plan ahead for the holiday season

7 Things to Do Now To Save Time, Money & Your Sanity During Christmas

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It happens every year. We wait. We buy something here and there. We browse through the stores with the intention of looking for gift ideas. But we all know what happens.

The overwhelm wriggles it’s way in. It is EXHAUSTING for many of us to think about Christmas. And by the time we think about it, we are rushed, stressed, and wanting it to be over. Then our minds remind us of that panic state and we avoid it.

Not today! You are going to plan ahead for the holiday season and take action. It’s time to get prepared for Christmas and beat the overwhelm with these tips.

Maybe you can’t tackle all of these tips this year but tackle at least three and work towards getting the whole list taken care of early next year.

Create a budget.

The number one thing you need to do first is a budget.

If you don’t know how much money you have to spend for the holidays you will be spending any and everywhere.

The hoping we have enough money can be EVEN more painful once the whole holiday is over.

If you need help getting organized with your holiday budget I’ve got free printables for you.

Try these 7 easy straight forward printables here.

For a little more detail try this.

Need tips to avoid debt for the holidays this is your jam right here.

Write Down the Traditions

plan ahead for the holiday season
We started this tradition last year and really enjoyed it.

With time moving faster each year we start off with the best of intentions to either start new traditions or continue in the traditions we’ve already started.

Check out the Giving Manger here.

Make a list of the traditions you did last year and which ones you want to do again this year. I know sometimes I see cute Christmas traditions all over my phone from Pinterest and I’m all for them.

My plan was either non existent and I rushed the family into it or they all really didn’t care for it.

Write down traditions that will create a meaningful experience for at least half of your family! Ha we all know you can’t please every single person. And those kiddos who may be grumpy about it now, down the road might tell you it was one of their favorite things to do. Trust your gut Momma.

Write down another list of any new traditions you want to try this year. After looking at both lists side by side you will have a better realization of what is achievable.

Factor into this everyone’s schedule, trips, vacations, family visits, money, etc.

Read or Pin: How to Slow Down This Christmas Without Giving Up The Fun

Get the Gift Ideas Going Now

plan ahead for the holiday season

One of my pet peeves used to be anyone waiting last minute to get a Christmas gift. I was convinced that it meant there was NO thought involved. That was until I got married.


I get it. Some people can work that way. For those of us who get overwhelmed during the holiday season now is the time to go through gift guides and write down any gifts that remind you of a specific person.

Write out a list of everyone who you must buy gifts for.

Based on your budget you may want to do this earlier then later for Black Friday deals. Black Friday ads have gotten released as early as Oct. 20th and more throughout the first week in November. This is a good time to grab gifts. The best time is now to figure out what everyone needs/wants.

Here are some gift guides for you:

Advent Calendars

As a deal blogger I’ve seen so many popular advent calendars sell out. You really don’t want to wait two days before Dec. 1st even with Amazon prime. The good ones ALWAYS sell out.

Right now at our local Costco you can grab a few different ones. They do carry the popular Lego advent calendars. But the time is now to get on those. See the advent calendars available on Amazon here.

For a frugal advent calendar idea you can get one you can reuse year after year. We do this and then buy a bag of candy for it.

Here are some advent calendar ideas for you.

You can even DIY your advent calendar with ideas on Pinterest.

Get the Game Plan for Family Get Togethers

If you are anything like us, every year when and how we get together for Christmas is different. If there are a good number of families involved in your gathering start working out the details as soon as possible.

plan ahead for holiday season

This way you all know the plan ahead of time. Sometimes waiting a week or two results in family members already having plans with other extended family that day.

You can always try to do a get together right before Christmas or even after. If you have kids you know how crazy Christmas Eve and Christmas day can be.

If you need tips on how to host a party on a frugal budget read this.

Sneak Peek Your Christmas Decor

I know I’m not the only one whose basement is half filled with Christmas decor. It’s my favorite holiday to decorate for and it’s so easy to shop the clearance after it’s over for the following year.

plan ahead for the holiday season

In the old days I would get so excited about new Christmas decor I would splurge and buy a few items. I always go out after Christmas looking for decor. And those items I buy on clearance go right back down in a new bin.

Then the following year I would forget all about the new clearance decor I got.

So if you are a clearance shopper do your frugal self a favor and glance through all those totes. Take a quick inventory of what you already have and may have forgotten about.

And Avoid any impulse buys! That is more for the clearance part. Last year I did a Facebook live video in BJs and was a little excited over a huge pack of ornaments for $4. I never even opened them yet.

$4 is cheap but why have it if you aren’t going to use it? I know I’m telling myself this. Clutter does make our minds overwhelmed.

That’s what I have for you to help with stopping all the overwhelm that comes with Christmas.

What are some tips you have for planning and preparing for the holidays?


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