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Your Ultimate Guide to Begin Planning for Christmas in July

Is Christmas the last thing on your mind this summer? I can see why it would be with the summer heat, barbeques, and the sand between your toes. But you may change your mind when you hear how stress-free your holidays can be just by starting to plan for Christmas in July.

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and creating special memories with loved ones. However, the holidays can also bring a lot of stress and chaos, especially if we find ourselves caught in the whirlwind of last-minute preparations.

In this blog post, I’ll share the importance of getting a head start on holiday preparations and why the month of July is the perfect time to begin. By starting to organize your Christmas in July, you can reduce stress, alleviate financial pressure, and create a memorable holiday season.

planning Christmas in July: kitchen

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Christmas in July blog hop

My friend Rachel from The Ponds Farmhouse has graciously organized this special Christmas in July blog hop featuring 17 creative and talented bloggers.

If you have just come over from the talented Simply 2 Moms duo, Anne and AnnMarie, welcome! I’m sure you were inspired by their 11 Christmas home tours.

I’m so happy to have you here today. If you’re new to the Shiplap and Shells blog, I’m Kim. Be sure to find out more about me HERE and tour my home HERE.

Ollie dog at the holiday table

Follow along as I share a timeline that will guide you month-by-month through the process of holiday preparation and organization. My hope is that this guide will help you stay organized and focused on getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Summer brings warmth, sunshine, and the perfect opportunity to lay the foundation for a stress-free and joyful Christmas.

While the idea of Christmas may seem far away, getting a head start in July is a decision that can make all the difference when the holiday rush hits.

By thinking ahead and laying the foundation in July, you can ensure a well-organized and memorable Christmas season filled with thoughtful gifts, smart savings, and festive experiences.

One of the first July ideas is to set a budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts, decorations, and other holiday-related expenses.

planning Christmas in July: Christmas décor shopping

There’s no better way to find the perfect gift for your friends and family than by starting to brainstorm gift ideas early.

Make a list of Christmas gifts to look for in the next few months.

Taking advantage of the summer sales and discounts can help stretch your budget even further, allowing you to find meaningful gifts without breaking the bank.

Keep an eye out for those enticing July sale deals and start crossing names off your list.

greenhouse decorated for Christmas

It’s time to continue with your Christmas preparations as we come to the middle of summer. August is the month to build upon the foundation you established in July for a well-organized holiday season.

Christmas home décor at the store

Keep an eye out for deals and discounts, taking advantage of the sales still lingering from the summer season.

Being proactive in your gift shopping is one of the best ways to save time and money, ensuring you’ll find the perfect presents for your loved ones without the stress of last-minute scrambling.

planning Christmas in July:  book page snowman

Creating a holiday planner is invaluable for staying on top of your tasks and schedules and for having a great Christmas experience.

This can be a physical notebook or a digital document where you jot down your to-do lists, important dates, and special notes.

Having a centralized planner lets you stay organized and ensures that no important tasks slip through the cracks. From gift ideas and shopping lists to meal plans and party preparations, your holiday planner becomes your go-to resource for staying on track during this busy time.

Snowflake lane parade

It’s a great idea to take this time to research local holiday events. By planning ahead for fun Christmas activities in your area, you can ensure you don’t miss out on the holiday concerts and parades that make the season truly magical.

Whether it’s a Christmas tree lighting ceremony or a festive theater performance, researching and marking these events on your calendar will keep you from missing family traditions and activities during the holiday season.

planning Christmas in July: silver, gold, and aqua ornaments

August is perfect for sorting through your holiday decorations and discarding any damaged items.

Create a checklist of decorations you may need to purchase or replace, such as lights, ornaments, or festive linens. This way, when the holiday season rolls around, you’ll have everything you need to transform your home into a winter wonderland.

Christmas living room decor

As the temperatures start cooling down and the leaves change, autumn sets in. Let September be when you truly get down to business with Christmas preparations.

planning Christmas in July: holiday home décor at the store

It’s time to finalize that gift list you’ve been working on and to start making progress on purchasing or creating those more time-intensive presents.

