You may think that it’s a little crazy to prepare for Christmas in July. But since most of you (my readers) are crafters, many of you will be making Christmas gifts. So you know that you need to plan ahead. I’m here to help you get organized and get things done for Christmas. I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know if you’ve started your Christmas projects yet.
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5 Things I Do in July to Prepare for Christmas
What kind of lists?
- gift list
- gifts to make — Handmade crafts and cookies or other homemade goodies.
- gift ideas for yourself — You know people are going to ask you. Give them a few ideas. Or share your Amazon wish list with them.
- parties & other events — Don’t forget school, church, family get-togethers, etc.
- menus — Keep a basic menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, open house, and any other parties you may host. This post, although not specifically Christmas, helps plan a party.
- recipes — Include favorites & new recipes to try.
- travel plans — Add to your calendar and start packing lists.
- Christmas cards to send
- supplies needed for handmade gifts and cards
- shopping list for decorations, wrapping paper, etc. — Keep this with you and then watch for sales. Try not to buy anything unless it’s on sale.
- Christmas books to read to and with your kids
Free Christmas Printables
Here are a few FREE printables to help you out in this area:
- Christmas Meal Plan Printable
- Gifts Lists Printables
- Christmas Shopping and Errand Organizer
- Address List for Christmas Cards
You may not do themes at your house but I have a small house and LOTS of decorations. Instead of putting everything out every year, I simplify everything around a theme or a color. If I do this in July (or at least early in the season) I know exactly what I need (or don’t need) to buy when I see holiday decor coming out in the stores.
Here are some examples:
Heather used shades of blue and green for an alternative to traditional Christmas colors.
Here’s a tree with a theme — SNOW!
Check decorations, wrapping paper, and cards from last year. If you’re organized you’ll plan a whole year and buy these things AFTER Christmas and store them with your Christmas decorations. Just don’t forget what you bought and buy them AGAIN when the stores start putting out their Christmas decor.
Sort through last year’s decorations. Throw away things that are broken, outdated, or don’t fit your style anymore. Divide decorations into decor that fits your theme/colors and things you won’t use this year.
Plan Christmas Cards:
If you want to make them, buy or order your paper, ink, and other embellishments. If you want to do a photo card, put a photo day on the calendar now and start looking at card designs online.
Plan a Wrapping Station:
Of course, you don’t want to set up a permanent wrapping station in summer, unless you have space and you can include birthday, anniversary, birth, and wedding wrapping paper, too. Angie came up with a great alternative that uses an over-the-door shoe organizer. And Sadie won me over with her stool wrapping station. (Guess what color it is???)
Organize Your Craft Room:
This is especially important for all you crafters out there. Did you read my post about what to throw away in your craft room? Read that and then throw or give away as much as you can before going on to the next step.
Purchase Supplies for Making Gifts:
Look at the list of gifts you want to make for Christmas, then make a list of all the supplies you’ll need to buy. While you’re at it, you probably found some of the supplies you’ll need when you organized your craft room. Put them together in one place to make it easy and quick when you have time to create.
Add Deadlines to Calendar:
Part of getting organized is making sure all your events are on the calendar. You’ll also want to add deadlines for handmade gifts. Mine is usually December 1. If I don’t have projects finished by then, I’ll just buy a gift or get a gift card. This makes December a much more relaxed month and I’ll have time to spend with my friends and family.
Create Gift Storage Area:
Clean out a closet, or part of a closet, to use as gift storage. How many times have you bought someone a gift early, congratulated yourself, forgot where it was, and then had to buy ANOTHER gift? Keep everything in one place and that won’t happen!
Here are a few things from Amazon that might help you get organized:
Set a Budget
Start setting aside a little money every paycheck and you won’t feel the pressure. I read on one website, “The longer you wait, the more you will spend.” Be realistic and remember that it’s not the stuff that makes Christmas special.
Here are a few posts that might help you if you want to set up a Christmas budget.
- Printable Budget Binder
- 100 Ways Thrifty People Save Money on Christmas
- How to Create a Magical Christmas When You Have No Money
Start Pinterest boards for Christmas Decor, Recipes, Gifts to Make, Christmas Ornaments, etc. If you already have those boards, sort through and delete things you don’t want to try or don’t like. Edit, edit, edit!
Looking for more ways to prepare for Christmas? Read and pin these posts for later in the year:
- 5 Things to do in August for Christmas
- How to Get Ready for Christmas in September
- 5 Things to do in October to Prepare for Christmas
- What to do in November to Prepare for Christmas
- 4 Things to do in January to Prepare for Christmas
Are you ready for Christmas? Leave a comment and let me know what I forgot to put on my list. Originally published on Jul 27, 2016. Thanks for reading!
‘Til the next project,