The calendar page has turned over to November, the clocks have turned back an hour and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. It’s early, but early is the best time to get ready.
When I was a new mom years ago, I heard “November is the time for getting ready for Christmas, and December is the time for celebrating“. Over the years I’ve made it my goal to start getting everything ready for Christmas during November, and really focus on celebrating when December rolls around.
Imagine if all the preparations -the shopping, the planning, the decorating, the wrapping were all done (or at least well on their way) when December rolled around? Imagine if you actually had time to enjoy the celebrations? So often as moms we take on the bulk of the prep for Christmas and instead of being a time of celebrating and spending time with family it’s a mad rush to clean, decorate, shop, and prepare. We can feel like the holiday passes us by in a whirlwind and is anything but fun and relaxing. But, if the prep or even just the bulk of the prep can happen in November, Christmas can be fun again, even for Moms!
My new Jord Watch should help me keep on track as I work on all my Christmas preparations this year. I love Jord watches, and that they’re all made of beautiful wood. I love my new Jord Frankie 35 Watch in dark sandlewood and slate.
Here are my tips for what things to work on during November as part of your Christmas preparations.
Choose Your Christmas Decorating Scheme
You might use the same colours and decor every year and just add a few things, or you might be someone who changes it all every year. Now is the time to think about your colour scheme and design directions for this year. Are you into the traditional red and green? Silver, gold, and copper? Winter white and neutrals? Blues, pastels? The sky is the limit these days; there’s Christmas decor for every style and in every colour. Decide early on your direction for this year, and start shopping,gathering, and making now. The great thing about shopping early is that there is lots of selection. How many times have you seen something early and not picked it up only for it to be sold out when you’re ready for it? Now is the time to start picking things up as you see them, and tuck them away until you’re ready to decorate.
If you’re strict about not decorating until December, now might just be the time to get ready by gathering up your supplies. My mom always had strict rules about doing a real deep clean before putting up the Christmas decorations. I try to do the same. I start now and try to do a few of those once a year jobs each week -like cleaning chandeliers, and polishing my hard wood floors, or sending out the rugs for dry cleaning. Get that stuff done now, and you’ll be already to decorate.
Get Things On The Calendar
Now is the time to make sure important dates are on the calendar. Write down your local Christmas parade, family get togethers, work parties, church events, and school plays. If you’re throwing a Christmas party make sure to get your invitations sent out to family and friends before their calendars are full. If you want to attend local events buy your tickets now. If you like to do an advent calendar with your family plan for it now. Consider putting together an activity calendar to do with your kids, or a Christmas story book calendar. Or, pick up a chocolate or toy advent calendar at the store before they sell out. You might even consider something for your spouse -like this 12 days of Christmas love letter advent I made for my husband one year.
Pick Up Your Gift Wrap Supplies
Choose papers that match your Christmas colour scheme, and make sure you have pretty ribbons, gift toppers, and tags on hand. Don’t forget the tape! Set up a little gift wrap station -a box where it’s all stored, a corner of your office, or a little cart whatever works for your house. Taking the time to do this now means that you can wrap as you buy. So many times I’ve left it all for the last minute -Christmas Eve and wished I’d done it sooner. If you wrap your gifts beautifully as you buy them you can place them around the house and under your tree as part of your beautiful holiday decor.
Get Your Holiday Outfits Planed
Now is the time to plan your holiday outfits. Do you want coordinating family outfits for a photo shoot? (Did you book the photo shoot yet? And when it’s done, remember to get your holiday cards ordered too.) Do your kids need new dress shoes for the holidays since the old ones are all too small? Does your little black dress need an update? Don’t forget dress socks, hose, and new tights. Think now about updating an older outfit with new accessories and a great nail polish colour. Pick up and order on-line as you see things. Now really is the time to get all the sizes you need, before they sell out. This is especially true of Christmas pyjamas. If you traditionally give your kids new pjs on Christmas Eve now is the time to get them so that you can get matching ones in the sizes you need.
Take Inventory of Your Serving Pieces
If you’re hosting holiday parties, or get togethers now is the time to take inventory and pick up pieces you will need. Do you have a turkey baster, enough platters for Christmas dinner, a roasting pan big enough for the turkey?
Remember to pick up your Christmas crackers for your Christmas dinner table now. Grab pretty napkins and candles when you see them. Co-ordinate your holiday table with your holiday decor in the rest the of your house. The more you can get done now, the less you’ll have to worry about in December.
Start Your Christmas Shopping
Now is the time to do your Christmas shopping. The malls are less busy, the selection is better, and you won’t feel rushed and stressed. If you’re worried about missing out on sale prices by shopping early, most stores will adjust the prices for you if things go on sale between now and Christmas. Also, many stores adjust their return policies for the holidays so that you can still return things after Christmas. If you’re really unsure about a size for your tween, pickup two sizes and return the one that didn’t fit after Christmas. So often if you try to exchange after Christmas the right size or colour will be sold out. Also, shop on-line. There’s still lots of time to ship everything. Take advantage of on-line sales for cyber-Monday also. If you are shopping at the mall, try to get it done now before the crowds and lines are big. If you’re able to shop through the week when things are really not busy yet, plan to take advantage of it.
Also order items from Etsy now that are homemade and take a little longer to make and then ship to you. Order any custom pieces now too. A beautiful Jord Watch would be a great gift for anyone on your Christmas list, and you can order custom engraving too.
Even start to pick up stocking stuffers as you see them. Watch your flyers for sales and take advantage of having the time to shop around. Don’t forget all those other little gifts you need for people like teachers, bus drivers and coaches too.
Also remember to pick up the supplies you need for home made gifts. If you’re planning to make or bake something for the special people in your life -like the grandparents, decide on it now and pick up supplies early.
Focus On The Wins Instead of the Loses
Even with this plan in place you might still be shopping, cleaning, and decorating in December and that’s okay -be graceful to yourself. The goal is to make December more fun, and if you get any of these things out of the way now, you’ll be well on your way to having a more relaxed Christmas. Tackle the things you dislike the most first. If you love wrapping or baking and consider it part of the fun of Christmas than save those tasks for last. My goal with this plan is to be less stressed out and more present for Christmas in December. If I’m stressed about the new plan than I haven’t really achieved much. Remember the goal is to have a more fun filled magical Christmas with your kids instead of being the stressed out, yelling, turning into a grinch mom (not that any of us can relate to that -haha). I’m grateful for this special time of the year, and all the goodness of the season like celebrating love came down, spending time with my family and friends, and celebrating the light. I don’t want it to pass me by, or be missed out on because I’m so consumed with making it “perfect”. At the end of the day it’s also about laying down the illusion of perfect, not worrying about every crazy detail being magazine worthy, and being present over perfect. Sometimes for moms and dads Christmas turns into a giant to-do list and all the magic is lost. I want it back. Who’s with me? Any tips for getting the magic back?
And to help keep you on track of the time as you prepare, or for the perfect gift for someone on your list, Jord would love to offer you a 25% off coupon -just click here for details.