One advantage of September is the opportunity to take advantage of end-of-summer sales. Many retailers offer discounts and promotions to clear out their summer inventory, making it the perfect time to check off more items on your gift list.

Christmas tablescape

September is an ideal time to start planning your Christmas dinner menu.

Consider gathering your favorite recipes, browsing cookbooks, and exploring online resources for inspiration. Also, consider any dietary preferences or restrictions within your family and friends.

By proactively planning your holiday menus, you can easily tackle your grocery shopping when the time comes.

If you’re considering trying new holiday recipes this year, test them at least once before Christmas.

Collect your favorite recipes and list ingredients you’ll need for holiday treats. You will thank yourself later when your pantry is stocked up with all your baking supplies.

Be sure to start any DIY projects this month. They always take longer than you expect, so don’t leave them to the last minute.

Christmas tree decorated with lights and ornaments

As October rolls in, wrap up your gift shopping, get creative with your decorations, and order those personalized holiday cards.

You’ll set the stage for a festive and stress-free Christmas by tackling these tasks now.

store with Christmas gifts for sale

Take stock of your gift list and make sure you’ve checked off all the names.

Pick up hostess gifts this month. Bottles of wine, wine stoppers, candles, and tea towels are just a few gifts you can stock up on.

planning Christmas in July: gift wrap supplies

Gather your wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift tags, and create a designated space for all your wrapping supplies.

Wrap and label all the gifts you have purchased so far. Take inventory of your supplies to ensure you have enough to wrap all your holiday gifts.

mantel decorated with Christmas décor

October is also the perfect time to order personalized holiday cards.

Design and order your cards early so you have plenty of time to customize them and deliver them well before the holiday rush.

Start compiling your list of family, friends, and colleagues, and consider any special messages or photos you want to include.

Finalize your travel arrangements for those traveling during the holidays by the end of October.

Whether you’re visiting family or going on a holiday adventure, booking flights, securing accommodations, and arranging transportation in advance will save you from last-minute stress and potential complications.

This is a good time to start baking any holiday treats that can be put in the freezer until you need them.

planning Christmas in July: Shopping mall at Christmas

As November rolls in, we are nearing the final stretch of our holiday preparations. It’s a month filled with excitement and the holiday spirit.

Shop My Holiday Home Decor Favorites

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


Christmas home décor and reindeer with scarf

Start decorating your living space with Christmas lights, wreaths, and other seasonal decorations.

Whether your style is more of a classic, elegant look or a whimsical and colorful vibe, let your decorations reflect your unique style and spread cheer throughout your home.

holiday lighted boat parade

November is an ideal time to plan and host holiday parties or gatherings. Whether it’s a cozy family gathering or a festive celebration with friends, there’s nothing more special than spending time together during the holiday season.

Plan your Christmas party guest list, send out invitations, create a festive menu, and consider any unique activities or traditions you’d like to incorporate.

How about celebrating the holiday season in a fun way, such as hosting an ugly Christmas sweater party or a white elephant gift exchange?

planning Christmas in July: holiday guest room

As you prepare for the holiday festivities, make your home warm and welcoming for guests.

Clean, declutter, and create a cozy atmosphere that embodies the spirit of the season. If you’re expecting guests to stay, make the necessary arrangements to make them comfortable.

Bring on the Christmas cheer by stocking up on essential supplies. Prepare guest rooms with fresh linens and thoughtful touches, and consider any special needs or preferences they may have.

Christmas tree decorated

The most magical month of the year is finally here – December. With twinkling lights, festive music, and the spirit of Christmas in the air, it’s time to dive headfirst into the final countdown to Christmas.

Wrap up your gift shopping, create a detailed schedule of your upcoming holiday events, and prepare your home for guests to make the most of this magical time.

Begin addressing and mailing your holiday cards early in the month so your heartfelt wishes and warm greetings reach your loved ones well before the holiday rush.

Personalize each card with a thoughtful message or a special photo.

planning Christmas in July: wrapped gifts

Wrap and label your remaining Christmas gifts. Carefully wrap each gift, adding a personal touch that will make it even more special.

