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.
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.
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.
July: Laying the Foundation
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.
Make a Budget
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.
Create a Gift List for the Best Christmas Presents
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.
Begin Shopping for Christmas Gifts
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.
August: Making Progress
As we come to the middle of summer, it’s time to continue with your Christmas preparations. August is the month to build upon the foundation you established in July for a well-organized holiday season.
Keep an eye out for deals and discounts, taking advantage of the sales that are still lingering from the summer season.
Being proactive in your gift shopping is one of the best ways to save both time and money, ensuring you’ll find the perfect presents for your loved ones without the stress of last-minute scrambling.
Make a Holiday Planner for All Things Christmas
To stay on top of your tasks and schedules, creating a holiday planner is invaluable for 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 any special notes.
Having a centralized planner allows you to 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.
Plan Holiday Activities
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 any family traditions and activities during the holiday season.
Organize Christmas Decorations
August is a perfect time to sort through your holiday decorations and discard 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.
September: Getting Down to Business
As the temperatures start cooling down and the leaves begin to change, autumn is starting to set in. Let September be the month when you truly get down to business with Christmas preparations.
Finalize Gift List & Continue Shopping
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.
Plan Holiday Meals
September is an ideal time to start planning your Christmas dinner menu.
Consider gathering your favorite recipes, browsing through cookbooks, and exploring online resources for inspiration. Take into account any dietary preferences or restrictions within your group of family and friends.
By proactively planning your holiday menus, you’ll be able to tackle your grocery shopping with ease when the time comes.
If you’re thinking about trying new holiday recipes this year, test them at least once before the Christmas season.
Prepare for Holiday Baking
Collect your favorite recipes and start making a list of ingredients you’ll need for holiday treats. You will thank yourself later when your pantry is stocked up with all your baking supplies.
Start Your DIY Gifts and Decor Projects
Be sure to start any DIY projects this month. They always take longer than you expect them to so don’t leave them to the last minute.
October: Wrapping It Up
As October rolls in, wrap up your gift shopping, get creative with your decorations, and order those personalized holiday cards.
By tackling these tasks now, you’ll set the stage for a festive and stress-free Christmas.
Finish Gift Shopping
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.
Gift Wrapping and Checking 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.
Order Holiday Cards
October is also the perfect time to order personalized holiday cards.
Design and order your cards early so that you have plenty of time to customize them and have them delivered 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.
Check Travel Arrangements
For those of you traveling during the holidays, finalize your travel arrangements 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.
Start Your Holiday Baking
This is a good time to start baking any of your holiday treats that can be put in the freezer until you need them.
November: Nearing the Finish Line
As November rolls in, we find ourselves 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.
Decorate Your Home
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.
Plan Holiday Parties or Gatherings
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?
Prepare for Guests
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.
December: The Final Countdown
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.
Send Out Holiday Cards
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.
Finish Gift Wrapping
Wrap and label your remaining Christmas gifts. Take the time to wrap each gift with care, adding a personal touch that will make them even more special.
Plan Your Schedule
With so much happening during the holiday season, creating a detailed schedule becomes invaluable. 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 Week: The Grand Finale
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.
Finalize Meal Preparations
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
Set the Holiday Table
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.
Enjoy this Special Holiday for All the Right Reasons
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 it’s 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.
Remember, this timeline is just a general guide. Feel free to modify it based on your personal preferences and circumstances.
By taking the time to plan, prepare, and stay organized throughout the months leading up to Christmas, we can truly savor the holiday without the stress and overwhelm that often accompany it.
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 of memories.
If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to 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.
Next up on the Christmas in July blog hop is my friend Jenn at Down Shiloh Road where she’ll share her top 5 preparation in July ideas with you. I know you’ll love them! And be sure to visit the other bloggers on the hop. Their links are all listed below.
Until next time,
Happy Christmas in July!
More Christmas in July Inspiration
Join the Christmas In July Blog Hop for more holiday inspiration. To follow along, click the highlighted blog name.
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