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Christmas is Coming Lets Prepare for It.

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.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist

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.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist

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.

Christmas planner, Christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist, Christmas Planning

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.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist


  1. Yes! I have done this in the past but not in the past two or three years. You are so right that the stress is greatly reduced in every way. I’m joining you because I need to and want to.


  2. I will keep these tips in mind for October which is when I am planning on doing the majority of my holiday shopping.

  3. Oh girl…you’ve got me thinking! Thanks for all the great ideas…I’m gonna start with the budget!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Right on Lynn. Being firm with the budget is important as lets face it their is always something else you can purchase for Christmas.

  4. All great ideas and I think it’s so smart to start early and rid yourself of unnecessary stress. Love it!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Yuni. Its not really Christmasy activities so much as getting the details taken care of. I really appreciate the feedback. I was afraid people would think I was pushing it lol. I feel much better about postingit now.

  5. I’m not normally organised for Christmas. However, I’m hosting Christmas for the first time ever so I have started my preparations, which at the moment just involves decorating and decluttering.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Awesome, just getting what you can done behind you automatically takes the pressure off preparations later. By December you’re ready to enjoy.

  6. Wonderful tips and a great way to stay ahead and be organized! Thankfully, I don’t have too many gifts to get but the few I do, I like to be ahead as well. Thanks for sharing! All great ideas.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Carolann. I didn’t mention it in the post, but as a Grama I always buy for the little ones first. Then we don’t never have to worry about duplicate presents.

  7. Love all of these tips to prepare for Christmas!! I have already started my Chrissy shopping but you have bought some other things that I need to get onto before it’s too late!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      So fun to hear you say before its too late. I really appreciate the thumbs up Sam and I am going to do another post for October etc. Much appreciated.

  8. I love it! Because I love being organized and to plan ahead. I´ve never started in September, but now you got me thinking. It really does make sense and your ideas and tips are all great. My daughters and my birthday are all in January, so we usually plan well so there´s no big surprise in the budget. But starting now will be even better.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Katrin. Its simple easy things that just get Done so you can forget about it. I really appreciate you giving me the thumbs up.

  9. I love Christmas! And I love planning and it is never too early to start getting ready for the beautiful Christmas season. I think it is great to have things set so then you can just relax and enjoy the days leading to Christmas.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you for the thumbs up Tuula. Its so much better than the last minute scenario with credit card debt in January.

  10. Leanna, this post is filled with wise ideas for holiday planning. When our kids were little and our gift list long, like you, I started in September. Aside from being easy on the budget, it was a far less stressful shopping experience than waiting until the malls were crowded and the line ups long. I would wrap the gifts in September too so it was done ahead of time and little curious eyes couldn’t find figure out what they got if they found the hidden packages. Having a pretty printable to keep oneself organized is a fantastic idea!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you for the thumbs up Marie. Now that we are Grama’s I also find it easier to purchase early. This way we never have to worry about duplicates.

  11. I really appreciate this reminder Leanna! One of my friends always starts in July, so she can get a head start on homemade gifts. That always felt a little off to me, because I have so much going on during that time of year already! So I like the idea of starting in September- it feels more “in season” if that makes sense. Because yes, Christmas is not very far away! I like the idea of buying wrapping paper now, instead of waiting until the last minute. Definitely will try to get started early this year, many thanks to you!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you for commenting Randi. Its all about taking whatever you can do now and get it out of the way freeing up time and funds.

  12. This is fantastic. You are so organized and we can take advantage of your skills. Plus it will eliminate the holiday stress.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Debra. I know that starting early works so well, but was very hesitant to bring up Christmas so early. Thank you for trusting me enough to read it and for providing me with the positive feedback.

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