You likely aren’t even ready to think about Christmas yet but maybe you should be. Christmas becomes stressful because we have too much to do with not enough time and that needs to change.
After a few years of being stressed and unable to fully enjoy Christmas, I decided to make a big change. It is my favorite time of the year and being stressed is not how I want to spend it.
The best way I’ve found to reduce Christmas stress is by planning ahead and the earlier the better. I even do a bit of planning right after Christmas while things are fresh in my mind.
If you aren’t even sure where to start, I’ve got some tips to help. These are the things that have helped me create a stress-free Christmas after a lot of trial and error.
How to Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Christmas
Set up a Christmas planner.
My Christmas planner is my most valuable tool when it comes to a stress-free Christmas. I have tried a few different ways of planning and settled on creating my own Christmas planner.
You can also use a simple notebook or plan in a planner you are already using. There are also free printables around the web that you can use.
Most parts of my planner can be used year after year and around September I make sure it’s all set up and ready to go.
This means planning activities, starting to write down gift ideas, to-do lists for projects and getting my home ready, putting gatherings and activities on a calendar to avoid getting overbooked, and all the other small details that makeup Christmas.
I use the planner throughout the holiday season and it really helps keep me on track. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
Have a Christmas budget.
Money is the other major holiday stress so having a good budget set up ahead of time can help a lot. You want to think about your priorities and what you can reasonably spend.
Write down what you will spend on gifts, food, decor, wrapping supplies, travel, activities and anything else you may be planning.
You want to try and build in a bit of wiggle room in case surprises come up. Being stressed about paying for Christmas is never fun.
If you find you really need more money to have the Christmas you want to consider trying a side hustle or seeing if you can cut your current spending and save that money for Christmas.
Do what you can ahead of time.
I like to have as many of my Christmas projects and to-dos done before Thanksgiving. Once you get to Thanksgiving everything gets so busy and you want to be able to enjoy the fun parts of the season.
Some things you can try to do ahead of time include buying gifts, buying gift wrap and setting up a gift wrap station, wrapping gifts, get cards ready to go out, and even make and freeze some meals and treats for later.
Another good thing to do is deep clean your house and do a bit of organizing. Before I put out any Christmas decor I do a really good deep clean. I spend a couple of weeks on this and basically do a full spring clean.
It’s so nice to start with a really clean house that I just have to keep up with during the holidays and don’t have to worry about any big cleaning projects.
People often ask me how I find time to watch so many Christmas movies and do so many fun things during the holidays. It’s because I do these things early in the year. It makes a huge difference not only for me but for my family as well.
While everyone else is running around stressed I can curl up on the sofa and watch a Christmas movie with a cup of hot chocolate. I love Christmas even more since figuring out these steps and I’m sure you will as well.
Lisa Sharp is a blogger and homemaker that loves all things Christmas. To help share her love for the season she created the blog The Stress-Free Christmas. It’s full of tips and tricks to help you bring back the magic of Christmas.