This Countdown to the December Holidays Will Help You Stay On Top of Your To-Dos
Staying organized during the holiday season is a super important part of remaining chill throughout. We're publishing this article on October 1, which means it's exactly two months until December, when the holidays officially go into full swing. This year, Hanukkah runs from November 28 to December 6, kicking off the December holiday rush — the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve all follow at the end of the month. With that in mind, our goal is to help you get *everything* you need to do done by that early-December deadline. Here's how to proceed.
2 MONTHS OUT
During the first half of October, get these tasks accomplished. Prepping ahead will set you up for a fun, stress-free holiday season:
Start Shopping for Holiday Outfits
October is the perfect time to decide if you'll purchase a new outfit for any of your events this year. Stores will be full of early-winter and holiday inventory, so it's unlikely your size will be sold out.
Get a Planner or Calendar
Having a place to write down all of your important events (like the date of your virtual work holiday party, your bestie's Friendsgiving gathering, and the respective holiday dinners of you and your SOs families) will be a life-saver as your schedule gets more packed. You can also keep track of to-dos in your planner... consider printing out this list or copying it in STAT. Here are some of our favorites.
Decide on Holiday RSVPs
If you have a partner, are from a blended family, or have any other circumstances that require you to choose between or coordinate different holiday gatherings, now's the time to open the lines of communication. Politely explain to everyone involved that you would never *dream* of missing their dinner party if you'd agreed to come, so you really need to get the dates sorted out now.
Create a Wish List for Yourself
It's no longer considered cool to get or give gifts that will end up in a landfill because you didn't really want them. Compile a list of things you need or want and circulate it to those closest to you, so you can create minimal waste this holiday season.
Request Others' Wish Lists
In a similar vein, ask your friends and fam for their own wish lists so you can ensure you don't give them something they don't really want or need.
Take Holiday Photos
Sending holiday cards this year? Get your photos taken now so you can order your prints ASAP.
Order Holiday Cards
Once your photos are taken, order your cards so you can ensure they're safe and sound in your home office, ready for addressing pre-December.
6 WEEKS OUT
Six weeks from December 1 is October 20 (yep, right before Halloween). Around that date, start checking these items off your to-do list:
Start Addressing Holiday Cards
If you didn't order your holiday cards with the addresses pre-printed on the envelope, it's time to start addressing.
Planning a Get-Together? Invite Your Guests
If you yourself are planning to host any events this year, now is the time to invite your guests. Six weeks gives them enough time to get their own schedules figured out so they can give you a firm yes or no in regard to their attendance.
Decide Upon Your Menu
Continuing on from above, if you're hosting this year, plan your menu NOW. If you haven't hosted a holiday gathering before, you should know that a lot of stores and butchers require you to place a holiday order AHEAD of time — you may not just be able to walk up to a butcher on December 23 and purchase a ham. Check with your local suppliers now to make sure you'll have everything you need.
Order Any New Decorations
If you're in the mood to revamp your decor this holiday season, it's time to go shopping. Get all the trimmings you need to deck the halls in the coming weeks.
Start Shopping for Gifts
Since you already have your loved ones' wish lists, you should have no problem getting started tackling your shopping list. If you start buying those items now, you'll save yourself a lot of headache in December (not to mention, you'll space out your spending, which will be much easier on your wallet).
2 WEEKS OUT
Since Hanukkah starts on the 28th of November, we're going to use November 14 as the beginning of the two-week window BEFORE the holiday rush. Here's what to get done on or around that date:
There used to be some hesitation around decorating for the holidays before Thanksgiving, but we let all our reservations go out the window when we realized how much it reduces stress to get this done ahead of time. Besides, Thanksgiving is a holiday, too — you might as well have plenty of cheery decor for it. This tip is optional, though... if you prefer to wait until closer to December, we will have another spot on this list for your decorating needs.
Any straggling items on your crew's wish lists should be purchased now.
Giving gifts this year? Wrap them now so you will be able to relax and enjoy the holiday season come December.
Make a Holiday Party Shopping List
Though you should have already planned out your menu, now's the time to actually list out the food items on your holiday recipes for your pre-party shopping excursion. Other items to include? Napkins and plates (if needed), place cards, fresh florals, and centerpiece decor.
Send Holiday Cards
Take those cards over to the post office and get them in the mail, STAT!
When December 1 (and the surrounding days) rolls around, make sure you have the last few items taken care of:
Decorate if You Haven't Already
If you held off until after Turkey Day to decorate your pad, now's the time to go all-in!
Finish All Holiday Shopping
Seriously — don't wait until the last minute.
Buy Your Party Supplies
Pick up any non-perishable items ahead of time. Then, a day or two before your holiday party, head to the grocery store to get everything you need to whip up a delicious spread.
Deep Clean Your House
Everyone wants their home to sparkle its brightest during the holiday season. Give it a good deep clean — from the floors to the kitchen — so you can bask in its beauty throughout December.
Buy Thank-You Cards
Stock up on thank-you notes so you can graciously thank anyone who gives you something special.
Are you feeling ready for the December holidays yet? Tweet us at @BritandCo and let us know!
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