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Take Time Now To Get Ready for the Holidays

Oct 17th, 2023

Despite my good intentions to plan early for the holidays each year, they arrive quicker than I anticipate. This leaves me to drown in the same to-do lists as the previous year. However, this year will be different, because now is the perfect time to start prepping for the holidays and create a more relaxed atmosphere over the next few months.

How To Prep for the Holidays

Christmas past

The best way to prepare for the future is to look back at the past. Think back to last year’s holiday season. What kinds of things do you want to repeat? What didn’t work as well as you thought it would? By reflecting on previous years, it’s easier to decide how you want to move forward. Jot down a list of the things you want to accomplish. Everything from cleaning to baking, from shopping to wrapping gifts. Coming up with a well-organized list will make it easier to stay on top of the important things. And, of course, there’s an app for that. Check out a list of the best planner apps for 2023.


Prepare a budget now for what you want to spend on gifts this year. With a solid budget, it’s easier to stay on track and not over-spend. I have created a simple Excel spreadsheet that I use for my Christmas budget and gift buying list. The great thing about this is that I can keep track of who I am buying for, what I purchased for them and my cost per person as well as my total budget amount. I save this list each year so I can look back and see what I purchased in previous years.

Sticking to your budget is key. It’s easy to get caught up in holiday shopping and go overboard. By following your budget, you will find shopping is less stressful and you won’t have the after-holiday-credit-card-blues.


We’re not all cut out for do-it-yourself gift giving, however, if this is something you are interested in, now is the perfect time to start your project. Go ahead and plan what you want to make, get the supplies, and start your project. Giving yourself plenty of time to complete your projects will reduce stress as the holidays approach.

Take stock

Take a little time to do an inventory of items from last year. Do you need to buy wrapping paper, or do you have plenty left over? Check to see if you need decorations, craft and/or baking supplies before you head to the store. This will save time and money and keep you from purchasing items that are unnecessary.

Holiday cards

If you send out holiday cards in the mail, there’s no reason to wait to start this task. Do you have some great photos from your family vacation this year that you can use? Or, do you need to get everyone together for a family photo? Once you have your photos together, go ahead and order your holiday cards. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, check that your addresses are up to date. When your cards arrive, you will be ready to address the envelopes. Then all you must do is wait to mail them out.


Now is a great time to declutter and organize. Go through your home and get rid of items that are no longer needed and creating clutter. Donate them to a cause or sell them to make a few extra bucks for the holidays. You will feel better and enjoy knowing that your home is ready for the holiday season.

Don’t neglect a kitchen clean-out as well. If you cook and bake a lot over the holiday season, go through your pantry and discard old baking supplies. Take a minute to reorganize so you can find what you need and make a list of items that you need to buy.


Now that you prepared your budget early, you can start shopping early as well! Waiting until the last minute to shop is stressful as well as hard on your budget as we tend to spend more when we can’t find the items we had originally intended to buy. By starting early, you will typically have time to find the items you want. Also, watch for sales and pick up small items for friends, teachers and neighbors. This is a good time to grab a few extra small items for unexpected guests or last-minute parties.

It's a wrap

This year, set up a gift-wrapping station. I have a folding table that I like to set up in an extra room of the house. Stock it with everything you need; wrapping paper, bows, scissors and tape. As you complete your shopping, go ahead and wrap the gifts. It will be a relief not to have a mountain of gifts to wrap the day before you're gifting them.

Christmas present

Remember that planning ahead is no guarantee that all things will go perfectly, they probably won’t! But hopefully, by starting a little early on your holiday to-do list, you will be less stressed and have more time to truly enjoy the season. Good luck!

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Photo courtesy Pixabay/veerasantinithi

Author of Article

Barbara Bauer is a Georgia-based blogger obsessed with inspiring others in the pursuit of self-development. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, drinking way too much coffee, and speaking with a British accent whenever possible.

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