Ways You Can Prepare Now For The Christmas Season

It’s still is a little too early to put up the Christmas tree and start singing carols, but there are many things you can do now that will help make your Christmas season fun and not stressful. There are many clearance sales in the fall and they are a great time to pick up gifts inexpensively before they are sold out. Making a list of everyone you need to buy for and their gifts will keep you focused and help you avoid overbuying. If you host a holiday party each year, you can start planning the party now. There are even some non-perishable items you can look for sales on. If you need time off work during the holiday season, it is best to put your request in early, as most offices give priority to the people whose requests were received first.

Shop for Gifts
Shopping for gifts is much less stressful when you have a few months to look for deals. Scour clearance racks and look for deals online. It is unlikely that the hottest items will be sold out this early in the year, so make sure you buy the most popular items on your list as soon as possible. Your kids will be thrilled that you were able to pick up the hottest toys, while their friends parents may not have been able to find the items if they waited until December.
A major advantage to shopping now is that you won’t have to pay for expedited shipping because you have plenty of time to receive gifts in the mail before Christmas. You will also be able to handle returns and exchanges while stores are still well-stocked. Customers who wait until December to shop for Christmas often have to pay more for the same gifts, plus they have to pay extra to make sure that the gifts are delivered on time.
Plan Your Party
Planning a holiday party can be fun, especially if you plan early. Set the date of your holiday party before the end of September and make sure that you tell friends and family right away so that they don’t plan anything else for that day. Ask your kids who they would like to invite and let them be involved in party planning, they will enjoy the party way more if they are involved in planning.
You can even shop for party supplies well in advance of your party date. For example, buying Halloween candy a few days after Halloween is a great way to save. The candy is good long after Christmas and it is not necessary to only give your guests candy that is wrapped in red and green paper. There are other party supplies that you can buy early, such as soda, frozen meats and wines. You can also buy baking supplies to make cookies a few days before the party. Some cookie doughs can be made well in advance and frozen so that you only have to bake the cookies right before the party.
Choose the theme for your party and start looking for deals on cups, napkins and paper plates. Whether your theme revolves around santa, snowmen or classic red and green, looking for deals on decorations long before the weather turns cold can save you 50 percent or more. If you know who will be attending the party, you can ask your kids to make place cards and personalized party favors that can be stored until the day of the party. It’s also a great time to pick up discounted Christmas music before it is marked up for the holidays.
Make Lists
One of the best ways to make your holidays less stressful is good planning. Go through all of your Christmas decorations now to see if there are any pieces you need to buy before the holidays. It is also a good idea to choose a theme and plan how you will decorate both the inside and outside of the house. Lights can even be installed on the outside of the house during the Fall, but your neighbors will probably appreciate it if you don’t turn the lights on until after Thanksgiving.
Make a list of all the gifts you need to buy. If you don’t know what to get for someone, it is a good idea to ask someone who is close to the person, such as their mother or spouse. Make sure you keep the list in your purse or wallet so that it is always with you when you are shopping, and write down the gifts as you buy them so that you always know what you bought and how much you spent. Noting a budget for each person next to their name will help you avoid overspending.
This is also a great time to get out the list of names and addresses you use for Christmas cards and make sure it is updated to reflect any new addresses. If you include pictures in your cards, make sure that you have enough prints so that you don’t run out of pictures before cards. You can even get the cards ready to mail now so that you won’t have to worry about it later. Just don’t forget to send the cards around the beginning of December, well before the holidays.
About the Author
No one looks forward to the arrival of the Christmas season like the creators of OnlineClock.net. The Online Clock website offers many useful online countdowns, clocks and timers, and they’ve even prepared a web version of a Countdown to Christmas: http://countdown.onlineclock.net/countdowns/christmas/