It’s July in Dallas-Ft.Worth, you’re sitting by the pool with a refreshing beverage in your hand, deciding how much longer you can possibly take the heat. The thought of diving into the pool crosses your mind, but you’re having a really good hair day and a commitment at 7 o’clock, so that’s just not really an option. What you’re not thinking about are the holidays. That’s right, Christmas… Hanukkah… we said it, NOW is the time when you need to start prepping for the holiday season.
To avoid the stress with last minute holiday scramble, unavailable items, vendors, and services, and overall being stuck with less than your creative mind has brilliantly imagined, stick around. This blog post has everything you need to know about efficiently making your home (and your gatherings) everything you want them to be this holiday season with ease and plenty of time to spare.
Make Your Lists
Checking things off a to-do list is really soul satisfying, but making a list is equally fantastic. Whether you keep a handwritten list in your planner, or add everything to a color coded calendar, lists are life and the holidays are no different.
Your best route here is to make multiple lists. The obvious list is your gift list but let’s expand on that a bit with gifts to make, gift ideas for yourself (this will save you from getting something random from the husband that tried really hard, but missed the mark just a tad), gifts for any parties or special events (no one likes to arrive empty handed – especially not during the holidays).
Additional lists that have proven oh so helpful are lists of events or gatherings you plan to attend (and let’s go ahead and get those on the family calendar now), menu lists – anything that’s non-perishable you can buy ahead of time, which will save you the heartache when you inevitably can’t find that one rare ingredient two days before Christmas dinner.
If you’re hosting your family’s Hanukkah celebration, you HAVE to visit your local Kosher meat shop now to make orders for your menu. Many specialty shops do their orders weeks in advance, and you don’t want to be responsible for ruining Hanukkah dinner, do you? This also includes Thanksgiving and New Years, we can’t say it enough. There’s no harm in ordering now.
A few other must- have lists: any travel plans and necessary packing items and a “supplies list” for gift wrapping and any homemade gifts you’re planning to create.
By now, there’s probably a major brainstorm going on in your creative mind. So run with it! Go get your favorite notebook… or go out and buy a brand new one, because shopping is fun (and so are fancy notebooks and planners)!
Choose a Theme
You may or may not do themes at your house but everyone has a specific style when it comes to holiday decor. It could be around your tree or your table settings – whichever it is, nail down yours. If you do this early one, you’ll have a much clearer vision in your head, which helps in making decisions when shopping.
For those visual learners out there, gather images for inspo. In addition to helping you build your vision for a cohesive design, it’s also really fun to pour a glass of wine and scour the web for photos.
What do you have? What do you need? What can be thrown out? Once you have a better idea of your theme, take inventory of what you already have. The holiday season is packed with activities, so take advantage of a more laid back schedule and test those tree lights out now.
Look for any broken items that you might need to replace and where needed, thin out your collection. There are plenty of places that would love your unwanted decorations, so make a donation to a local thrift shop or shelter, so they’re in the hands of someone new by the time the holidays roll around. While some organizations will resell these items at a discounted price, there are others that will use them on-site, like a women’s shelter or foster care organization.
For the items that align with this year’s plan, organize them separately from the bulk decor. Next, create one more list of what is needed to achieve your goals for this season.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You have your lists ready and a solid inventory of your decorations. Now you can start taking action in the planning department and get things set up as much as you can, without interrupting your day to day life.
If you take family photos for your cards, or have them custom made, now’s the time to get those scheduled.
Gift Wrapping Area
Save yourself the hassle of ribbon rolling across the floor when you drop it while looking for tape and create a dedicated space for a gift wrapping with plenty of room to create those dreamy pinterest-perfect packages. If you have a room with a lock that you can set this up in, you can even use it as gift storage.
Get on the Books
Book any and all catering and vendor services as early as possible. As in yesterday! Not to send you into a full panic, but the best of the best (which is who and where you want to book) book-up quickly, so you want to get on their calendar right away.
If you plan on having any catered events, even if it’s just a few appetizers, contact your caterer right away. This goes for any specialty food items, like cakes or cookies. You’ll never be sorry you ordered ahead.
This goes for restaurant reservations as well as travel plans. Everyone wants to have a special holiday meal, but the best restaurants book quickly. Same for travel reservations- the best flights are already full if you book in October or November. There’s no harm in booking any of these early.
If you’re in charge of planning Christmas dinner and you have a big family, or you really just don’t want to host it at home, consider booking a private room at a restaurant or renting an event space or large outdoor tent, all of which take planning.
For bigger parties and holiday soirees, hire an event planner to help remove some of the workload. Event planners can help with the smallest tasks, such as day-of coordination, or take over the event entirely.
Florals, tables, table linens, chairs, flatware, additional furniture, etc., you name it, you can rent it. And, rental companies will set these things up for you for an additional fee, which is a huge timesaver during this incredibly busy time of year.
Christmas in July may sound a bit ambitious, but you’ll thank us when you’re able to enjoy the holidays without having a lurking sense of “I have SO MUCH to get done.” Host that cookie exchange and enjoy it! Go to the neighborhood mingle and jingle without having to rush home to send out holiday cards. Planning ahead gives you the freedom to step back and absorb those holiday feels.
If the idea of doing all the holiday things in your home makes you realize there are some areas that need a little work, we’ve got your back! Contact us today to enlist the help of our professional design team.
We’ve had years of experience designing homes to be happier and more efficient throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. You can feel confident that our team creates a space that accurately fits your style and provides the solutions you need to make your life even easier. If you’re ready to take action on your space, contact us today to get started.