Creating a detailed schedule becomes invaluable with so much happening during the holiday season. Map out your days and allocate time for shopping, cooking, decorating, and attending holiday events.

A well-organized schedule will help you manage holiday activities effectively, ensuring you don’t overlook anything important and allowing you to fully enjoy all the special moments of the season.

Christmas stockings

As the days lead us closer to Christmas day, it’s time to focus on the final touches that will make this holiday truly special.

Gather all the ingredients you need for your holiday dinner. Take the time to plan and prep in advance, ensuring a stress-free and delicious Christmas feast.

Purchase perishable ingredients and start prepping food in advance.

Shop My Kitchen Favorites for Holiday Entertaining

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


planning Christmas in July: holiday tablescape

Arrange your table settings and decorations for the Christmas dinner.

Elevate the dining experience by adding special holiday touches such as ornaments, garlands, and seasonal flowers.

Christmas ornaments in a vintage wooded crate

While holiday preparations are essential, it’s important to savor the holiday itself.

Embrace the joy and magic of the season by participating in cherished traditions. Whether decorating the tree, exchanging gifts, listening to your favorite Christmas music, watching a holiday movie, or gathering around a crackling fire, create memories that will last a lifetime.

Unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the warmth of love, gratitude, and togetherness.

planning Christmas in July: galvanized pail with holiday greenery and flowers

Remember, this timeline is just a general guide. Feel free to modify it based on your personal preferences and circumstances.

By planning, preparing, and staying organized throughout the months leading up to Christmas, we can truly savor the holiday without the stress and overwhelm that often accompany it.

holiday greenhouse decorated

From the early stages of planning and organizing to the grand finale of Christmas week, may this year’s holiday season be filled with love, laughter, and the warmest memories.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may find these early Christmas-in-July planning tips useful.

Until next time,

Happy Christmas in July!

Join the Christmas In July Blog Hop for more holiday inspiration. To follow along, click the highlighted blog name.

The Ponds Farmhouse / Cottage on Bunker Hill / Chas Crazy Creations / Design Morsels / The Tatter Pew / White Arrows Home

Midwest Life & Style /Simply 2 Moms / Shiplap & Shells / Down Shiloh Road / Country Road 407

Celebrate & Decorate / WM Design House / Peacock Ridge Farm / Robyn’s French Nest / Life At Bella Terra

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Christmas in July start planning for the holidays

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15 Comments

  1. I’m a little late to the party as I am reading this article in mid-November haha but this is still VERY helpful. I am still a month before Christmas to plan and getting my house ready is an everyday task with having 3 kids. My goal is to have everything decluttered and cleaned a week or so before so I can get professional carpet cleaning done. Thanks for all your tips.

  2. Love all of the photos of your home, you have some great decorations and decor pieces Kim. The stockings on the footrail is too cute!

  3. What a fabulous idea, Kim! I love that you broke all these tasks down into bite size chunks. It’s going to make planning for the holidays so much easier! Hugs and can’t wait to use this guide, CoCo

  4. I’m with you: A little planning ahead and organization goes a long way to a relaxed, memorable Christmas! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

  5. I could use a stress free plan. Thanks for all the tips. Okay, now don’t laugh but when I saw the twig deer head on the mirror, I remember it from last year (or some time in the past). Today I said – I don’t remember her hanging a broken deer in the middle of a walkway and using the scarf for legs. LOL! I must need new glasses or a nap. Always love hopping with you.

  6. I enjoyed reading all your tips, Kim. So helpful. I’m really hoping to get more organized when it comes to the hustle an bustle of the holidays. Maybe this year will finally be the year!

  7. Hey Kim, if only I was that organized, life would be so much easier. I love the idea of hanging stockings from an old iron headboard. Perfect if you don’t have a mantle!

  8. Kim, just reading this blog post I already feel more organized! I don’t ever think I’ve planned ahead and you have provided so many great ideas and suggestions to a stress-free holiday. Love it and of course, all your pictures. So happy to be blog hopping with you today.

  9. Kim,
    I love this guide. So many great tips and ideas to plan for the holidays. Thanks for joining the hop today.

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