Is it Too Early to Start Planning for Christmas?

 September is the perfect time to think ahead to the holiday season; start Christmas planning now, and you’ll reap some benefits.  I know what you’re thinking: “It’s too early to think about Christmas!  I can’t get in the holiday spirit!”  However, consider some of the advantages to starting now:

1.      Make it a Cash Christmas!  If you wait until the last minute to purchase gifts, you might be tempted to make purchases using a credit card.  If you make the purchases over the next three months you’ll spread the expenses over the course of several pay checks and it will be easier to fit it all into your budget without needing to borrow.

2.      Handmade Holiday Giving!  If you’re feeling crafty and wanting to make gifts for your family and friends now is the time to get started. The craft stores are fully stocked with Christmas craft items and this will give you plenty of time to work without being rushed.  Don’t wait too much longer or the craft items at the stores will be a thing of the past and you’ll be searching for project supplies.

3.      Crowd Free!  No explanation necessary!  Avoid the lines and crowds. Avoid the hectic parking lots and trudging with heavy bags and shopping carts through the snow.

4.      Decision Making Made Simple!  The holiday spirit can be a little overwhelming in December.  We all feel a little pressure to find the “perfect” gift for someone special or squeeze extra visits into an already busy schedule.  It’s tempting to let the holiday spirit move us into impulsiveness or over-spending.  If you plan now you will be in the driver’s seat with regard to budgets, schedules and travel plans.  You are more likely to have realistic expectations and an understanding of your limitations.  Decide on gift ideas and schedules now so that the celebration later is less stressful.

5.      Pantry Provisions!  If you’re a baker, take advantage of store sales and stock up on your baking supplies now.  Things like butter (keep in freezer), flour, spices, sugar and canned milk are non-perishable and can be purchased now so that you already have them on-hand and you won’t have to make additional purchases during the holidays.

6.      Joy!  Planning now and completing chores related to the holidays will make you feel that much more prepared for the season so that you really can focus on what’s important to you during the holidays.