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!