There are so many things to do to get ready for Christmas early. By preparing ahead of time, you’ll have a happier Christmas Season, save yourself money, and have much less stress. But, do you know what to do to get ready for Christmas Early?
Christmas always seems to come upon us so fast — it just catches us off-guard and we end up scrambling at the end.
I’m not sure why it works this way because we all know exactly when it is. We see it coming up on the calendar and we can tell by all the Christmas merchandising going on that it’s right around the corner.
But we still put it off. I think we just figure that there’s plenty of time to prepare. I’m guilty of this every single year.
Our regular lives are so busy and it’s hard to find a spot for all the extra requirements until that deadline is right around the corner. Let’s try to do better this year and prepare ahead of time by getting ready for Christmas early.
How to Get Ready for Christmas Early
My mission is to get everything started way ahead of time, and even some things completely finished before December.
The key to pulling this off is planning and preparing …
1. Do a Holiday Brain Dump First
Start by listing all the things that need to be done before Christmas.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make Cookies and Candies
- Buy Christmas Gifts
- Make Homemade Gifts
- Deliver Neighbor Gifts
- Grocery Shopping
- Plan Advent Activities
- Plan Holiday Dinner
- Plan Holiday Party
- Office Gifts
- Buy Christmas PJs
- Shop for Special Outfits
- Decorate the House
- Plan for any Traditions
2. Evaluate – What Can You Get Done Ahead of Time?
Here are some ideas of things you can do ahead of time to make more space for your family in those last weeks before Christmas.
- Freeze Meals for the Month of December
- Make and Freeze Cookie Dough
- Buy Kitchen Staples
- Shop for Gifts
- Plan Holiday Meals
- Set up Hair Appointments Early
- Complete December Calendar with Scheduled Activities
- Evaluate Family Traditions
- Set a Budget
- Make all Shopping Lists
- Start Cleaning for Guests
3. Batch Activities to Save Time
After your Christmas Brain Dump and evaluation, you’re probably looking at this massive To-Do list and thinking it looks impossible.
I know that’s how I felt.
I literally had 50+ items on my list of things to do. I knew that if I was going to accomplish all of it without going crazy I needed a plan.
So, I started batching tasks. You may be wondering … “What is batching?”
Odds are, you’re already batching activities at some level and you didn’t even realize it. It’s what you do when you get gas on your way home from work, you scan your emails while you’re waiting in the carpool line, and packing tomorrow’s lunch as you’re cleaning up dinner from tonight.
The key to batching activities is to combine activities that naturally fit together. It’s sorting your list in order to manage it more efficiently.
Make these lists:
- Errands that Need to be Run
- Things to Do in the Kitchen
- Shopping to do
- Things to Make
- Tasks to Complete at Home
- Spaces to Clean
4. Build Short Cuts into Your Batched Activities
This is where you’ll make the biggest difference in your Christmas planning. Short cuts are the power punch to the whole system.
Let’s use Cookie Baking for Example.
(1.) Instead of making 5 different cookies on different days, make all your dough one day and freeze it. This can be done as early as September.
This will reduce how much time it takes because you’ll only get out all your ingredients once, clean your measuring utensils and mixing bowls once and that’s done.
You can even be more efficient by making 1 dough that you can turn into 8 different types of cookies.
(2.) On another day you can thaw and bake all your cookies back-to-back.
Here Are Some More Examples to Get Ahead
- Each night for a week, make a double-batch of your dinner and freeze the second portion. Now you’ve got dinners made for Christmas week and all you’ll have to do is thaw and heat them.
- Instead of wrapping each gift as you do your shopping, schedule one wrapping day and get it all done at once.
- Do all your gift shopping online during Black Friday weekend.
- Carry Christmas cards with you everywhere you go. There’s no need to wait until December. You can write them out as you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, in the carpool line, on your lunch break, etc.
- Buy the non-perishable ingredients for your Holiday Meals early in the Fall.
- Make Teacher and Neighbor Gifts
More Christmas Articles:
- How to Simplify Christmas – What You Can Stop Doing
- 9 Simple Christmas Traditions
- Super Simple Teacher Gifts – Under $5
- How to Create a Simple Advent Plan
Can you see just how much time you can save by combining activities and making the time to get them done ahead of time?
Simplify your Christmas this year with a little bit of planning and you will enjoy the season and your family so much more.