Holiday Prep Guide
The holidays are just around the corner! And while we’re excited for our favorite seasonal festivities, we know how overwhelming December can be. From family and work functions to shopping for the perfect gifts, there’s A LOT to be accounted for which can often takeaway from the joy and fun of the holiday season.
We’re here to help! Tackle your to-do list and avoid the common holiday stressors for a merry and bright holiday season.
8 Weeks Before
What do you want this holiday season to look like? Start gathering your thoughts and ideas by brainstorming the big items like:
Creating a gift list
- Consider: Who are you buying for? When would be the best time time to purchase these items?
Plan holiday crafts or supplies needed for the season
- Consider: wrapping paper, thank you cards, or any DIY crafts you would like to give as a gift or have on hand for hosting
Plan for your holiday gathering
- Consider: If you’re hosting, now is the time to gather your guest list and send out invitations.
Set a budget and start setting money aside
- Consider: With tighter budgets this year, can you and your spouse, partner, or family come to an agreement on a price cap for gifting?
Take family photos for your Christmas cards
- Consider: If you haven’t already booked family photos, now is the time! If your purse strings are already stretched pretty thin, you can book family photos with Santa with us right here at Farmview on December 3 for only $50! *link to book*
7 Weeks Before
Start recording your plans and events on a holiday calendar. We all know how quickly November and December planners fill up—This will help combat that overwhelming task lists that keeps running through your head out of fear of forgetting. Write it all down for peace of mind and extra accountability.
This is also a great time to order online gifts and holiday cards. Online shopping makes gifting a breeze, but there’s the shipping constraints you have to worry about. Order early and avoid any, “your gift is on the way but shipping is taking forever” messages to your friends and family this holiday season.
SMART SHOPPER TIP: If you’re working with a smaller budget, you can opt to add desired gift items to your cart and save to purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you know these items will be on sale.
6 Weeks Before
Now that you’ve had time to decide who’s hosting your holiday gathering, it’s time to send out invitations! Give your guests plenty of lead notice to RSVP before the calendar fills up. This will also give you enough time to plan your menu according to your guest list. Likewise, if you’ve received holiday party invitations, make sure you RSVP well before the deadline as a common courtesy.
5 Weeks Before
Find or create a holiday playlist you’ll want to jam out to during the season! Who doesn’t love music? A quality playlist fitting for the holiday season always includes a mix of classics and what we like to call “personal happy tunes”. Make a playlist that will help you stay in the holiday spirit and set the tone for your get togethers!
4 Weeks Before
Thanksgiving has come and gone leaving the most fun and important task of them all—time to pull out the Christmas decorations! Keep this chore fun while getting in the Christmas spirit. Jam out to your holiday playlist while you trim the tree and hang the garland, fully enjoying the cozy and bright decorations of the season.
This is also around the time that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are hitting the shelves and your email inbox! It’s the perfect time to order any gift items you’ve saved or gather any last minute items for decorations.
3 Weeks Before
Now that we’re in the swing of the holiday season, this is great time to send out your holiday cards and shop for your family’s holiday attire (if that’s your jam). This can include shopping for outfits for holiday dinners and activities, pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or even a time to grab that one item you’ve been thinking of for yourself (Shhh, we won’t tell). Most stores are still including discounted items post-Thanksgiving so make sure to check!
2 Weeks Before
Now is the time to start planning your holiday menu and purchasing any nonperishables. If you haven’t heard back from guests, you’ll want to follow up with them before planning. Once confirmed, you can begin making your menu.
We recommend purchasing certain food items pre-made - those dishes that cause a little too much stress - so that you can actually enjoy your time in the kitchen and with your family.
It may be helpful to make a cooking timeline to help make the best use of your time and that give a framework of additional accountability from any helpers you may have!
1 Week Before
Get ahead of the holiday crowds and get to the grocery store early. This will allow you to avoid running out of ingredients for staple dishes or provide you with a better “plan b” as most stores will still be stocked with popular holiday foods.
PRO TIP: Go to the grocery store during the early morning or weekday afternoon to avoid the shopping masses. Peak hours are typically around noon or during the weekend and are especially busy a few days leading up to Christmas.
Turn on and turn up that holiday-themed playlist you made, grab your favorite drink (we love a warm apple cider), and dance around—it’s celebration time!
Time to turn on your favorite Christmas movies and throw the cookies in the oven! Relax with your favorite family traditions, and don’t forget to leave milk and cookies out for Santa.
All your wonderful hard work has come to fruition, hopefully more stress-free than previous years. Enjoy the holiday with your family!