Get ready for the holidays

How to Get Ready for the Holidays [10 Things to Do BEFORE Thanksgiving]

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And the craziest and busiest and most stressful…. And I don’t know about you, but the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s seems to get shorter and shorter every year! Are you going to push everything off until the last minute again? Give yourself a chance to actually relax and enjoy the magic of the season – get ready for the holidays early this year!

Do yourself a favor and get these 10 things done before Thanksgiving and your holiday season will be a whole lot less stressful.

10 things to do early to get ready for the holidays

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Get Ready for the Holidays by Doing These 10 Things Now

1. Cross Off Your To-Dos

You know those lingering to-do list items that keep getting pushed off? The ones you never quite get around to doing? They’re not going to magically resolve themselves by December 23. Let’s not drag them into the new year! Get them done now or they won’t get done until February (probably, if you’re lucky)

2. Sort Out Your Schedule

What needs to get done between now and the end of the year? What events do you already know about? Write it all down. Put the events on your calendar. 

Are you already feeling overwhelmed? That feeling’s not going to get better. Figure out now which things are must-dos and which ones can be dropped now. Anything else can be left on a list of things you’d like to get done, but aren’t essential.

3. Plan Some Holiday Magic

What makes the holidays magical for you? Make a list of all the special things you want to do. Here are some ideas:

  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Go on a holiday light sightseeing drive
  • Build a snowman
  • Have a special movie night
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Have a cookie-decorating night

The magic of the season is all wrapped up (*wink wink*) in these special moments and traditions. They are important! Treat them like they’re important. Plan for them. Put them on your calendar. 

4. Set Your Holiday Budget

Sit down and hash out a reasonable budget for your holiday expenses. All those little holiday purchases add up REALLY fast. Don’t put yourself into debt! A little effort here can go a long way. Figure out how much you are able (and willing) to spend on everything (gifts, food, decor, cards, shipping, etc) and then stick to your plan.

5. Make a Gift Plan

Plan your gifts. Make a list of everyone you want to get a gift for, roughly how much you want to spend on them, and some gift ideas. And then, if you haven’t already, start shopping now!  Imagine being totally done with your gift shopping by the second week of December! Don’t push it off until the last minute. Your blood pressure will thank you.

6. Stock Up on Necessities

Now is the time to stock up on all of the stuff that you know you’re gonna need later. You know you’re gonna use it, just buy it now. One less thing to do in December. Make sure you have enough of things like:

  • Gift wrapping supplies (wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, bows, gift tags, etc)
  • Stamps and packing supplies
  • Food staples (flour, sugar, butter, etc)
  • Household necessities (toilet paper, dish soap, toothpaste)
  • Wine (very important, don’t forget!)

7. Get Your Cards Started

Buy your holiday cards and look over your list of recipients. Update any addresses that need to be updated. You can even start signing, sealing, and stamping. Get the whole lot ready to drop in the mail on Dec 1 (or whenever).

8. Deep Clean and Declutter

Now is the time to deep clean all of the random areas of your house that you try to ignore. Do any extra ironing, dusting, and polishing. And while you’re cleaning out the corners, take a few extra minutes to declutter! (Here’s a decluttering checklist) Get rid of any extra clutter and trash now. 

9. Plan Your Seasonal Menus and Treats

Come up with the menus for any special meals you know you’re going to make. For extra credit, write out the shopping lists too. Sit down and make a list of any baking you want to do this season. Want to make cookies? Cakes? Pick out the recipes you want to use now and set them aside. 

10. Take Care of Yourself

Do you know what is not going to make your holiday season easier? Getting sick. Make sure you are taking care of yourself – getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, exercising – you know the deal. Don’t run yourself into the ground! Here are a bunch of self-care ideas that will only take up 5-15 min each. No excuses!

Speaking of taking care of yourself, plan in some empty space. Schedule some time to just sit and be. You put so much work and effort into making the holidays special, don’t forget to give yourself a little time to actually sit back and ENJOY IT.

In Conclusion: Do More Work NOW, Enjoy More Magic Later

The holidays really are my favorite time of year! But if I’m not careful, I get so busy that I feel like I barely have any time to enjoy them! Get ready for the holidays and put yourself on track for a magically amazing season by doing these 10 things early, before Thanksgiving:

  1. Cross off your to-dos
  2. Sort out your schedule
  3. Plan your holiday magic
  4. Set your holiday budget
  5. Make a gift plan
  6. Stock up on necessities
  7. Get your cards started
  8. Deep clean and declutter
  9. Plan your seasonal menus and treats
  10. Take care of yourself

How do you get ready for the holidays? Or are you more the type to wait until the last minute and throw everything together in a mad magic rush? Let me know in the comments!

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