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9 Simple Ideas to Start Preparing for Christmas in July

Does the holiday season have a way of sneaking up on you? I have the perfect solution! I have 9 simple ideas to start preparing for Christmas in July.

Christmas greenhouse and vintage bike

Now I know that it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of shifting your thoughts to Christmas when we are still in July and enjoying the summer.

But here’s something to think about…wouldn’t it be amazing if you went into the holiday season rested, prepared, and organized? Close your eyes and imagine it for a moment.

Can you see yourself on your comfy couch, enjoying a Hallmark Christmas movie? You’re all snuggled up under a throw, sipping some hot chocolate with not a care in the world. Only visions of sugarplums dancing in your head.

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Christmas cottage style living room

There have been years where I’ve been absolutely frantic, trying to find last-minute gifts, and when I finally found the perfect one online, it was either sold out or wouldn’t be shipped on time.

Or that Christmas Eve when I was locked in the bedroom, trying to get all the Christmas presents wrapped. Good times? Not so much.

I have a few simple ideas on how to start preparing for Christmas right now… in July. Why not get a jump on the holiday season now so you can actually enjoy what’s important when the time comes?  

Christmas greenhouse

Christmas in July Blog Hop

I’m joining several of my blogging friends for a blog hop, hosted by my friend Rachel at The Ponds Farmhouse to bring you all things Christmas in July.  Whether it’s sharing DIY holiday crafts, Christmas decorating ideas, or some good old-fashioned inspiration, we’ve got you covered!

If you just came over from Jen at Midwest Life and Style and her Christmas in July home inspiration, welcome. I couldn’t be happier that you’re here. If this is your first time here, you can find out more about me and my Shiplap and Shells blog here.

Christmas tree in cottage style living room

9 Simple Ideas to Start Preparing for Christmas in July

There are so many things you can start preparing for now so you can be ready for Christmas and all that comes with the holiday season. Here are some of the things I start working on early to get that much-needed head start.

1. Decide How You Will Deck the Halls This Year

Will you be changing your color palette this Christmas? How about changing your theme or style, if you even have one?

Christmas ornaments in a vintage create


I tend to stick with a more vintage-inspired approach when it comes to my holiday style. I usually trade in the traditional green for the color turquoise which works well with the coastal vibe my beach house has all year.

Red and turquoise patterned Christmas pillow

Turquoise over Green in Our Beach Cottage

I do love the pops of red for Christmas. It’s the only time of year I have the color red in my décor. I was afraid of how the turquoise and red would play off of each other, but after buying this pillow for inspiration years ago, I was a believer.

Mini Christmas tree in living room

It’s All About the Mini Christmas Trees

We live in a 1,600-square-foot beach cottage with very little space to display home décor. It’s the trade-off we made for living on the beach, so I really can’t complain too much.

Because of the limited amount of room we have, it’s important to be REALLY strategic as to what I can display. There is the finest line when it comes to “magical” and “clutter”.

Mini Christmas trees are the best alternative to solving that problem. I don’t have to miss out on the ornaments and twinkle lights, it’s just more of a scaled-down version of your traditional Christmas tree. And I’m good with that!

Shop My Holiday Home Decor Favorites

Shop my favorite online holiday home decor items from Christmas trees and stockings to candles and pillows.

Window seat with Christmas twinkle lights

2. Create a Christmas Home Décor Inventory and Make a Shopping List

I don’t know about you, but I can never remember how many twinkle lights or rolls of wrapping paper I still have from the year before.

July is a great time to create an inventory of what you already have and make a list of what you still need to purchase or make before the holidays get here.

If you’re thinking about changing your colors this year, chances are you’ll need to find some Christmas decorations before you start decorating. It’s so much easier and less stressful when you start looking for things several months before the holidays.

Wrapped Christmas presents

3. Start Gathering Your Gifts

When you have time to plan, it’s so much easier to come up with the most special and meaningful gift.

Start a list of who you will be exchanging gifts with this holiday season. Will you be buying them a gift or making one? Either way, if you start now, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift or supplies before things start running out of stock.

I remember trying to make a wreath for Christmas last year and when I went to buy some supplies online, they were already gone. And this was in early November. I thought I was way ahead of the game.

Christmas in July and Summer Sales

You may be surprised by the sales you can find this time of year. Many stores are even having “Christmas in July” sales.

Wrapped Christmas presents

4. Stock up on Your Gift Wrap Supplies.

I always love searching for unique and creative wrapping ideas on Pinterest. And if you start now, you’ll have time to start looking for great ideas.

Check to see how much wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags you have left from last Christmas, and plan on how much more you will need to buy.

Kitchen decorated for Christmas

5. Start a Hostess Gift Stash

How many times have you been invited to a holiday party and didn’t even think about bringing a hostess gift until you were getting ready to go? It’s easy to do when you’re focused on everything else that needs to be done for the Christmas season.

Always be on the Lookout for That Special Hostess Gift

This is one of the things that has made my life so much easier! Anytime you are out and about and see something that you would love as a gift, buy it and start a little collection in your closet.

Christmas cottage style kitchen

Don’t be Empty-Handed When You Receive a Gift

This gift collection can be not only for that special hostess at the party but also for that awkward moment when someone brings you a gift and you’re empty-handed. It has seriously saved me.

Antique Candle Co.  Christmas Day candle

Some Hostess Gift Ideas


My very favorite thing to give the hostess at a party is a fragrant candle. It’s easy and is always sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Peace Christmas ornament on the tree

A Christmas ornament is such a simple and easy gift to give. A lot of times you can find a package of ornaments and split them out between several people.


