Christmas is over 3 months away, and while technically you’ve got lots of time to prepare for this holiday season, the end of summer is the perfect time to put on your Santa hat. By getting started now, you’ll avoid crowded (germy) stores, fighting for parking spots, hunting for gifts that are sold out online, and dealing with shipping delays. Imagine how nice it will be to have the bulk of your Christmas preparations wrapped (no pun intended) before all of the holiday chaos begins!
Here are 5 ideas for getting started preparing for the holidays this year:
Get all of your stocking stuffers out of the way first. This is the perfect thing to tackle early, because it requires zero input from your family. (If anyone has gift requests, they’ll probably be for the bigger items). Visit your local dollar store or the ‘dollar spot’ inside Target. Don’t forget to peruse the toiletry, candy, kitchen, and toy aisles too. There are also tons of great stocking stuffers that you should grab online before they sell out as it gets closer and closer to Christmas. Here’s a phenomenal list of toddler stocking stuffers in case you’ve got any little ones between ages 1 and 4 to shop for.
Find out the lead times of any must-have gifts you already have in mind. Last year, the kid-favorite Nugget sold out before Christmas, and parents everywhere were devastated. Whether it’s a popular product, something custom or personalized, or even an ordinary item that must be shipped overseas, you’ll want to get an idea of the type of delays to expect so you can get ahead of them.
Book your holiday travel sooner rather than later. Whether you have plans to leave town or you have loved ones coming to visit you, this is something to (at least tentatively) figure out now before the prices skyrocket. Thankfully, due to the pandemic, many airlines are waiving cancelation fees.
Stock up on shipping supplies. Here’s a great little tip if you plan to send presents to loved ones who live far away: grab some of the free Flat Rate Priority Mail shipping supplies from the post office. When the holidays get closer, it’s a sure bet that the post office will run out of them. (Plus, visiting the post office around Christmas is zero fun). Flat rate shipping will save you money, and also makes it easier to ship stuff from home since you don’t have to weigh it. All you need to do is purchase a label online and leave the package on your doorstep for the mailman to grab.
Start compiling a Black Friday watch-list. Think about some of the pricier items that you really want to buy on sale. Before Thanksgiving rolls around, spend some time researching the product(s) so when the deal hits, you can purchase it immediately and not lose out on the deal. For example, if you’re in the market for a new television, read customer reviews and compile a list of the TVs you’d consider. On Black Friday, if you see any TVs with a price cut, you’ll be ready to pounce.
In conclusion, while it might sound ridiculous to start thinking about Christmas while it’s still technically summertime, there are some very real benefits to starting your preparations early. Follow the 5 tips above to prepare for the holidays now to enjoy a smooth and magical Christmas this December.