Preparing for Christmas in November

So, Halloween has come and gone, the house and yard are pretty much ready for Winter and I’d be willing to bet you’ve already told yourself at least once “I’m going to get ahead on Christmas this year”. As magical as it is advertised to be, the upcoming holly jolly holiday season can also bring on feelings of overwhelm and added stress for many of us. Here are four areas we can focus on in November to alleviate some of that holiday stress this year.

Making room

November is a great time to make some room in your home for the abundance to come, whether it be making space for a gift hiding spot or closet, cleaning out the freezer and pantry to make room for some meal prep, or sorting through some of the broken and unused toys your children do not play with anymore.

As you clear out closets, pantries, and toys, consider giving your gently used and non-perishable items to goodwill. As you are preparing your own home for the holidays, you just might make another family’s Christmas that much better. 

Being present

Try to identify the dinners and events that you and your family plan to attend in December. Each family members’ events can be written in a calendar in a different color to make sure nobody is double booked. If you must refuse or cancel going to an event, doing this now will give your hostesses ample notice of your absence. For each of those events, also determine if you will bring a hostess gift or participate in a gift exchange.

While you are working on the family calendar, why not schedule some down time during the holidays this year? Whether it be a day of self-care, a family movie day or a date night, scheduling time to slow down and recharge will be a gift to yourself. 

Gift shopping

Make a list of the loved ones, friends, and hostesses for whom you will be purchasing gifts. You can also use this list to plan your shopping budget this holiday season. If you do this early enough in November, you will be able to use this list and budget to shop Black Friday deals and many other great sales leading up to the holidays. 

Tired of adding to the clutter year after year? Consider buying experiences (spa, concert tickets, weekend or season passes, etc.) or donating to a charity in someone’s name.

Plan your Elf’s tricks

As wonderful as it is seeing your children’s amazement as their Elf plays tricks on them throughout December, Elf on the Shelf is one more thing many parents of young ones must think about as the holidays approach. Let’s relieve some of that added mental load by planning your Elves’ tricks in advance and making sure you have your desired props on hand. You can purchase complete elf kits and printable planners on Amazon and Etsy or simply use a blank calendar and browse Pinterest for some inspiration to plan your own Elf advent calendar. Keep it simple! It will be even more magical if you enjoy it too.

Janick Landry is a professional organizer in Sept-Îles, QC and a member of Professional Organizers in Canada. Her services focus on decluttering, organizing interiors and creating adapted systems that focus on saving you time, money and mental energy. Her services are available along Quebec’s North Shore and you can find her on Facebook at @JL Organisation or on Instagram at @jl_organisation.