How to Easily Plan Ahead for Christmas in August

It seems as if August is the bullwhip end of the summer. It is so hot, the last thing you want to think about is the upcoming holidays. But at the same time, one of the best things you can do is to plan ahead for Christmas.

I know you think I have lost my mind. But think about it. There are benefits in the act of planning ahead, one of which is by doing things now, you save time later. Here are a few:

  • Any handmade items can keep you busy, while still staying cool
  • Cookie dough can be whipped up and put in the freezer
  • Casseroles can be made and frozen without heating up the oven
  • Lists can be made
  • Planning can be done

When all of these things are done, a big chunk of the work will be finished. That means you can settle in and spend time making some great holiday memories!

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How to Plan Ahead for Christmas

Over the next few weeks, I am going to help you tackle just that. We will take it step by step, and at the very least, have a good idea of what we need to tackle, and when. 

To get you started, grab your calendar and your copy of Have a Merry, Simple, Christmas. Add a pen and you are ready to start planning!

Looking for more help? These upcoming posts will take you step-by-step through the basics:

How to Be Productive

an open notebook turned to gift ideas; a pad of paper and a blue pen

When you plan ahead for Christmas, you want to be as productive as possible. To do this, take a look at your calendar and find an hour or two a week where you can relax, be relatively undisturbed, and plan to plan. (One good way to do this is to schedule an Afternoon Tea time. This can be both relaxing and delicious!

Handmade Cloth Napkins

handmade cloth napkins i greens, beige and peach; a wooden fish napkin ring in soft greens and pinks

A beautiful table is the perfect place for family to gather and enjoy not only the food, but the company and conversation. But you don’t need a table that looks as if it came straight out of a home decorating magazine.

Instead, you want room at the table for the food, and to prevent the kids from knocking glasses over. There needs to be space for the laugher and joy to flow while Uncle Dan tells his stories with his arms, hands and elbows.

Yet you still want your own personal touch to shine through. One way you can do that is by creating your own cloth napkins!

DIY – Place Cards

a placecard designed with a bare tree, and a snowman sitting underneath ; snow, and "snowflakes are kisses from heaven

It may be a throwback to a Vintage era but using place cards can be a fun personal touch to your table. Learn how to create them to work with the theme and ‘feel’ of your table – from decorative, serious, and even a bit of fun and whimsy!

Start Your Baking!

a bowl of nuts, eggs, a measuring cup with oil, a bowl of sliced strawberries, a bowl filled with flour - ingredients for strawberry nut bread

One of the first considerations when you plan ahead for Christmas is the food. It is not only one of the most important elements of the holidays, but also one of the most time consuming.

Planning your holiday meals in August not only helps you know in advance what you will serve but will also prevent a last-minute grocery bill that hits the budget hard. Learn a few tips to help get you started. (And don’t forget to make some room in the freezer – you’re going to need it!)

DIY – Hand Embellished Bath Towels

a set of light green towels with a yellow border; a pink soap dish with a bar of guest soap

We love the idea of handmade gifts. But trying to create them all at the last minute usually means there isn’t enough time. We would also love to create a gift that would be perfect for all ages, and for both men, women and children.

You can’t go wrong with hand embellished bath towels. And better yet, they are also perfect for occasions other than Christmas!

Oil the Wheels on your Shopping Carts!

gift basket filled with pasta, ravioli pan, spaghetti sauce, and olive oil; a gift bag filled with flour, wooden Spoon and other baking supplies

Whether purchasing from a brick and mortar shop or online, August is the perfect time to plan ahead for Christmas gifts. But we still aren’t sure what to get – and in some cases, who we will be buying for.

Learn how to plan ahead, budget your money, and find some great gift ideas for everyone on your list! And don’t forget those simple ‘generic’ gifts for teachers, neighbors and others you just want to do something nice for during the holidays.

 DIY – Decorative Pillows

linen pillow embroidered with Hope; a blue hydrangea in a white vase

Handmade items are usually one of the most precious gifts we can receive. When you plan ahead for Christmas, check your list for those who love having a special decorative touch that was created just for them.

Decorative pillows are easy to make. They can be created in just a few hours for the simple version, or in an afternoon or weekend for those that are a bit more detailed. Get your sewing machine ready to make that perfect gift for just about everyone!

DIY –Greeting Cards

a handwoven Christmas card made with red and white paper and plastic trees and red truck

Sending Christmas cards is still a tradition for most people. For those of us who have long lists, it may be easier to buy the pre-printed cards.

But occasionally, we would love to have a more personal card to send to those special people on our list. What would be better than a handmade greeting card.  But get ready – these aren’t some you can simply design and print off from your computer. You will need a few crafting supplies for these!

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Plan Ahead for Christmas!

Are you ready to start your holiday planning? Then August really is the best time to do it. It’s too hot to do much outside, and most of our housework is done in the cooler hours of the morning. If you planned ahead for a cool meal for dinner, then hopefully you can find a bit of quiet time to get your planning started!

To help you even more, Have a Merry, Simple Christmas eBook is filled to overflowing with lists, checklists, meal plans, DIY gifts, recipes, and so much more! Getting your copy now will not only help you get organized early for the holidays but will also allow you to free up even more time to enjoy the holidays with those you love!

In the Meantime…

While you are waiting for the Plan Ahead for Christmas posts, here are a few things you can read that can help you get started!

How to Create New Traditions for Fun Holidays

Celebrating Thanksgiving – 7 Simple Tips for Singles and Small Groups

Have An Old Fashioned Halloween Party – It’s ‘Scary’ Fun!

Your Christmas Wish List – (it really is OK to make one!)

How to Simply Care for Overnight Guests

How to Deal with that Grumpy Relative

How to Get Ready for a Merry, Simple Christmas

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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