I absolutely cannot stand when I see Christmas decorations in September! It feels like we’re rushing the year along. However, one thing I have learned is how planning ahead can help you actually enjoy those times of year instead of rush through. So… here are some ways to get ready for Christmas–in July!
Sponsored by Basic Invite.
Ways to Get Ready for Christmas in July!
These ideas will help you do some of the holiday’s more pressing tasks in summer, when you have more time to think through your options.
Set your gift budget
It is easier to be objective in July about how much to spend, than in December when you’re scrambling to get last minute gifts, or have forgotten about gifts you bought and tucked away.
- List everyone you bought presents for last year, and add who you might buy for this year. Depending on work and school connections, this list can vary year to year.
- Don’t forget people like mail carriers, newspaper delivery, and other “tipping” situations that arise around holidays.
- Add non-gift purchases, like buying a Christmas tree, Christmas cards, stamps, and gift wrapping supplies to your budget. Those things easily add to the budget!
- Keep a list of gift ideas, and actual purchases. This will help you avoid overbuying for one person but underbuying for another. Or forgetting about those “tucked away” gifts. (I do this all the time! I have even found gifts in closets in January! hahaha).
Plan your calendar.
We have a lot of birthdays and other events in December. It gets stressful fitting them all in. Looking ahead super early can help you avoid “traffic jams” in your schedule.
- Make your own appointments. I’ve started “booking” myself shopping, cleaning, and tentative party dates in November and December, so I can avoid over-scheduling.
- Move other appointments. I limit or avoid scheduling dentist or doctor appointments after Thanksgiving. For one, it’s flu season, but also it adds to the running about. Think about moving hair appointments a bit earlier or pushing till after Christmas. Sometimes, we have done Christmas things AFTER Christmas (like visiting a Christmas trolley/train display, or seeing holiday lights). You don’t have to do it all before Christmas!
Update your address book.
Chances are, some of your friends have moved since last Christmas. Check your list, and send out texts or emails to verify addresses. Then update these in your address book.
- Consider creating a digital address book using a spreadsheet so you can organize and track your card sending and gift giving.
- Pre-print mailing labels, or at least create a mail-merge document in a word processing program to quickly print and stick addresses on envelopes when the time comes. It is easy to do with today’s templates, but every year it always takes me a good hour to re-figure out how to set that up! Ha! Do it now, so you won’t feel hassled later.
Schedule a family photo shoot!
Yes, book it now, because photographers fill slots quickly. You don’t want to be shopping around in October for an open slot. Other things to plan:
- Determine your photo shoot location – it will likely be different if you do a shoot now in summer versus in the fall. And, of course, your choice will impact your wardrobe. Sooo…. –>
- Find and purchase photo outfits now too, if possible, or at least settle on a color scheme and some ideas, and look through your family’s closets to see what’s on hand. Make a list to purchase specific items and set an alarm on your calendar for when you need to do this.
Pick out your Christmas cards now!
Every year after our photo shoot, I spend hours scouring through card styles and layouts. Often, the cards I think are most beautiful don’t work because I didn’t plan around the layout – perhaps it calls for 5 images, but I only have 3 that work well. Or maybe I didn’t consider specific photo shots (like kids separate, then together) when we did our photo shoot. OR, maybe the card color clashes with the outfit colors we’re wearing. There are many ways picking out a card style/layout in advance can help inform your photo shoot.
Where to find great Christmas cards!
Basic Invite is a wonderful online shop for cards for all occasions. And if you want to get a jump start on picking out this year’s Christmas cards, you should definitely check them out! Why?
Almost Unlimited Colors – 180 colors to be exact! This will help you avoid that “clashes with our photos” problem I mentioned earlier! Basic Invite stands out as a rare online stationery company that allows customers almost unlimited color options. And they give you instant previews online. Change the color of each element on your card to get your perfect design! (Again, why you should pick out cards early! You can spend a lot of time tweaking designs!).
Custom Samples – Want to be sure it’s perfect? Get a printed sample sent to you – again, not many online stationery companies offer this perk! And, again, another reason to get ready for Christmas in July, so you’ll have time to see the results well before Christmas!
Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Seriously, how customized is this!? At Basic Invite, you can match your Christmas card, or pick a stunning contrast color! All their envelopes are peel and seal too, so you won’t be getting papercuts on your tongue!
Address Capturing Service – Remember how I told you to update your address book? Well, Basic Invite makes this Sooooo easy with an easy “capturing service.” Simply send your friends and family a link via email or any social media to request their address. Basic Invite will store these addresses in your account so you can select them during the design process. Then, you can select recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders! Okay, I’ll admit, that is way better than my spreadsheet-mail merge idea!
Foil – If you want a special look for your holiday cards, pick from Basic Invite’s gold, silver, or rose gold foil designs in flat or raised. Perfect for Christmas!
Get 15% off Your Christmas Cards
Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 – you can use this to order Christmas cards. Or perhaps you have another event you need invitations or thank you cards for. Basic Invite has loads of themed birthday party invites and other occasion cards!
Find Basic Invite on Social Media: @basicinvite
I hope you’ve gleaned some good tips and set aside an evening this summer to get organized now, so you can simply enjoy the delightful holiday time with your family and friends in December!
–>>Oh, and if you end up with some extra Christmas cards? Why not try this Upcycled Christmas Cards idea!?
Merry Christmas! In July and in December!
Thanks to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post on how to get ready for Christmas in July!