Not sure when to start planning for Christmas? Keep reading and find out exactly when works best for you – and why – Hint: It may surprise you!
When Should You Prepare For Christmas?
Christmas happens every year, on the same date, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it comes around again, should we?!
Yet, every year, around the start of December we often hear people lamenting that they simply can’t get everything done, that they’re too busy, that other things are being put off, etc….
The answer then should be simple, right? – starting Christmas planning and prep as early as you can makes sense.
Spreading the load a bit should help alleviate that stress.
But then the question becomes – WHEN should you start?!
That’s what I wanted to look at today. Is there a chance of being too early, or still too late – and is there a ‘just right’ (like Goldilocks!)…
Overall, I think that being prepared as early as you can makes sense – for a variety of reasons: –
You can do a little each week
So you never have too much on top of your already busy schedule. A little and often is the way that most things get done in life – let’s face it!
You can get ahead of the curve
By avoiding queues at the shops. Why waste time when you don’t have to with a little forward planning.
You can take a step back come December
And enjoy the run up to the festivities. Watching the kids’ Christmas nativity without having to rush back to get stuff done is the goal, right?
Christmas Preparation For Every Month Of The Year
When you’re ready to do a little each week, then it makes sense to make preparing for Christmas (and Christmas planning) a year round event.
You’re basically having a Christmas countdown the entire year!
Here’s what I’d recommend focusing on each month of the year – so you can take advantage of that season, and get ahead at each and every stage.
Now that the festive season is over, this is the best time to go to the sales for some (very) early Christmas shopping to get things like Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, Christmas wrapping, etc…
Also – you’ve still got the decorations up and cards and presents fresh in your mind – so you can plan what you do and don’t need next year much more easily.
Packing away the decorations well means that you have less to do when it comes to unpacking next year – so only pack what you know you’ll use (maybe pack into containers for each room, or for each type of item i.e. lights, ornaments etc…)
Related: Get Organised Now For Next Christmas
Now is a brilliant time to start looking at a budget for Christmas.
Base it on what you spent last year if you can, and then save a portion each week/month for the entire year.
There really is no point in going into debt, much better to pay it up front.
March / April / May / June / July
Start a present list, so you know who you’re buying for.
That way, if you see things at any point over the year you can grab it there and then.
It may be possible to start booking Christmas events now – so think about what you may like to do, and see what’s already selling (theatre tickets, travel etc…).
If you’re looking for the perfect venue for a holiday party, then you need to look at what’s available and book it early to avoid disappointment.
After Summer finishes and back to school has happened, a lot of families naturally start to chat about what they will be doing over the Christmas period (16th Sept is 100 days to Christmas, after all!).
Especially if that involves travelling any distance. Planning trips to relatives, or even holidays, means that days may well book up quickly.
It’s worth getting things in the diary now, so you know what you’re working with ASAP!
16th October marks 10 weeks to Christmas – this is the perfect time to start really ramping things up as the holiday season is just starting up.
In fact – it’s when my Christmas Planner starts its countdown to the festivities – so this is the perfect time to collate the things you’ve done over the year, take stock, and then start to fill in the gaps now that it really isn’t long to go.
Think about where guests will sleep, and what you need to have in your home to cater for them (incl. towels, bedding, food, drink, etc…)
This is a great month, of course, to be looking at buying your Advent Calendar(s) – as they start on 1st December. They need to be planned for, especially if you’re sending them in the post to others.
Also – Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in this month, so you could plan to get some bargains in the shops for things that are on your list (maybe the more expensive gifts, or things for your home).
The very last month to be preparing from scratch! – This should only be last minute things like food shopping, mailing cards and presents, and attending parties etc…
It’s a fantastic time to take in a Christmas party or two, visit the Christmas Markets, watch a few Christmas movies, and basically – enjoy it!
And After Christmas…
Also – after Christmas there’s a time between that you can get a few things done as well – doesn’t hurt to be organised here too!…
Related: Sorting Things Out After Christmas
Can It ever be too early To Start Planning For christmas?
So – with all you’ve read above, do you now think that it can ever be too early to start preparing for Christmas?
Yes – of course it depends on what part of Christmas you’re trying to prepare for – because food needs to be looked at later in the year than, say, presents – but overall the earlier you start, the better.
And I honestly think the only reason you’d want to leave things until the last minute would be if you thrive on stress and deadlines(!)
So – How can I Start to Plan my Christmas Early?
If you’ve decided that early is best (which I think most of us would agree is a good rule of thumb) – the next step is to work out HOW to start planning it.
The natural first step is to get organised.
This involves having lists in places for EVERYTHING.
Having a planner ready with everything laid out that you need to do, will make it easier to make sure you get it all done and don’t miss anything.
And along with your planner/lists – your mindset is key to getting started early.
You don’t have to be in full throttle Christmas mode (singing carols in February is considered strange by most…) – but what I mean by this is that you have to have Christmas in the back of your head when you’re out and about.
If you’re in the right mindset then you won’t wait to get a gift for someone if you happen to find the perfect thing in March – you’ll buy it and save yourself time and effort later.
And that just makes sense, right?!
So – when you’re looking at when to start planning for Christmas…
…my advice is to get started on the preparations as soon as possible – whatever month you happen to be reading this.
Truthfully – there’s no time like the present, because your future self will thank you for whatever you can get done ahead of the big day!
And don’t forget that the Christmas Planner will get you completely organised for this year and for years to come – it could well be your secret weapon! Learn more HERE