Things I Do in September for Christmas – No it’s not too early.
The biggest challenge for this month is convincing you to start in September. The actual tasks are easy peasy. Please don’t groan or roll your eyes. I promise you will feel better about your “Oh Why Do I Do This to Myself List” if you start early.
The Benefits of Christmas Planning
For thirty years I started in September, listened to my brothers groan and then giggled when I saw them start in December and whine in January. Christmas planning is a good thing, here are the high level benefits.
All Cash Christmas – No Credit Card bills in the New Year
Separates the chores out so you get to have the Celebration.
It doesn’t feel cheesy or cheap to renegotiate family gift exchanges in September.
There is time to do a Handmade Christmas if you want to.
And all the other rewards I promise will come in December.
I will be sharing a Christmas planning list for each month until Christmas to help you ease into the Christmas season. In September I am not going to tell you to make shortbread or get out the tinsel but help you get some of the details done so you can enjoy the tinsel and making the shortbread when its time too.
As a single Mom with a stupidly tight budget it helped me immensely to plan, it was a necessity now starting in September is my families normal.
Do it quietly, its not a flashy start, but do get started.
The Plan for September
Think of it this way. Christmas is coming, you are going to get excited and love it. You may as well enjoy getting ready for it.
1. Decide on a budget for gifts and divide it by how many paychecks to Dec 1. That’s not a typo, Decembers budget will get used for perishable food and last minute expenses. Remember no credit card bills.
You have three months for shopping. So divide your list up by dollar amount, by number of gifts, by family etc. Do one each month and enjoy it. It’s exciting to give. Do whatever works for you, but do one third of it and enjoy the process.
2. If you do a Christmas theme for decorating, pick it out. It doesn’t have to be exact, last year was red, this year is red, or maybe its blue. Enjoy some time playing on Pinterest. Make a board called Christmas 2017, make it secret if you like and pin your plans in there.
3. Set up a wrapping station. If you have never set up a wrapping station,check out my Christmas Wrapping Station post.
In Canada, Hallmark and Costco have the wrapping paper in stock in September. Go through last years leftovers and buy the supplies you need to match this year’s theme and colour. Go ask for boxes, you can flatten them until you need them. Ask for them at every store you shop at.
4. If you’re planning on making any Christmas presents, food gifts being the exception. Now’s the time to do it, make the gifts when it’s fun and there is no pressure.
5. If you need a hairdresser for the company party or New Years, book your appointments. If you need a babysitter, make the appointments now. If you don’t know the dates move this task to October.
Our dog is huge and white, I book his grooming for mid-December. My guests appreciate it.
6. Talk with family about gift giving plans. Two years ago we purchased for everyone. Last year we changed it to gifts just for the little ones and an activity basket per family.
If you set a price limit or draw names make those plans.
Being organized is not tacky or commercial its smart. These tasks are manageable and pretty easy to accomplish in September. Notice that you took budget, 1/3 of the shopping, setting a theme, start planning, wrapping station with supplies, appointments and gift giving plans or changes off your to do list. Already your taking some of the noisy hub bub off of your December.
For the Faerie Insiders there are two pretty to do lists in the Faerie Insider’s Library. I would love to have you join the Faerie Insiders. If your not ready, you can write the tasks down from my post, the content is the same.
Are you willing to try it? Do you see the benefit?
Share your plans I would love to hear what your thinking.
Christmas planning is your Christmas gift to yourself.