The time for Christmas craziness is rapidly approaching, and I could not be more excited! Thanksgiving will arrive before we know it, and the second the clock strikes midnight post-Turkey coma, it will be time to dive headfirst into Christmas celebrations! Because Thanksgiving is so late this year, that unfortunately means less days than usual to bask in Xmas fun, and EVERY DAY COUNTS. So, to be prepared, there are a few things I do annually prior to Thanksgiving in order to be completely ready to go. If you start your Christmas prep early on, not only will you get the best deals on everything you need to buy for the holidays, but you’ll also get super excited for winter festivities!
Winter To-Do List
- Buy holiday candles. This is a must to get in the holiday spirit. There’s a reason smells are so entwined with memories. Scents have powerful effects on mood, and a rich, seasonal candle is the perfect way to keep your house feeling warm, cozy, and festive. I always make a massive trip to Bath & Body Works and Target to stock up on all the seasonal scents, and I like to cover all my bases. I’m really into sweet smells, which can be too much for some people, but I love ’em. I want it to smell like there are freshly baked cookies in my room at all times. Plus, there’s nothing like the flicker and crackle of a candle to soothe you on a winter night. The sales are amazing when you shop for candles early in the season, so I like to get a headstart. Some scents I adore are Frosted Eggnog, Peppermint Marshmallow, Hot Buttered Rum, Winter Candy Apple, Frosted Cranberry, and Salted Caramel.
- Make your Christmas list. December is notorious for being an insanely busy time of year, and there’s no time to waste figuring out your own wish list. If you have a list ready beforehand, you won’t struggle or feel guilty when people ask what you would like, and you won’t have to stress about figuring it out. Instead, you can just look at your pre-made list and better spend your precious time doing your own Christmas shopping, watching Christmas movies, driving around admiring Christmas lights, experimenting with cocoa flavors, and performing other important winter activities. Plus, it’s the best excuse to spend substantial amounts of time on Pinterest, Nordstrom.com, and Forever21.com.
- Make your movie list. Like I do for Halloween, I always make an extensive Christmas movie list that I can refer to throughout December. I’m a movie fanatic, and watching all the classic holiday films never fails to get me in the mood for Christmas. I’ll publish this year’s complete movie list later on, so be on the lookout for that gem. 😉 There is nothing more satisfying than being able to cross every movie off of the list. It’s the ultimate winter challenge.
Love Actually / Home Alone / Elf / The Polar Express / Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Get some Christmas PJs. They’re cute, they’re cozy, and they’re festive! You can’t go wrong with a Christmas onesie to get in the holiday spirit. My pajamas of choice are my red onesie pajamas featuring adorable sledding penguins. If you’re not confident enough to rock the onesie (which you totally can), I would definitely recommend investing in some classic flannel pajamas if you want to be a star on Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter if no one sees you when you sleep, seasonal pajamas are so necessary to celebrate the holidays.
Blue Reindeer Jumpsuit / Christmas Flannel PJs / Elf on the Shelf Hoodie / Reindeer Onesie
- Make a Pinterest board for Christmas inspiration. From seasonal recipes to gift ideas to holiday outfits, Pinterest is a gold mine for inspiration. Even just looking at pictures of fireplaces and Christmas trees gets me excited for the holidays and offers great ideas for decor, DIYs, or anything else I might need. When in doubt, Pinterest it out.
- Stock up on winter drinks. For me, that means ridiculous amounts of tea and cocoa ingredients. I love to make homemade cocoa. I recently went on a holiday tea splurge, so I’m all set for when I’m craving a sweet wintertime drink. Gingerbread, Peppermint Chocolate, Pink Christmas, every flavor of Chai, Candy Cane Lane, Spiced Apple Cider…the list goes on. I’m tea-ed out. Stock up on all your favorites early in the season before all the best flavors sell out, or you’ll regret it. If you’re really gonna go all in, I would highly recommend one of David’s Tea’s Christmas collection boxes so you can sample lots of different flavors. Bonus points for using a cute little Christmas mug to go along with all of your drinks!
- Figure out your presents for everyone else. The sooner you decide on gifts for your loved ones, the better. It’s much easier to slyly ask someone what they might want as a gift without seeming suspicious if your timing is far away from the holiday than if it’s a week before. If you ask early on, they’ll probably forget they told you what they wanted, and then they’ll actually be pleasantly surprised when they receive their gift. Or if you want to be super sneaky and not even ask, you’ll have plenty of time to snoop through their Pinterest boards, wish lists, and house to figure out the perfect surprise. This will also prevent you from scrambling last minute to find a gift or stressing out about what to get someone. Finishing your Christmas shopping early will mean major relief, and you won’t have to deal with the horrid “Out of Stock” conundrum or slow-ass shipping problem when you desperately resort to online shopping. Christmas shopping can be fun, I promise!
- You need a Christmas sweater (preferably ugly). The good ones go fast, trust me. This is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. You know you’re either going to attend an ugly Christmas sweater party, or you’ll just want to lounge around in one in your spare time. You need to be armed with this clothing item so you can pull it out the day after Thanksgiving and impress your friends. And definitely wear it while decorating your house. What’s Christmas without sweaters?!
Green Reindeer Sweater / White Reindeer Sweater / Christmas Patchwork Sweater / Holiday Scene Sweater
- Make a December to-do list. Write down everything you want to do in December so whenever you find yourself with some spare time, you can look at your list and take advantage of the moment! Making a December to-do list will give you lots of things to look forward to throughout the holiday season. Some things on mine include making a gingerbread house, visiting Union Square in San Francisco, testing out every Christmas-themed recipe I can find, perfecting my hot cocoa recipe, looking at Christmas lights, making a homemade ornament, and throwing a holiday party. The possibilities are endless!