Christmas is almost a whole year away – so what can you possibly do in January to make it more fun next time around?
Starting to plan in January and February is, in fact, your best chance of being more organised for the next festive season.
Not only that, it’ll make the whole of 2022 less stressful, more enjoyable, you’ll save time and you might end up spending less money, too!
Write your Christmas card list
Before you put your Christmas cards in the recycling bin, sort through them and make a list of everyone who sent you a card last year.
Compare this with your existing Christmas card list and add any missing names – now you know your list is up-to-date and ready to go!
People who’ve moved house often write their new address in their Christmas cards, so it’s a great idea to update your address book at the same time.
That’s already two jobs done that you won’t have to worry about later in the year!
Once you’ve finished with the cards, cut out any pictures or patterns you like and attach some string, and – hey presto – you also have your gift tags ready to go!
Create a Christmas planner
Having everything written down (or typed up!) in the same place is a really helpful way of keeping your Christmas organising on track.
A notebook, a general planner or a specific Christmas planner all do the job brilliantly: it’s just what works best for you.
Alternatively you can go digital and use a spreadsheet or even a festive planning app!
Did your chosen method work for you this Christmas? If not, why not try something different this year?
Once you’ve decided on your planner of choice, start adding ‘to do’ lists now – and keep it up-to-date throughout the year.
Spreading out the tasks between now and December will make everything so much more achievable and enjoyable.
Review Christmas 2021
Another great thing to do in January is to think about how last December went: was it the Christmas you really wanted?
Note all the successes and failures, both big and small.
Then talk to your family and ask them what they liked and disliked.
Did they enjoy any activities or traditions enough to do them again next Christmas, or would they prefer something different?
Were your Christmas dinner timings slightly out, or did you buy way too many carrots (like I did – but I made a delicious carrot and ginger soup out of them after Christmas!)?
Did you have a quiet Christmas at home this year rather than travelling to see friends and family? Did you enjoy it more or less?
Make a note of all the pros and cons to help you plan an even better Christmas 2022.
For loads more advice on reviewing your Christmas, check out my blog post on this very subject!
Set a Christmas budget
Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year and you’ll be able to enjoy it so much more if you’re not worrying about how you’re going to pay for it.
In the past I’ve overspent, and it’s so stressful when the reality of bills and debt kick in in the new year.
With Christmas still fresh in your mind – and with almost 12 months until the big day comes around again – January is definitely the best time to review your festive spending and set a realistic budget for next time around.
It also gives you the most amount of time to save up for it!
There’s loads more tips on how to go about this in my how to create a Christmas budget blog post.
Start your Christmas shopping
Get your Christmas budgeting off to a good start and buy any cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and decorations you need in the January sales.
You can also start a list of the gifts you’re going to buy people.
Then, throughout the year – every time you hear someone say they like a particular item – make a note of it on your gift list.
Keep an eye on the sales throughout the year and buy the gifts as and when you can, saving you both time and money.
You can also make a note of things you’d like yourself so you’ll have plenty of inspiration to offer people when they ask you later in the year.
Remember to write down where gifts are stored so you don’t forget what you’ve bought/lose them and have to rebuy!
Make a plan for cleaning and tidying
When we think about Christmas-related tasks, shopping, writing cards and wrapping presents are probably the ones that first spring to mind.
But getting the house clean, tidy and organised ready for the festive season are also major tasks that have to be done (or don’t get done because we run out of time!).
This year I’m making extra effort to keep on top of cleaning, tidying and sorting projects throughout the year so I’m more prepared when December arrives.
To this end, I’ve already added one ‘deep clean’ related task per month to my Christmas planner as a reminder and to keep me (and my family – I will be delegating!) on track.
I hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration for things you can do now to make next Christmas more fun.
Often starting is the hardest part, and even if you manage just one or two of these ideas it will make a difference.
Let me know if you have any other ideas – and how you’re getting on with your Christmas 2022 preparations!