Whether it’s a bottle of wine or a non-alcoholic option, this is a festive and thoughtful gift.

TIP: On a side note, stock up on cards when you’re shopping. Birthday, anniversary, sympathy, wedding…you name it. I have enough cards on hand for a year or more and it has alleviated so much stress.

Christmas cottage style bedroom

6. Prepare for Your Holiday Guests

Do you have some home improvement projects that you’ve been procrastinating on? Try to work on them now so they’re completed in time for your houseguests to visit.

Guest Room Refresh

July is a great time to start thinking about how many guests are coming to visit and what you need to do to prepare for their stay.

Finish Any Renovations Before Your Guests Come for Christmas

Take a look at the bed linens, pillows, and towels. It may be time to trade them out for some new and fresh ones. This would be such an easy thing to do now before you get busy during the holidays.

Create Guest Packets or Baskets

It’s never too early to put together a combination of toiletries for your guests. If you start looking for items in July, you will have a much better selection to choose from. By waiting until November or December, you’re competing with all the stocking stuffer buyers.

7. Have a Family Portrait or Individual Family Member Portraits Taken

I personally have never been organized enough to do this in the past, but I’m up for a good family portrait outdoors in the garden to use for my Christmas cards this year.

If you’re just not feeling the summer vibe for a Christmas picture, book an appointment with a photographer now to get a good time slot.

Star patterned ornament

8. Get a Head Start on Your DIY Christmas Projects

Plan what DIY craft projects you would like to create this year and make a list of supplies you will need to buy. Gathering ideas and materials now will help to avoid any supply shortages and shipping delays.

Think of how much more fun it will be to work on your projects when you don’t have the stress of the holidays hanging over you.  

Shop My Kitchen Favorites for Holiday Entertaining

Check out my favorite kitchen and tabletop items for all your holiday entertaining and baking needs

Christmas kitchen tablescape

9. Experiment with New Holiday Recipes

How many times have you waited until the last minute to plan what you’re going to make for Christmas dinner, or what appetizer you’ll be bringing to the party?

Spend some time researching new recipes. Start planning your menu and coming up with the perfect meal. Test any new dishes early enough so you can tweak the recipe or find another option altogether.

Vintage dresser used as an island

Maybe you’ve never been much of a baker, but you really want to bring a dessert to a family dinner. If you start practicing in July, you’ll have plenty of time to perfect a masterpiece!

I hope these 9 simple ideas to start preparing for Christmas in July have given you some motivation and hope for a more stress-free and relaxing holiday season.

I’d love to hear from you. If you have a great idea for getting the holidays jump-started, leave me a comment below. Links to more of my past Christmas posts are listed at the end of this post.

red Christmas metal reindeer

Are you ready for more Christmas in July inspiration? Kristin at White Arrows Home is sharing a Christmas in July look back that you’re not going to want to miss.

Until next time,

Stacy Ling – Bricks N Blooms | Chloe – Celebrate & Decorate | Anne & Ann Marie – Simply 2 Moms | Cindy – County Road 407 | Jenn – Down Shiloh Road | Kelly – The Tattered Pew | Rachel – The Ponds Farmhouse | Mary – Life At Bella Terra | Michele – Vintage Home Designs | Jen – MIdwest Life & Style -| Kim – Shiplap & Shells | Kristin – White Arrows Home | Andrea – Design Morsels | Chas – Chas Crazy Creations

9 simple ideas to prepare for Christmas in July

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  1. You know I love your home and decor style so it’s no surprise I love all of your Christmas ideas too! I’m seriously wanting to make some stockings this year and hope to find some similar ribbon.. Fingers crossed! Everything was beautiful. So glad we got to hop together again. Pinned!

  2. Kim, thank you for sharing all of these ideas! I loved your tips about hostess gifts…so many great ideas! I want to be able to enjoy the holiday! Pinned

  3. Kim, your description of a relaxing holiday season is glorious! I love your 9 tips, especially #2 as I have no idea about the extent of my inventory. I actually have a Christmas room in the basement and though I do try and “thin” it out every year, it is still overflowing with holiday stuff. Your home is so lovely and your pictures are just fabulous. Thanks for getting me to think about Christmas. Typically I wait until the day after Thanksgiving but there is something to be said for being organized and prepared ahead of time. Happy hopping with you, my friend!

  4. I pinned multiple ideas. I think my favorite is the mini trees! I was just about to get a larger tree, but that is such a great tip to scatter smaller trees throughout your cottage home. Mine is small too. There are so many beautiful touches. I love the lamp on your kitchen island and the small shelf above your kitchen window. You are the epitome of cottage style. It was so fun to hop with you.

  5. Kim I love your cottage home at Christmas time! Those vintage ornaments in the crate looks o pretty and of course your gardens! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! I really appreciate you letting me tag along today with all of you amazing ladies.

  6. Kim, It is such a pleasure to visit your home all decked out for the holidays! You have the best reminders for getting on track early which really makes the holidays so much more enjoyable, doesn’t it? I haven’t started for Christmas quite yet, but Halloween is coming together! I will be ready for your visit!!

  7. I love your take on Christmas in July! It’s so true: being prepared early really will make the whole holiday season that much more enjoyable! And of course your home looks beautiful in its Christmas finery.

    1. Thank you, Anne! It’s one thing to give a list of how to organize yourself for the holidays. It will be another for me to implement it. Wish me luck!

  8. I love your tips, Kim! So practical and easy to do. I’m going to be trying a new color scheme this year…looks like I better make my inventory list and start hitting up Hobby Lobby to find what I need!?

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