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The Christmas season is a time of year that can be both joyful and stressful.
For many people, it’s a time when they have to juggle family gatherings, work obligations, and shopping for presents.
If you want to minimise the stress and maximise the joy this holiday season, it’s important to start planning for Christmas early!
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to get started.
- When Should You Start Planning for Christmas?
- Will Planning for Christmas Early Help Me?
- How Do I Start My Christmas Planning?
- Tips for Planning Ahead
- Final Thoughts
- Christmas Planners
When Should You Start Planning for Christmas?
The short answer to this question is that it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas, especially if you want to take advantage of the best deals and avoid the crowds. In reality most people start planning for Christmas around October or November, once Halloween or bonfire night has passed. If you want to be ultra-prepared, planning for Christmas all year-round might be the best strategy!
There is a good argument for planning for next Christmas in January. When all the decorations have been put away and you finally have a chance to take a breath, why not start making a list of what you need and what you want to do differently? Planning ahead when everything is still fresh in your mind will make the following year’s holiday season much less stressful. This is also a great time to start looking for deals on travel, gifts, and Christmas activities. The ultimate answer to “when should i start planning for Christmas?” is that it very much depends on your planning style, budget, and time available through the year.
Christmas Planning in January
Preparing for Christmas in January might sound like the last thing on your mind but it actually makes a lot of sense!
Will Planning for Christmas Early Help Me?
How early you start planning for Christmas is very much down to personal choice but there are a few key things to consider:
1. Your Festive Stress Levels
If the thought of Christmas already has you feeling stressed, it might be worth starting to plan earlier in order to ease some of that pressure.
It’s also worth considering your own planning style here – do you like to have everything mapped out in advance, or do you prefer to wing it?
Leaving some things to the last minute means you can experience the spontaneity and joy of the season, but it also comes with its own set of stresses. If you know that you do better with a plan, then start mapping out your Christmas now!
2. Your Budget
Do you have a strict budget that you need to stick to? Christmas can be an expensive time of year, so if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to start planning early to make sure you don’t overspend.
One of the main advantages of starting your Christmas planning early is that you can take advantage of sales and discounts that are available throughout the year. For example, many retailers offer significant discounts on Christmas decorations in January, so if you’re looking to save money this is a great time to buy.
Save Money At Christmas
Christmas can be an expensive time of year but we’ve put together 9 tips to help you save money this year.
3. Your Schedule
Do you have a lot on your plate during the holiday season? If you’re already juggling a lot of commitments, you might want to start planning for Christmas early so that you can fit everything in and free up some time later.
4. Your Holiday Plans
Will you be hosting or planning any holiday gatherings this year? If you’re hosting family or friends, you’ll need to start planning sooner rather than later. The same goes for if you’re traveling during the holidays – the earlier you start planning, the better!
5. The Size of your Family
If you have a large family, you’ll need more time to plan for things like travel and accommodating everyone’s schedules. If you have a lot of family and friends that you need to see during the holidays it’s best to start making a list and scheduling your time now. This way, you can make sure that you don’t miss anyone important!
6. The Type of Plans
Some things are easier to plan ahead for than others. Stocking up on Christmas crackers in post-Christmas sales is easy, but gift buying for your nearest and dearest is far more difficult to do until you’re nearer the big day. Similarly, finalising plans can be difficult until much nearer the time, but planning ahead will ensure that you’ve done as much as possible in advance.
If you want to make your own gifts or plan of baking some festive treats, then planning well in advance will ensure you have time to get in all the supplies and ingredients you might need as well as allowing time to make everything without rushing at the last minute.
7. Allow for Spontaneity
Of course, no matter how much you plan, there’s always the chance that something will come up that you didn’t expect. Christmas is a time for family, friends, and loved ones, so be sure to leave some room in your plans for spontaneous get-togethers and impromptu trips!
Planning ahead doesn’t mean that you have to be rigid and inflexible – it simply means that you’ll have a foundation to work from, which can make the holiday season much less stressful.
How Do I Start My Christmas Planning?
One of the best things you can do to plan ahead is to think through how you’ll be spending Christmas day. Will you be cooking a big dinner? If so, what will you need to buy in advance? Do you have any visitors coming to stay? When will they arrive and how long will they be staying for?
Think through past Christmases for ideas of what you’ll need, and look for anything you can do differently this year to make your life easier. If you always end up rushed off your feet on Christmas day, try to pinpoint any areas where you can save some time or simplify tasks. Or if you find yourself short on cash after all the gift buying, start putting some money aside in advance so that you’re not caught out next year.
Once you are clear about how you’ll spend your Christmas you can start to put together a list of what you’ll need. This will help you to make the most of any sales or deals that come up in the lead up to Christmas.
Our Christmas planner is a great way to brainstorm all your plans and keep them together in one place. We’ve thought through all the areas you might want to think about so all you have to do is fill it in with your plans. It’s a great repository to refer back to year after year too!
Christmas Planning Month by Month
The best way to have a stress free Christmas is to plan baby steps to complete throughout the year.
Check out our monthly plan for simple tasks to complete each month for less stress this Christmas.
Tips for Planning Ahead
Now that we’ve discussed when you should start planning for Christmas, let’s talk about some tips on how to get started!
- Start a Christmas savings account: This is a great way to ensure that you have the money you need to cover all of your holiday expenses. You can start small by setting aside some money each week, and then increase the amount as Christmas gets closer.
- Set a Budget: Another important thing to think about is what kind of budget you have for Christmas. Start setting aside money now so that you don’t have to worry about it later. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid going into debt this holiday season. Determine how much money you want to spend on each person and make sure you stick to your plan.
- Create a gift list: This will help you keep track of who you need to buy gifts for, what they might like, and how much you’re willing to spend. You can also use this list to budget for your holiday shopping.
- Start making a schedule: This will help you keep track of all the events and gatherings you have planned for the holidays. Having everything in one place will help you stay organised and avoid double booking yourself.
- Make a list of Christmas tasks: This list can include things like decorating the house, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and anything else you need to do to get ready for Christmas. Having a list will help you make sure that you don’t forget anything important.
- Identify your Priorities: Take some time to think about what you really want out of Christmas. What are your priorities? Is it spending time with family, attending festive events, or exchanging gifts? When you know what’s important to you, it will be easier to plan ahead and make sure that your holiday is everything you want it to be.
- Start shopping: If you know what gifts you want to buy, start looking for them now! You can take advantage of sales and avoid the holiday rush by starting your shopping early.
Ultimately when we talk about planning ahead at Christmas we are looking to do two main things – to save money and to reduce stress. If you can do both of those, then you’re on the right track!
You may not be able to get everything done before December but anything you can do in advance is going to be a help.
Whether you’re a big fan of Christmas or you just want to get through the holiday season without any drama, starting to plan early is a great way to reduce stress and enjoy the festive period!
Check out our Christmas planners designed to make Christmas planning easy. We’ve made sure everything you need is included, from budgeting to gift lists, and more!
If you’re looking for Christmas planning tips check out our post about Christmas planning through the year. We’ve broken down all of the most important tasks into easy month-by-month tasks so you’ll be organised and ready for Christmas.