging to find the time to get them done. So, mark a date on your calendar well in advance to have your photo shoot done. Online options can help get your cards printed quickly and affordably, leaving you plenty of time to add addresses and mail them on schedule.
4. Meal Prep
There’s nothing more frustrating than missing an ingredient for your favorite dish on Christmas Day — but that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t meal plan ahead of time!
Start by compiling a list of all your favorite holiday recipes and make a note of each ingredient you’ll need. Then, purchase the ingredients beforehand and store them together, if possible. Doing so will make everything that much easier to locate the day of.
Not a fan of cooking? Plenty of restaurants offer delicious holiday takeout options, allowing you instead to spend more time on other seasonal to-dos.
5. Decorate in Advance
Already have a theme in mind for your holiday décor? Whether you’ll be reusing last year’s lights and ornaments or trying something new, mid-November is the perfect time of the year to start bringing out these and other decorations, as well as checking what’s available in stores such as Decorator’s Warehouse.
Indeed, decking the halls can be a fun part of Christmas for family bonding, but it can also be time-consuming and stressful if it gets left to the last minute. Make a new tradition to start your decorating the day after Thanksgiving (at the latest), allowing you to bring the whole family together to kick off the Christmas season.
6. Plan Gifts Throughout the Year
Now for all the fun! Shopping for gifts is one of the more enjoyable parts of the Christmas season, as you get to hand-pick meaningful gifts for all the special people in your life. But the more people who are on your list, the trickier shopping becomes.
To that end, make gift-giving a more enjoyable process by taking an organized approach. First, make a list of all the people you want to shop for (and check it twice!) early in the year. Throughout the year, as ideas pop up, list the gifts you want to purchase for them.
By making a plan early on, you can buy gifts throughout the year, rather than trying to cram all your holiday shopping into a month or two.
Enjoy the Holiday Season!
While the holiday season is often associated with a lot of hustle and bustle, it’s important to take some time to slow down and enjoy all the delights that this special time of the year offers. With these tips in mind, you can tame your holiday to-do list and spend more time being present with loved ones and friends.