10 Things To Do in November for Christmas

Friday, November 3, 2017


It seems there are camps this time of year. You are either Camp Thanksgiving or Camp Christmas is coming. Like all things in life, people like to say you are either in one camp or the other. Well I am here to say I love Thanksgiving and everything it celebrates. I am always trying to cultivate a grateful, thankful heart in myself and in our family BUT I am also all about Christmas.

Most of the heavy lifting for Christmas falls on my shoulders. While I am not complaining at all, because I love it, If I wait until after Thanksgiving to start, I am all sorts frazzled and bah humbug by Christmas. I even wrote about it last year.




So, today I am sharing 10 things to do in November to prepare for Christmas and spoiler not one of them is decorating or putting up a tree. Do I have your attention now? Listening to Christmas music while preparing is completely optional but I don't judge! #MariahCareyChristmas #yesplease





1. Create a Christmas List

We will all be shopping this Christmas unless you are Scrooge. I like to use a printable table (seen above) that lists the recipient, gift(s) I would like to get them, the budget I would like to spend and then how much I spent. When I purchase the gift, I then highlight their name so I know I am done. I have downloadable printables available, like the ones pictured for my email subscribers. Just subscribe here.

Once you have your list, you can determine what you need to buy and where and create a list in your phone notes or I have another printable (get it by subscribing here) to keep a running list of items you need to shop for. When you have a plan and a list, you are more likely to stick to your budget and shop purposefully. Except at Target, things always jump into my cart at Target, but I digress.


2. Create a Christmas Budget

This could be interchanged with creating a Christmas list. For me, I like to determine who I am buying for and then set a budget from there. For my husband's family we draw names and have a set price limit for each gift which really helps. I tend to stick to the same price point for other family members too. Then I also determine what my kids want and establish a reasonable budget for their gifts. I use a separate printable for them (and you guessed it, sign up for my email list and I will send it to you). There is no need to go into debt to celebrate the most wonderful time of year.


3.  Begin Shopping

Now that you have a list you can begin shopping.  Often times on Amazon things go up in price as the season goes on.  Last year, my son wanted a particular lego set and the price jumped 30% after Thanksgiving.  Supply and demand people, shop early!

I also was that parent buying a $20 American girl dog from a 3rd party vendor because it was sold out on the website and that was THE ONLY THING my daughter really wanted for Christmas.  Don't risk items selling out, if you see it and you think you want it, buy it and tape the receipt to the item.  You can always return it.

Beginning on Monday, I will be sharing all my favorite kids toys, games, books and adult gifts!  Make sure to stop back by!





4.  Create a Christmas Bucket List

There are only 24 days until Christmas in December.  You might say that's obvious but inevitably if you don't plan for the things you really want to do, your days will be filled with other engagements.  Every year, we plan to go to a lighted holiday display and have a pizza picnic in the car, I put that on the calendar now so that we don't miss it.

Make a bucket list of items you want to do with your family and then put them on the calendar.  I have included a bucket list printable (get it by subscribing here).  It's similar to how our family does bucket lists, which I have detailed in this post.  Here is our Christmas bucket list from last year to get you started.



Annual Christmas Lights and Cocoa Party #myfamilymightkillmeforpostingthis
Find similar Christmas Pajamas here.

5. Plan Your Family Christmas & Christmas Parties

If you have family and you are coordinating when to have Christmas, start planning now.  Have you ever tried to coordinate 2-5 families schedules and find a date that works?  If you have, then you know it's good to plan early!  Be flexible with one another,  although Christmas is on December 25th, the spirit and purpose of Christmas can be celebrated on any day!

It might be an office party or inviting your small group over for a Christmas meal, but whatever it is, it's good to let people know early so they can mark their calendar and gives you time to plan a fun party.  Here are some fun snowball party games!





6.  Christmas Attire

It's never too early to think about what your family will wear for Christmas.  For some of you, this is not important but it's one of two times a year I try to have all 3 of my children coordinate, the other is Easter.  The days are fleeting they will comply.

I like buying them early so they can wear them for all the holiday festivities.  Christmas pageants, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, Christmas church..they will be wearing it!  Don't you wish you were my kid?

Maybe you also like coordinating Christmas pajamas.  Clearly, we like to match at Christmas around here.  Here are some fun options ( one | two | three | four)




7.  Christmas Cards

With social media and staying more connected, this is a fading tradition but one of my favorites.  It's the one thing I save year after year.  I punch a hole in the corner and string them together and the kids look at them all year long.

Go ahead and take a family photo or compile some photos from the year and order your cards.  Places like Vista Print (where I order mine and no this is not sponsored) or Shutterfly have some great options.  Right now Vista Print is running 50% special with code HOLIDAY and Shutterfly is running some seasonal deals too.

