24 Ways to Get Ready for the Holidays

Thanks for SHARING!

October is here, and the next two months offer a wonderful opportunity to plan ahead and get ready for the holidays. Imagine finishing all of your main holiday tasks so you can relax and enjoy the festivities during December.

You may have read about supply chain issues predicted for this season, so getting organized during October and November will help save time and money.

Here are 24 things you can do in the next two months to get a jump on the holidays and enjoy a fun, festive December.

A long haired dachshund in a Santa costume with felt reindeer antlers

Food and Cooking

  1. Cut out, bake and freeze cookies. You’ll be all set for the fun part – decorating them in December.

2. Make a strata or coffee cake ahead of time for Christmas morning breakfast, and freeze it.

3. Bacon prices are rising! Don’t take chances! Buy your holiday bacon now and freeze it. Thaw in the refrigerator a day or two before cooking it. (I love bacon, in case you can’t tell. Have you visited my bacon blog?)

4. Stock up on beverages and spirits.

5. Make reservations now for any holiday meals, and place orders for your turkey, ham or other holiday foods.

Gift Giving

6. Make a budget for presents. (What if we all agree not to take on any debt for gifts?)

7. Ask loved ones to make lists or start sending you gift ideas.

8. Start buying or making gifts, homemade ornaments and stocking stuffers.

9. Remove those pesky price stickers now and find boxes for gifts, if needed.

10. Find shipping boxes for any out of town gifts you’ll be sending.

11. Wrap gifts as you get them. (I sometimes do a basic gift wrap, write the recipients initials in an inconspicuous spot on the package, and store. Then in December I do the fun part of adding ribbons and tags.)


12. Buy holiday stamps now. You can order them directly from USPS if you want to avoid a trip to the post office.

13. Schedule a photographer or take a family photo, if needed.

14. Order holiday cards in advance. In the past, Shutterfly has offered early bird pricing on printed cards.

15. Companies like Paperless Post offer digital card services.

16. Order address labels and print mailing labels, if needed.

17. Start writing the holiday letter now, if you’re sending one.


18. Go through decorations and give away anything you no longer need.

19. Order any needed supplies like ornament hooks. Test the lights.

20. Buy holiday plants and bulbs that need planting in advance like amaryllis.


21. Talk to family members and figure out how and when you’ll celebrate this year.

22. Plan some fun outings with loved ones during December.

23. Think about something meaningful you might like to do this year.

24. “X” out some hours on the calendar for YOU, so you have a little down time for relaxing and pampering.

Here’s to the happiest holiday season!

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How About You?

Do you have any ideas to add to this do-ahead holiday list? I always love hearing your thoughts and suggestions in the Comments section.

If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin:

24 ways to get ready for the holidays Pin for Pinterest with 6 photos in a collage.

Eliza Cross is the author of 15 books, including recent titles like Bacon Beans and Beer and Small Bites. She blogs at and is the founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society. Her articles have appeared in publications like Sunset, Parents and Writers' Digest. Eliza lives near Denver with her family.

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