5 Things You Can Do Now to Make Next Christmas Easier

Ah, a fresh new year.  Are you thinking about all the things you can do now to organize you life?

While you are still in that January organization mode, let’s work on some things you can do now to make next Christmas easier!

(Because we all know that this new year motivation does not last all year!)

january calendar and things you can do now

 

Of course, we all have limited free time so being organized is essential.  Recently, as I was taking down the mini wreaths from my cabinets, I reminded myself to leave the hooks behind my glass doors.  Since I hang the wreaths on my cabinet doors every year, there is no reason to take down the hooks on the back.  The hooks can’t be seen from the front and decorating for Christmas is so much easier with the hooks already in place.

Since this simple idea ended up being a time saver, I started thinking of ways I can prepare in advance for next Christmas.

christmas wreath on cabinet door

 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.  If you click over and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Here is my list of 5 things you can do now to make next Christmas easier…

1.  Update your Christmas card list.

This Christmas, we had a few returned cards with old addresses.  Since we keep our Christmas card list on the computer, it was easy to type in the updated addresses for next year.  We also try our best to update the list throughout the year when someone moves or gets married.  This way we aren’t scrambling around at the last minute to look for addresses.  Seriously, it’s hard enough just making the time to order the cards and mail them out!

2.  Try out a new recipe or two.  

If you are like me, you make the same recipes year after year.  In fact, my family expects me to bring certain dishes to family gatherings.

How about this year we surprise them all with something new and exciting!  Are you in?  After all, we have a whole year to perfect a new dish!

Strawberries with pound cake

Classic Southern Pound Cake with Strawberries

 

3.  Get rid of the Christmas decorations you no longer use.

Face it, we all have those decorations that we will never put out again.  Why are we saving them?  Are we suddenly going to start liking tinsel again?  Actually, if my husband had his way, we would be putting tinsel on our tree every year!

All joking aside, if you are never going to use it, why is it taking up valuable storage space?  During January, there are all kinds of used-clothing and used-good drives going on…so this is something you can do now.  Of course, you could always try selling some of it.  You just might be able to find someone who wants to pay you for your old box of tinsel.  You never know what people are looking for on Ebay…

4.  Label those bins.

This is one tip I have to finish working on this year.  Even though my storage bins are clear, they are so packed with Christmas decorations that I don’t know exactly what I stored in each until I open them.  Since I don’t do all my decorating at once, it’s helpful to know where I packed certain decorations.  Luckily, I grouped most of my similar items together but it really does help to stick a label on each bin.

Most likely you already packed everything away so just print out some labels and stick them on.  Really, it’s any easy thing you can do now.  Believe me, you will thank yourself next Christmas.

shipping labels for cards and things you can do now

Labels

5.  Plan a unique gift for next year.

If you want to come up with an original gift, you probably won’t be able to think of anything creative while you are scrambling around at the last minute.  That’s why it’s helpful to think of something early in the year.

For the past few years, I have been wanting to give house paintings to a few relatives for Christmas.  I planned to take photos of their houses when they weren’t home and then choose an artist from Etsy to paint the house.  Wouldn’t this make a wonderful and unique gift?  Have I done it yet?…No, because each year I forget to take pictures of their houses.  Usually, I remember this brilliant gift idea in about mid- November.  At that point, it’s too late to take a picture and too late to order the painting!  But not this year my friends…this year I am planning this one early!

If you do end up waiting until the last minute and can’t get someone to do the artwork for you, try this inexpensive technique.  You will still have to take a photograph yourself but you can whip up the artwork pretty fast.

Looking for another gift idea you can plan early?  How about buying an autographed copy of a book?  Throughout the year, pay attention to which authors are touring in your area.  If you find an author someone on your list loves, go get a book signed.  Who wouldn’t appreciate a thoughtful gift like that?

Hopefully, you find this list helpful in preparing for next Christmas.  If you just do a few things now, you can help avoid some of that holiday stress!

What are you doing now to make next Christmas easier?

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January calendar organization 5 things you can do now

 

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14 Comments

  1. Stacey
    January 17, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    Great advice! I love the house portrait idea! Do you have more good ideas? 🙂

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 2:17 pm

      Thank you! I have been planning that house portrait idea for awhile. Another less expensive version is to take a picture of a house and use the Waterlogue app on your phone to make a watercolor print. I will add a link to that suggestion into my post as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. paulasweetpea
    January 17, 2019 / 3:43 pm

    These are great tips! I wish I had labeled my bins before I put them away. They actually have labels, the labels just haven’t been updated. I love your house portrait idea. That is a great gift and who wouldn’t love receiving it?

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Paula! I find the labels really do help a lot with organization. Yeah, the house idea…I have to keep reminding myself to get that done. Now I just hope my relatives don’t see this blog post! Ha! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. January 17, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    Well, so far I’ve done the first four out of the five. Now, onto the unique gift! All great ideas. I’m just hoping our daughter-in-law will want some of the Santas and snowfolk that will otherwise go to charity. They’re cute but there’s only so much room — and time to let them go.

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 9:45 pm

      Great – you must be very organized! I know, it’s so hard to let things go, isn’t it? I am glad you like my gift ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Helen Davis
    January 17, 2019 / 9:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your ideas for prepare for future holidays. I, too, plan ahead for the holidays. I go to the stores now to look for money holders, greeting cards, gift wrap and boxes, ornaments, ribbons and even storage containers. I, also, find small gifts to use for prizes when we play games at Christmas and for unexpected gift giving. Target end caps, Dollar General, Home Goods, Pier One Imports, Pottery Barn store and outlet, Hallmark and other specialty stores provide 75% – 90% clearance on many items. Even bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Books A Million have great items to purchase. You just have to look and create a craft/gift/holiday closet or room to put them in. Its for birthdays and anniversaries too.

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 9:48 pm

      Wow, Helen – what a bunch of wonderful and creative ideas! Yes, this is a great time to find clearance items for next year. I think I will borrow your idea for the gift closet. It would be nice to keep everything all in one place for next year. Thanks for your helpful input!

  5. January 18, 2019 / 8:35 am

    I’m a clearance shopper too, picking up lots of goodies in January and putting away for next year. When I get it all out to decorate next year, I’ll go through the items and get rid of some items that I am tired of, or haven’t used in a while, donating them at the right season so they sell quickly at the thrift store. The thrift stores really prefer that seasonal items come at the right season so they don’t have to store them in their limited space for a year. Good ideas to update lists and plan for gifts that take some time to get done.

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 18, 2019 / 8:38 am

      Great ideas and it definitely makes sense that the thrift stores want things in season. Thanks for the helpful input, Carole!

  6. cynthiahattersley
    January 18, 2019 / 10:02 am

    These are such great ideas Shelley! Now if I can only remember to do them!!

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 18, 2019 / 11:30 am

      Thanks Cindy! I know how you feel…there’s always something to get done! Enjoy your weekend!

  7. January 18, 2019 / 9:00 pm

    Very practical tips Shelley, which I can actually use. Pinning for reference. Thanks for linking up with The Creative Circle.

    • calypsointhecountry
      Author
      January 19, 2019 / 10:21 am

      Thanks, Michelle! I am always looking for ways to be more organized. Thanks for pinning too!

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