You have time to gather all the addresses of your card recipients, get stamps and get a fun, festive return address stamp.  Create an assembly line with your family and get them all ready to send and then mail them right after Thanksgiving.




8.  Get Gift Wrap

It's a great time to stock up on Christmas gift wrap.  My favorite place to buy it is Hobby Lobby.  Their paper is thick and high quality and you get huge rolls.  Costco also has large packs of tissue paper for a great price.  Don't forget bags, gift tags, bows, tape and scissors.

Once you have purchased all your supplies, create a space in your home, maybe a spare bedroom or a drawer in a buffet or dresser so you can be ready with all the essentials in one spot.


Can you figure out which tote is holding the presents????
9.  Create a space for your presents

Around here little minds will want to know what I have bought so I create a space in our store room to hide all the presents.  I hide them in totes out of eyesight and reach.  I will periodically pull all of it out to make sure I have everything I need and crossed off the list and wrap it all up.



10.  Put up your exterior  Christmas decorations and lights

Especially if you live in the midwest,  it's safe to say the cold is going to set in soon.  Take advantage of a warm day in November to put up all your decor then the day after Thanksgiving all you have to do is plug them in.



There you go, 10 things you can do in November to prepare you for Christmas.  I promise, if you do these things now, then you will be off to a head start this Christmas season.  You don't even have to put up the tree.  Are you planning for Christmas now?



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Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

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15 comments on "10 Things To Do in November for Christmas"
  1. These are all great tips! I love Hobby Lobby’s wrapping paper too :)

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  2. You have the best ideas! Thanks for all the tips! I use a small notebook to organize each Christmas but the printable might work better 😊

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  3. #TeamThanksgiving but I totally love everything about this post! We’ve already started shopping, and our photographer is making our cards. 2 big things off the list already! Thanks for sharing these tips, and everyone needs matching PJs!!

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  4. Eeek! You know I love everything about this post. And I LOVE the Christmas bucket list idea! My hubby is getting our decorations down this weekend & I can't wait. I have some people who give me such a hard time about having my tree up before Thanksgiving ... I LOVE Thanksgiving ... I just love to celebrate it with my tree up! :) As for my kiddos Christmas, we are finished shopping for them! 🙌🏼 Happy Friday, girlfriend!

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  5. Great list Erin! The picture of your living room looks like it's straight out of a Pottery Barn magazine. So pretty and cozy. If ever I can't spend Christmas at home, I'm coming to your house. ;) I told Dan last weekend that if he wanted help putting up Christmas lights that I would help since it was still half way warm here. Now there is snow covering everything and he'll be on his own... I tried. ;) Have a great weekend!

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  6. Amen, girlfriend! This is a great list and I can't even think of anything that you didn't already cover! I have already started so many of these things so I would like to think that I'm ahead of the game!

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  7. Thank you so much for this helpful post. It really got the wheels spinning in my brain to start thinking about the holidays! I love those Snoopy pj's ...I think we will order them for this year's matching pajamas. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  8. So good as usual! I do most of these things early, too, but good to start thinking about it now!

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  9. A great list for sure Erin! I got my C'mas cards from Vista Print yesterday and will begin addressing them soon. I still enjoy sending C'mas cards. I have a lot of my shopping done and now for the wrapping to begin. I'm so glad to be back visiting around after being gone this week. Happy weekend!

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  10. Really great post! Every single year I go nuts spending too much money at Christmas. I am going to try very, very hard this year to create a budget and stick to it. I have grown daughters with families of their own and none of us want for a single thing. I really want to concentrate on making memories and perhaps buying one or two gifts of special significance.

    Please think about sharing your Christmas bucket list with the group of us who share seasonal bucket list posts! We will share an update of our fall bucket list on 11/21 and will share our winter bucket list on 12/21. Would love to have you join us.

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  11. So many good tips! I'm already shopping and planning our Christmas outfits. It seems like if I don't buy kid clothes early they sell out of the sizes I want. I did the same with Christmas pjs. I just love how your house is decorated for Christmas.

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  12. Erin, these are great tips!! Most which we already do too! I love Hobby Lobby's wrapping paper the best also, and you can't beat the prices!! Where are those darling plaid dresses from?

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  13. Such a great list of things! I have a spreadsheet I use to track gifts and it's so helpful and also helps me see a light at the end of the tunnel when I feel like I have been buying allll the things! I also had a HUGE mom fail that I got a gift at Costco... I meant to take it out of the car after the kids were in bed and I forgot.... and the kid whom is was for saw said gift.... He handled it well but wow it was rough.

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  14. These are all great ideas. I like planning for Christmas early too so I know that things are ready to go. Normally I'm way more on top of gifts, but ah well, I still hope to have MOST of those things purchased by the end of November. I'll have to check out Hobby Lobby for wrapping paper this year

    -Lauren
    www.shotoingstarsmag.net

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