If y’all haven’t noticed, I love Christmas. So of course I’ve already started prepping for the holiday so I’ll be ready when it rolls around. Between gifts, decorations and holiday parties, the season can sometimes be overwhelming but I jump the gun to keep my stress at a minimum–and to keep my wallet balanced.
If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the head start before lines in the mall get too long and items start selling out. I’ve put together a list of to-do’s that I’m focused on this month. I hope this helps you too!
1. Budget, budget, budget
The first thing I do every year is decide how much I can realistically spend during the holidays. Getting presents, buying decorations and doing holiday-related things can get expensive. So, think about what you can dish out during the season and allocate it as you wish (e.g., $100 on gifts in total, $50 on activities in total, etc.).
2. Make your list, check it twice
That header was so cheesy but I had to do it, ha! October is a great month to decide who you’re buying for and what you plan to buy them. And if you’re able, start buying what’s on the list–getting things little by little is less stressful financially.
3. Peruse Pinterest for recipes
Whether you’re hosting a party and are ready to start thinking about your menu or just want to dabble in some holiday baking, start a Pinterest board of some holiday recipes you can try. I’ve started mine already, take a look and hopefully you see some you like!
4. Snap Christmas card photos
Depending on where you live, the weather is generally nice in October…or at least tolerable. And with the leaves changing, it’s a beautiful time of year to take holiday photos! While you’re at it, make a list of everyone you plan to send a card to so you know how many to order. If you’ve never had Christmas cards printed, I use Shutterfly every year (I love their prices and selection) and I’ve heard great things about Snapfish and Minted.
5. Take inventory of your decor
Pull your holiday decor out of the storage bins to see what’s still in good shape and what needs to be replaced. Plug all of your lights in to make sure they still work then decide what other decor you need (okay, not need but want, lol). Grandin Road has beautiful decor–even though I can afford about half of what’s on their site. Home Depot, Target and HomeGoods are great affordable options, too.
6. Get the party planning started
If you’re hosting a holiday party, now is a good time to decide on your menu, guest list and date. I’ve learned that everyone’s holiday schedules tend to fill up quickly so nail down your date now then give friends a heads up so they can put it on their calendars.
7. Look up local events
Besides decor, I’m into holiday activities like plays and Christmas festivals. Look online to see what events are happening in your area that you can check out with friends and fam. If you’re in the DC area, here are a few ideas: