Make the holiday season less chaotic and more fun by doing these things to get ready for Christmas in November. Tips for planning for Christmas.
How to Get Ready for Christmas in November
Christmas is right around the corner.
And while this may be exciting for many, it can also bring anxiety to those who are unprepared.
This year, let’s get ready for Christmas in November!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll still have a few Halloween decorations up when Thanksgiving rolls around and then all of a sudden there’s snow on the ground and it’s time to put away the Christmas music until next year.
Not this year!
I’m getting started early so my house feels festive all month long!
This article is full of helpful ideas that will help you get prepared for the holiday season without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.
But please don’t try to do all of them at once! Pick and choose the ideas that will be the most helpful for you.
Get Your Decorations Ready
Now’s a great time to get your Christmas decorations out of storage, and start thinking about what you want to put up this year.
It’s always fun to go through decorations. I like looking at our old ornaments and remembering when we first got them!
But, you’ll probably also find some decorations that are past their prime.
Instead of just shoving them back into your boxes, take some time this year to declutter holiday decorations.
You can donate the decorations you no longer use, and there’s a good chance someone else will be able to use them this Christmas season!
Start a Christmas Planner
If you don’t already have one, now’s the perfect time to start a Christmas Planner.
With a dedicated Christmas planner, you can stay focused and intentionally plan for the holiday season.
I use this Christmas planner printable set, and I love how comprehensive it is!
You can even use it to help you remember how you set up decorations in past years.
Set A Christmas Budget
Another way you can use your Christmas planner is to set a holiday budget.
When you set a budget and break it down into categories (gifts, food, travel, etc.), it’s easier to stay on track and not overspend.
Put Up Your Christmas Tree
Some people don’t like this idea at all, but I like to put up our Christmas tree in November.
If you have an artificial tree, you can get it out of the box and set it up.
If you get a real tree every year, make plans to pick out your Christmas tree!
Gather your Christmas Recipe Ideas
Pull together all of your favorite Christmas recipes.
It will help you remember which foods you’ve prepared in the past, and make it easier to plan your menu for the holiday season.
Start Planning Your Menu
What meals and treats do you want to have during the holidays?
Plan out what foods you want to prepare.
If you have time, start shopping for ingredients that won’t spoil before Christmas.
Make a Gift List
Make a list of who you want to give gifts to, and any gift ideas you may have.
I like to note where I can buy the gifts, so I can buy all of the gifts at once and not have to return to the stores multiple times.
Remember to include gifts for Secret Santa gift exchanges, work colleagues, and neighbors (if applicable).
Do A Christmas Present Closet Purge
Do you have a stash of presents you’ve been saving?
I’ve never had a dedicated gift closet, but I know a lot of people do!
If you have any gifts you’ve been saving, go through them and make a plan to give them to someone!
This will help you stay within your budget, and clear out some space in your home.
Create A Christmas List for Yourself
What do you want for Christmas?
Even if you don’t want anything, it’s always good to have a few ideas ready.
If you’re someone who really doesn’t want any physical gifts for Christmas, ask for restaurant gift cards, or tickets to a show or museum you’d love to visit.
Plan A Holiday To-Do List For November
Every home is different, and you probably have things you’d like to get done in your home before the holidays are in full swing.
Maybe you like to put up Christmas lights, or you want to sign up to purchase gifts for a family in your community.
Or maybe you just want to find all of your Christmas cookie cutters before you start baking in December!
Make a list of things you want to take care of in November, and start working through that list.
You’ll thank yourself later!
Make A Holiday Calendar
Take some time to schedule all of your holiday activities, and make a calendar that everyone in your family can reference.
Get an Advent Calendar
An Advent calendar is a fun way to count down the days until Christmas.
Advent calendars usually start on December 1, so November is the best time to pick one up at the store or order one online.
Order Christmas Cards
If you like to send out Christmas cards, order them now so they’ll be here in time to mail out in December.
Get Christmas Stamps
If you’re mailing out Christmas cards, stock up on stamps.
The post office usually sells holiday-themed stamps, or you could get regular stamps to use throughout the year.
Plan for Elf on the Shelf
Our elf, Roger, doesn’t do a lot of extravagant stunts.
But if your elf is more creative, you can start planning for his/her shenanigans.
If your kids are older, they may be able to help with some of the planning!
Put Up Decorations
This can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be.
You can put up a few decorations each day, and slowly decorate your home.
Or, you can have an afternoon or day dedicated to decorating for Christmas!
Plan out when you’ll put up your decorations so you’re not scrambling to get things up last minute.
Stock Up On Last Minute Essentials
Avoid emergency trips to the store the week before Christmas by stocking up on things you may need.
I like to have extra tape and batteries on hand at bare minimum.
Christmas Shop in November
If you can swing it, Christmas shopping in November takes SO much stress out of the holiday season.
I like to do most of my shopping online, and I’ve traditionally done most of my Christmas shopping in one weekend!
However, this year, I’m planning on ordering most of my gifts earlier than usual.
There are so many things to keep track of during the holiday season!
As you shop for gifts, make sure you cross things off your list.
Keep your holiday calendar up to date, and reference it frequently.
Using tools like calendars, lists, and even a Christmas planner will reduce your mental load so you don’t feel like you have a hundred things you’re trying to remember.
If you are going to any events that require special clothing, figure out what you’re going to wear now.
For my children, I like to set aside the outfits they’ll wear to their Christmas program at school, or to church on Christmas. That way we can easily find them when it’s time to get ready for special events.
If you’re traveling during the holidays, set aside a block of time to work out your travel plans.
Print out tickets, book hotels, and figure out how you’ll get to where you need to be.
If you’re driving a long distance, have your car serviced so it’s ready to go!
If you’re attending any holiday parties, look into the details of the events.
Find out if you need to bring anything, and decide if you want to bring a host/hostess gift.
Plan out what you’ll wear to the Christmas party so you’re not searching for something to wear at the last minute.
Mix Up Cookie Dough and Freeze
Plan on decorating cookies this year?
Make up a batch of cookie dough in November, and freeze it!
Take it out of the freezer when you’re ready to start making cookies, and it will make the whole cookie decorating experience a lot more fun!
Get Supplies for Christmas Cookies
Most of the sprinkles and baking supplies you’ll want for making Christmas cookies are okay to buy in advance.
Have them on hand for when you decide it’s time to bake and decorate cookies.
Make A Christmas Movie Calendar
Get into the holiday spirit by watching your favorite Christmas movies!
You can make a calendar that shows when specific movies will be on TV, or plan out which movies you’d like to stream during the season.
Set Up A Stash Of Yummy Holiday Candy
If you like to pass out treats to guests, or just love Christmas candies, set up a stash of candy to enjoy during the season.
You can also use this candy for stocking stuffers!
Play Christmas Music
One of the easiest ways to get into the Christmas mood is to play your favorite Christmas music!
It’s a quick way to make your home feel more festive.
If you feel like you’ll get tired of listening to Christmas music if you start too early, save your Christmas playlist until the end of November.
Plan for Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve often gets overlooked, but it’s a fun day to plan for!
Decide what you’d like to do on Christmas Eve and add it to your calendar.
If you have any special foods or meals you like to make for Christmas Eve, you can begin to plan for that too.
Wrap Your Christmas Gifts Early
If you can wrap gifts early, you get a gold star for being prepared for Christmas.
Make sure you clearly label who the gifts are for, and keep your gift list so you can remember what you’re gifting.
Realistically, most of us aren’t going to wrap presents until at least the beginning of December.
You can still prepare for wrapping Christmas presents by stocking up on wrapping paper, gift bags, and gift tags.
More Planning for Christmas