Repeat after me: The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.
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If you’ve ever dreamed of being the type of person to have everything for Christmas ready by Black Friday, this post is for you. No, I’m not one of those people. However, I think I figured out the secrets to make it happen. The answer is to start thinking about Christmas 2020 now. Yes, I know your pumpkin spice latte hasn’t digested yet and you still haven’t gotten settled into virtual school (some of you haven’t even started school yet), but it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the holidays. I mean who doesn’t want to be holly jolly when they have the chance?
So here’s 8 things you can do now to start preparing for Christmas 2020
1 Set up a savings account now
It’s no secret that holiday season can be rather costly. The gifts, charitable donations, holiday baking and traditions can all add up to hefty amounts now. If at all possible, open up a savings account and start storing away money now. As of writing this, there are 17 weeks till Christmas. Even if you can only save 15 dollars per week until then, you’ll at least have $255 to spend on a cute Christmas Eve 2020 family holiday tradition.
2 Join Facebook buy and sell groups
I’m a huge fan of buy and sell groups on Facebook. If you aren’t already aware, these Facebook groups act as virtual garage sales in which people sell things they no longer need. Now, of course I would never give used items for Christmas gifts. However, I’ve gotten great used items I could keep for myself around the holidays. I even got a a 6 feet faux Christmas tree for free from one of the groups I follow. Plus, some people even sell brand new items for a fraction of the cost – things that might make for great holiday gifts. (However, since we are still in a global pandemic be sure to properly sanitize anything that you get from these groups before using. ) You can find these groups by searching “Your town name + yardsale group” in the Facebook search bar.*
Don’t forget you can also sell items you don’t need to make money for the holiday season!
3. Take inventory of your Christmas decorations
You know what’s frustrating? Setting up your Christmas tree and realizing you don’t have anymore working string lights and having to drop everything and drive to the store to get it. Or equally frustrating is buying an tree angel thinking you don’t have one only to realize what you really needed was a new tree skirt. Save your self the headache and wasted money by pulling out your decorations and taking inventory of what you don’t have now. That way you won’t find yourself without anything once you finally are ready to put up the decoration.
4. Buy whats on sale now if it’s budgeted for
I’m a big fan of buying this off season to save money. Believe it or not, I’ve already purchased AND wrapped a few Christmas gifts. It’s amazing how much money you can save when you by things out of season. Sometimes you can get great holiday items at 75 percent off if they are purchased in the summer. However, it’s only a savings if you budgeted the expense. Otherwise, you’re just spending money that you should be spending on something else. To take advantage of the sales, add a little extra in your budget for gifts. That way you are prepared and ready to shop guilt free if a holiday item is on sale. (If you need help creating a budget, you can check out this book about budgeting from The Budgetnista or this post on Inpsired Budget about must have budget categories)
5. Pay attention to holiday trends
It may be several months away, but holiday trends are already in the making. If you’re one to keep up with and incorporate trends into your holiday festivities, now would be a good time to start looking at whats trending. That way if pink tinsel or upside Christmas trees are back in style, you’re on top of it.
6. Make reservations early
Some of the best holiday attractions sell out early. If you budgeted for it and it’s something you can’t imagine missing, it might be your best bet to make those reservations. Considering capacity for some activities and venues are slashed dramatically due to Covid-19 precautions. For example, I know the Polar Express Train ride in my area has limited ticket sales and capping their capacity at 25 percent. Plus, if you buy early you might even be able to get a great deal.
7. Make a list of all the charities you want to support
Tis the season to give and open up your heart. This year has been a very emotional one; one in which many of us have found our purpose or call to action. The holiday season is another great time to lean into those causes and support either financially or with your time. However, it’s not always easy to pay attention to the causes that speak to you and stay focused them when there’s many deserving organizations. Take note of whats really been moving you. That way you don’t find yourself overwhelmed and confused once the holidays come and everything demands your attention. Not only will you be able to save money to donate by planning ahead, but you’ll have an idea of where to divide your time when it comes to volunteering too.
8. Browse Pinterest for holiday themed ideas
One of my favorite ways to prep for Christmas is trolling Pinterest (follow me)for all the DIY, decor and house party traditions. Not only does it give you something to look forward to but it helps you come up with ideas for your own family. You’ll have time to practice and master signature holiday cocktail and dessert. Plus, DIY can take a lot of time and prep so it’s never a bad idea to get a head start gathering materials.
Is it ever too early to prep for Christmas? When you start thinking about the holiday season?
TERRIfic Quip: There is magic to find all around