This is the tenth post in a year-long series all about taking baby steps to prepare for a stress-free Christmas. Here’s what to do in December to get ready for Christmas!
We made it! We’re now right in the middle of Christmas and all of our hard work is paying off. Even if you didn’t get to every item on every single monthly list, you’re so far ahead of where you would have been if you were just getting started with your Christmas preparations now and you should be proud of yourself. This month we get to have fun and take advantage of spending more time making memories with our family and friends. We have earned it. 🙂 This month I’ll be sharing a few suggestions to help us finish off our little Christmas countdown challenge and make the most of the extra time that we’ve earned ourselves. I have to say that this strategy has worked so well for me and I’m excited to get started again next year and maybe do an even better job.
How This Works
Every month, I’ve been sharing a short list of three to five actionable items. These have been little baby steps that you can take care of to get some of the tasks you might normally find yourself doing in December done well ahead of time. The goal here has been to free you up to actually enjoy the holiday season as much as possible and to leave some time for things like spontaneous baking, winter walks with the family, fun decor projects, and things like that without making you feel stressed out about all the stuff you’re putting off doing, because all of the “have to do” stuff will already be done!
How I Did in November
November was a great month for me. It still felt busy, but not overwhelming. I felt like I was able to enjoy finishing off my Christmas tasks rather than stressing out about not having enough time. I felt like I had the space to think instead of just react. At one point I went to buy a few new pieces of Christmas decor and I found myself feeling like I had the time to consider which items I would actually be able to use for years to come instead of just panicking and getting novelty things that would work for this year only that would just clutter up my basement. It was so nice.
I loved that we took some time in November to start thinking about Christmas dinner. I didn’t know exactly what we would be doing, who would be there, and if we would be hosting or not, but this task was still helpful for me. I knew that I had missed having stuffing and cranberry sauce at our Canadian Thanksgiving back in October so I made sure to pick up ingredients for those things. We got a new upright deep freeze this summer so that definitely helped because I was able to buy ingredients as I thought of them and save them for later in a very well-organized manner.
I also finished up the advent calendar preparations pretty early in the month and started a bit of baking right when the mood struck, about halfway through the month. Although I was starting to test out recipes just for fun before that, just because I could. 🙂 I just felt so calm and on top of things, and when I realized that there was something I had missed, there was still plenty of time to fix it.
What to do in December to Prepare for Christmas
This month will be all about preparing yourself and your mind, and gathering up all the Christmas spirit you can muster so that you can enjoy the season as much as possible.
Get Out/Buy Your Holiday Outfits
Is this something that you’re really good at, or is this something you always forget about? I never think of getting special holiday outfits for our family to wear until we’re actually at Christmas dinner or something like that and then I end up thinking “Oh, right! That would have been a nice thing to think about dressing up a little for.” I don’t know why, it just never really crosses my mind, so I’m making it a goal to use some of my extra time in December to give this some extra thought.
Do All the Holiday Things
Do some baking together as a family, watch Christmas movies, let the kids help with the wrapping, go look at Christmas lights. If you feel like you have a little extra breathing room, you can even make yourself a little Christmas bucket list, just don’t make it too long. You don’t want to end up feeling like you didn’t get everything done that you’d hoped to do. The idea is to make take advantage of the extra time you’ve created for yourself and to feel great about it.
Perfect Your Decor
I don’t buy all new Christmas decor every year. I like to try to add a few key pieces to my collection every year and focus on things that can be reused as much as possible. One of my favourite things to do is to start working a little on my Christmas decor for next year during the last few days before Christmas. I buy a few new items on sale, which is always great, but the neat thing about doing it just before Christmas rather than after Christmas, is that I get to enjoy it right away instead of waiting until next year. It’s fun because there’s no pressure. The “real” decorating is done, the house is already festive, and I’m just playing around a bit.
If you get to the point where you think your decor should be done, but you’re feeling like it doesn’t look exactly as you’d envisioned, read this post I wrote a few years ago and it might help you set things right. You still have plenty of time. 🙂
Helpful reading: 5 Reasons Why Your Christmas Decor Doesn’t Look Quite Right
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- What to Buy During the After Christmas Sales
- What to do in January to Prepare for Next Christmas
- Five Semi-Sneaky Secrets of People Who Are Really Good at Christmas
- The Monthly Christmas Countdown Archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.