Can you believe it’s already time to start getting ready for the holidays? The holiday season is upon us as we make our way through November and December, and it’s time to get organized so that you can enjoy a fun, stress-free time with your family. The holidays are such a sweet and joyful time, but without the proper planning, they can quickly become stressful and overwhelming, too. That’s why I’m here to walk you through my pre-holiday battle plan, so you can step into the holiday season with confidence knowing you’re ready to go – all you have to do now is enjoy.
From making sure that your home is ready to planning out meals, gifts, and your Christmas cards (trust me, I used to always wait until the last minute, too!), there are so many little steps that bring the holidays together that it’s easy to forget something or feel a little scattered. I wanted to create a master post for holiday season prep so that you could have everything you need in one place, ready to head into the holidays strong. Keep reading for all of my best tips and tricks for planning out your family’s upcoming holiday season!
MY TOP TIPS FOR GETTING READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
There’s a special magic in the air during the holidays. Life feels a little lighter, a little more joyful. But if you aren’t careful, the most wonderful time of the year can quickly become the most stressful time of the year as you get inundated with a thousand different things that need to be done. There are gifts to buy and events to plan, a house to decorate and travel arrangements to make. If I’m not careful, I can become overwhelmed with how many things need to be done and get stressed out worrying that I’m going to forget something. After a few years, I learned that I work much better when I have a master plan for everything that needs to be done to get holiday-ready. That’s what I’m here to share with you today – my ultimate battle strategy.
Read on for my top tips for getting ready for the holidays!
HAVE A PLANNING SESSION
The first thing that I like to do to ensure a successful holiday season is to have a planning session with myself to take the time to think through everything I want to do before the holidays hit. (That might be what you’re doing right now!) I sit down with a steaming cup of coffee or cocoa and map out everything – dates that I’m going to be traveling, events that I need to have outfits ready for, people that I need to purchase gifts for. By getting everything out on the page, I feel less stressed that I’m forgetting something because I have something to refer to.
Everyone has their own planning technique, but I have seen some really cute planners recently that are specifically targeted towards planning for the holidays. If you want to have everything in one place, that’s a great way to stay organized! Check out this planner as well as this planner to get you started.
CLEAN AND DECLUTTER
The holidays get busy quickly, and I often find that I have less time to clean during the holiday season – but that I often want to clean more often, because I’m having people over for holiday events. I like to do a really solid deep clean at the beginning of the holiday season so that when it comes time to host or I just want a clean space, the things that need to be done are much more surface level. I also think it’s always a good idea to clean before you decorate so that you have a clean slate to work with. Decorations can accumulate dust, so start off fresh! I love to whip out the Swiffer and get things spotless.
The time before the holiday season is also a great time to declutter. Not only is it great to have a clean slate, but everyone knows that you accumulate a lot of new things during the holidays, whether due to gifts, hitting up the holiday sales, or just the random knickknacks and white elephant gifts that always seem to make their way back home with you during the holidays. Do a big purge and donate the things that you declutter to a good cause – after all, what better time to give back than the holiday season?
GO CRAZY WITH LIGHTS
I always like to put my lights up first for a couple of reasons. First off, they add such a special seasonal warmth that I love. Adding lights to a space makes it instantly cozier and more joyful, which is a must during the dreary months, especially once the time change hits and the days are so short and dark. Having lights in the house always cheers me up and makes me feel like celebrating. I like adding lights to lots of different rooms in my home, from the kitchen to the living space to bedrooms and even my office! You can use really tasteful white lights that look good early or late in the season – after all, you can really use fairy lights all year round!
DECORATE FOR THE HOLIDAYS EARLY
Decorating your home for the holidays can be daunting, especially if you – like me – like to go all out. I’ve found that decorating early in the season really helps take the stress off because it gives me time to play around with my decorations and really decide what I want where. When I’m not in a rush, I can really take the time to decorate the way that I want to, and by decorating early in the season, I also have time to identify if anything is missing that I need to buy. (Trust me, if you need a new Christmas tree, you’d rather find out now than later!) Saving time to shop is always wise!
I’m also a fan of decorating early because it gives me time to sit back during the holidays and relax and actually enjoy the fruits of my labor. A well-decorated home is so cozy during this festive season and it brings me so much joy when I love my decorations.
PLAN THE MENU
The holiday season is all about food, but it can be easy for the menu to sneak up on you. Whether you’re hosting a holiday meal yourself or just need to brainstorm a few great dishes and desserts to bring to events, by planning your holiday menus early, you’ll take the pressure off yourself and won’t waste time at the last minute overthinking – you’ll just grab the ingredients and whip up a killer meal, dish, or dessert.
If you need some inspiration, grab a holiday cookbook and dive in! It’s always fun to find new recipes.
CREATE YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD
I love sending out holiday cards, but they’re always yet another task that sneaks up on me last minute, leaving me in a whirlwind trying to get everything bought, received, and sent out in time. Save time by picking out your photo early in the holiday season and going ahead and ordering your cards so that you can send them out before things really get crazy. You’ll feel good having it out of the way, and your friends and family will love seeing your card in their mailbox!
Don’t want to do picture cards this year? There are some adorable holiday cards that you can write inside that I just can’t get enough of.
STOCK UP ON STOCKING STUFFERS
Is it just me, or does it seems like you always find yourself needing small gift-y items at the last minute throughout the holiday season? I used to always stress when something would come up and I didn’t have anything on hand, but not anymore! Now, I like to go shopping and stock up on small stocking stuffers as early as September or October, so that by the time the holidays roll around, I have enough not only to fill my stockings but also to gift to friends, neighbors, or coworkers throughout the season. Trust me, being prepared will take so much stress off!
SHOP FOR GIFTS EARLY
Making a list and checking it twice? That’s how I’ll be shopping for Christmas gifts this year – and how you should, too!
If you followed my initial planning tips, you should have a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for by this point. Now comes the fun part – tackling the actual shopping! I like to look at different gift guides or lists of things that are trending on Amazon to see if I can get some new ideas, as well as leaning into old favorite items that I know are tried and true.
SAVE IT ON PINTEREST: