When the leaves start to change colors, the air begins to cool, and boots and scarves come out of storage, you know fall has finally arrived. The changing of the seasons marks the transition away from the warmer months of the year, and for many, it also brings the exciting realization that Christmas is right around the corner!
Whether you can’t wait to start celebrating the holiday season or you’re someone who loves to plan as much as possible in advance, there are quite a few steps you can take during the fall months to get ahead for Christmas. Not sure where to begin? Here are five things you can do this fall to prepare for the Christmas season:
DETERMINE YOUR CHRISTMAS BUDGET. We all know the holiday season can get expensive fast. Between refreshing your holiday decor, picking up gifts for friends and family, serving dinners, hosting parties, and everything else that comes with the season, it’s smart to plan your costs in advance instead of leaving it all up to fate. You can easily sit down a few months before the holidays are here to figure out what your Christmas budget should look like to prevent any unpleasant surprises down the road.
DRAFT YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LIST. One of the toughest parts of preparing for Christmas, in my opinion, is figuring out the perfect gift for everyone on my holiday shopping list. The earlier you make your list, the more time you have to come up with a thoughtful, meaningful gift. Start thinking about this during the fall, and you’ll have plenty of time to do your research and pick up on any hints your giftees are dropping (consciously or otherwise) around what they’d like to receive this holiday season.
MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS. If you know you need to travel over the holiday season, don’t wait to book your trip. Instead, take advantage of the lower fares you’ll find during the fall months and secure your airfare, hotel, and rental car as early as possible. While you can often steal a great last-minute deal at other times of the year, more people than usual take to the roads and skies around Christmas, meaning availability is far more limited than usual. It can be tough to finalize things so soon when you’re coordinating with other family members, but if you can figure out your travel plans early enough, you’ll benefit from tackling this task during the fall instead of waiting for winter.
DIY SOME HOME DECOR. From garlands to ornaments, there are tons of DIY opportunities to consider if you’re looking for new Christmas decor. A quick Pinterest search will turn up pages and pages of fun and inspiring projects to try. While you certainly can wait and craft some of your home decors once the holiday season has arrived, it can be nice to tackle the task ahead of time. Aside from the fact that you’ll be able to appreciate your decor throughout the whole holiday season, it’s smart to optimize your time and save those free hours during the holidays for other plans that will inevitably pop up!
FIND NEW HOLIDAY RECIPES TO TRY. For most families, food is a massive component of their holiday celebrations. Many of us spend hours in the kitchen, whipping up delicious entrees, sides, and desserts that only appear on the dinner table once or twice a year. If it feels like it’s time to shake things up, however, you can use the fall months to do some research on fun festive recipes to add to your menu. If you want to try something extra ambitious, you can even do a dry run to test it out in the months ahead – your family certainly won’t complain!
From your holiday shopping list to your Christmas dinner menu, there are plenty of things you can think about – and steps you can take – to prepare for the holiday season when fall rolls around. Use these tips to get a head start on your planning process, and give yourself the gift of relaxation this Christmas!