Christmas is just a few months away, and while most people don’t start thinking of Christmas plans in September, starting your holiday to-do list can make Christmas feel like a joyous time.
According to a Mott Poll, Christmas causes stress levels to rise, and moms carry most of the burden.
While nearly all parents (96%) say that the holidays are generally a happy time for their family, 18% rate their stress level as high during the holiday season. Nearly twice as many mothers than fathers (23% vs 12%) report high stress levels during this time. Parents point to several aspects of this holiday season that are very likely to cause them stress, including extra shopping/holiday tasks (31%), keeping family members healthy (30%), household finances (29%), planning for family gatherings (23%), making special holiday meals (22%), and criticism from family members about holiday plans (14%).
You can do some small things now to help make your Christmas calm and enjoyable.
What To Do Early To Ensure A Calm Christmas
Shopping for Gifts
Extra shopping is the number one stressor according to the Mott Poll. Take away the rush by setting up a plan now.
Start writing gift ideas down whenever you have a free moment. The app The Christmas list is a great way to get yourself organized. Set a budget early, and grab items you know your family will love when they are on sale.
Do you love to make gifts for your family or decorate your home with handmade items? Think about what you may want to make and get them done now. Most craft stores have Christmas decor and embellishments by the beginning of September, making it simple to get started instead of waiting until the Christmas mood hits.
If you feel you need to make 14 types of cookies to complete your Christmas, you can start your baking up to 4 months early. Most cookie dough can be frozen and re-thawed without any issues at all. There are plenty of excellent tutorials online for your favorite cookie recipes and how to freeze them.
Decorating for Christmas
While you will probably want to hold off on decorating your Christmas tree in September, there are still things you can do ahead of time to make the process faster.
Go through your Christmas decorations and repair or toss broken items, reshape wreaths, and check strings of lights to make sure they work. See what you are missing and list what you need to buy.
Start planning where you want to put your decorations this year and if you need to make any changes. If you are hanging things from the ceiling, put your support hooks in place now so they will be ready when you need them.
Planning holiday travel
If you plan on traveling for Christmas, start looking into flights and hotels now. The earlier you book, the more likely you will get a good deal. Many hotels book up months before Christmas, and you want the best pick of spots.
Reserve a restaurant for Christmas Eve and any touristy things you want to do while you are away. Making reservations will ensure you can do what you wish on arrival.
If you’re driving, start mapping out your route and planning for rest stops. This is also an excellent time to ensure your car is in good shape for a long road trip.
Making a Budget
Now is the time to start planning your Christmas budget. Look at what you spent last year and make adjustments for this year. Don’t let unexpected expenses stress you out. Make sure you plan how much you will spend on gifts, food, and décor.
The more you can think of now, the more likely you are to have a budget that is accurate.
If you are going to be traveling, factor in extra expenses like gas, hotels, and activities.
Preparing Your Home for Guests
If you are planning on having guests for Christmas, start getting your home ready now. If you need to do any repairs or redecorating, get them done now, so you aren’t rushed later.
Clean out guest bedrooms and make sure the beds are comfortable. If you need to buy any new bedding or towels you have time if you start ahead.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a stressful time of year. If you start planning and preparing now, you can avoid the last-minute rush and enjoy a calm and relaxing holiday season.
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This post was produced by For The Love of Decorating and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.