Why You Need to Start Planning for Christmas Now

It’s hot, you’re sweaty and longing for some relief from the heat of summer. Kinda’ makes you think about cooler days ahead, right? And while thinking, you may also be dreaming of brisk mornings, fall colors, back-to-school and … Christmas!

Summer is the perfect time to think ahead about the holiday season. Start planning now and you’ll benefit in so many ways come December.

Before I find myself dealing with angry responses from readers who find the phenomena of “Christmas creep” to be offensive (a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by introducing Christmas-themed merchandise or decorations earlier and earlier each year), that’s not what I’m talking about. In fact, I find that quite objectionable myself. I don’t want the Christmas season to start until we’ve cleaned up the last of the Thanksgiving turkey.

What I’m talking about is planning and getting organized now without the overwhelming pressure and panic that I know will come once I’ve waited too long and believe my only option is to rack up a pile of debt to just get through the season. I just hate that feeling of being under the gun, driven by guilt and remorse to mark names off a list; compelled to buy something—anything!—to get through the holiday.

So, why get started now in the middle of summer? Time. It’s the best gift you can give yourself: Time to make it an all-cash Christmas, time to establish or rekindle family traditions; time to separate the chores from the celebrations. And perhaps best of all, time to embrace the idea of a handmade holiday. Even if you are not crafty or have no desire to be, there are so many ways you can make highly desirable gifts this year.

Even if getting started means simply making gift lists, studying the calendar, renegotiating the ways you’ve exchanged gifts in the past or exploring new ideas for workplace celebrations—starting holiday preparations now is going to relieve so much stress and pressure in the months ahead. And should you want to make this a homemade Christmas, you’ll have you plenty of time to start (and finish) those holiday gifts and crafts.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year but not when it hits us with guilt-induced stress, financial pressure and no time to counter its attack.

A long lead-in to the holiday season is the way to break down the work into small, easy-to-achieve steps. Do a few chores each week and you’ll be ready to celebrate the season more fully, more joyously—and without the stress that comes from too much to do and too little time and money to do it.

Start planning for Christmas now. I promise that you’ll do less and enjoy it more!

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Miriam

    I’m going to be 70 in 2019 and my family and I (all grown, no children) are planning to take a big trip together to celebrate. Not only are we all saving travel points, we’re researching possible destinations that will please everyone. And checking our budgets. Good thing we’re starting early. Now that I’m out of debt i don’t plan on going back in even for my 70th! Christmas isn’t our holiday but I start in January to plan Passover which happens usually around Easter. Its just as nig a deal (sans presents) as Christmas. Thank you for your constant wisdom.

  • tinydogpries

    Grateful every year that we stopped Christmas gifting many years ago. My children grew up getting one gift a year from me and my granddaughter the same. Now that they are all grown, gifts to or from are not expected. No one has money for such luxuries.

  • Pamela Guthrie

    I started getting ready for the winter holidays in August many years ago. I shop for the “big” gifts one a month, I put any Target gift cards onto one card and use that for gifts for my random people. It’s been years since I had a big holiday money layout and the reduced stress is blissful!

  • Pat

    I shop all year and put things in my closet. Saves money and saves time. Sometimes I buy new and sometimes I buy used. Depends on the person I am buying for. Some like vintage items and some things are better new. It is a case by case basis. I have a friend that collects old music boxes so I get used instead of new… My best gift (in their words) was when I sent off for every free k-cup sample (when they were first starting) all year long and then bought a nice jar for the counter and filled it with all of them along with the coupons that came with them and gave them to an ex boyfriend. He loved it. It isn’t cheap if they love it. He had just bought one of those fancy coffee pots so it was a good fit. You just need to get creative. Every time I shop I look around and see if I get any ideas that pop up. Sometimes things just call my name. I know that is silly but it happens to me sometimes.

  • Kim

    A timely post. I wrote out my gift list with ideas for the people on the list two or three weeks ago. Now I can begin looking and/or making those items over the next several months. Big Box stores will have a toy clearance in mid-summer to make room for the new toys coming for the holidays. Excellent time to buy a few toys for Christmas and birthdays for the remainder of the year.

  • Beck

    I wish we didn’t exchange gifts it would be so much less stress and cost. Why can’t people just celebrate the birth of Christ and not make it commercial? Or have the whole family donate canned goods to a food pantry? My family won’t hear to not buying gifts so I buy at festivals throughout the year when I see something unique or what they would like as well as sales throughout the year.