This is the second post in a year-long series all about taking baby steps to prepare for a stress-free Christmas next year. Here’s what to do in February to prepare for next Christmas!
I’m continuing on with my mission towards a stress-free Christmas next year with today’s post! Last month we were all gung ho to get organized for next year because all of the good (and the bad) of Christmas was still fresh in our minds. But can we keep up the momentum? These quieter times of the year are the perfect time to make some real progress in your Christmas preparations without adding much stress or pressure to your days at all. My plan is to do a few small tasks each month during the year, so that by the time November and December roll around, I have a lot of things already taken care of and I can spend some time actually enjoying the holiday season. I’ve gotten better at this over the years, but I’m really trying to up my game this year and be really intentional about it, so I thought I’d take you along for the ride if you’d like to join me. 🙂
How This Works
Every month, I’ll share a short list of three to five actionable items. These will be 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 is 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!
Of course, I’ll be doing all of these tasks right along with you and reporting back about how it all goes.
How I Did in January
Oh man. January was tough. The tasks that we had on our list were all pretty simple, but our extended lockdown really threw me for a loop, if I’m being honest. My plan was to tackle a few of the things on the list in person at local stores because I just knew that I’d enjoy it a bit more that way, so I put some things off until our lockdown was supposed to be over near the end of the month. And then it got extended so I wasn’t quite as productive as I would have liked to be. Here’s the whole, entire point of this though: This will happen throughout the year for one reason or another, but you will still be miles and miles ahead of where you would have been if you had done nothing. And it will feel great. So here were last month’s tasks and how I did with them:
- Start a gift list: Did it! I added some names, and an idea or two, but that’s it so far. It’s there and ready though for when an idea strikes!
- Purge decor you no longer use: I did some, but not as much as I think I should. I still have way too much that isn’t being used. Progress was definitely made though and the basement is looking slightly less cluttered.
- Sign up for a rewards program to save money for next Christmas: This one was a super success! We’re already signed up for a rewards program that works for us, so we decided to take things a step further and finally signed up for a rewards credit card like we’ve been saying we should do for years. With all the purchases we make for our projects around the house and all of our camera/styling gear, it just makes sense.
- Buy cozy/Christmas socks: This was my big failure. I ordered one single pair of cozy socks with another online order I was placing at the beginning of the month, but I really wanted to shop some local stores for a few pairs of fun socks after Christmas to hold onto for gifting next year. I just thought it would be a quick errand I could run one day that would make me feel productive and ready for gift baskets, stockings, etc. I’ll be keeping this one in mind for February as well.
What to do in February to Prepare for Next Christmas
Here are this month’s action items! It’s a short list this month, but still a very helpful month. I love that moment later in the year when I realize that I’ve already taken care of these things. 🙂
Find a Good Place to Hide Things as You Pick Them up Throughout the Year
This is important. There’s no sense having all this stuff all ready to go for next Christmas if you forget where it is when you need it. Designate a spot now so you know exactly where to put everything once you bring it home from the store or when it shows up on your doorstep.
Buy Christmas Pyjamas
Why not? You know you’re going to want to buy some fun new pyjamas for everyone at the end of the year so why not pick them up now? You may find that stores don’t have a lot of wintery/Christmassy things in stock anymore, but you can definitely find a lot of selection online. The President’s Day sales that happen around mid-month are a great time to order these. I always like to buy more classic wintery/plaid pyjamas so that we can continue to wear them throughout the winter after we open them on Christmas Eve.
Scarves are so good to have in your gift stash! Who doesn’t love a soft new scarf in a fun color at Christmas? They’re great for adding to other gifts for family members or even for non-family members like teachers. So just buy a few really beautiful ones and hold on to them. You’ll be so glad you did.
And that’s it for the month! How did you do with your list in January? Did you run into some of the issues that I did?
MORE LIKE THIS
- What to Clean in February
- January Christmas Preparedness Checklist
- Five Semi-Sneaky Secrets of People who are Really Good at Christmas
- The Monthly Christmas Countdown Checklist Archives
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.