Thursday, October 20, 2016


Christmas can either be a really magical time of the year or it can be a really stressful time of the year. Unfortunately, a lot of the time it's the latter, and once it's all said and done people are breathing a huge sigh of relief that, "it's over until next year". I never want to have that mentality or way of thinking, so I am doing some things already to help reduce any stress that the holidays might bring, and I am sharing those 6 simple steps with you today!

 1 | Start planning your holiday outfits now.

Growing up we always had Christmas dresses every year. We would have our Christmas pictures made in then and then wear them on Christmas. Well as I have gotten older I don't care to wear a Christmas dress every year, but I do still plan my outfits. Now that we're married I like to color coordinate my outfit and my husband's outfit. I already have our Thanksgiving outfits planned out (we'll also be using these outfits for our fall pictures) and I am almost finished with our Christmas outfits. Don't get my started on how excited I am to one day, coordinate holiday outfits for us and our children.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on holiday outfits, or even get super dressy. You can use something that you already have hanging in your closet, or borrow a piece or two from a sibling or close friend (I am borrowing my sister's adorable ankle boots for our fall pictures). If you do choose to purchase something new for you holiday outfit start looking now! Store have sales all the time, and you can usually find something that you like around 30% off.

2 | Have holiday pictures made.

We are having fall pictures made soon for our Christmas cards. Having our pictures taken early means that I can get them back and get our Christmas cards ordered in a timely manner.

If you don't want to pay someone to take your pictures then ask a family member next time y'all are together, or get with another couple friend and y'all exchange picture take their pictures and they, in turn, take your pictures (it's a win win for all of you!), or if none of those work for you, then you can simply set up your self timer and get to clicking! Don't stress about finding some beautiful backdrop, use your front porch, fireplace, or even your own backyard. If none of those work for you then look at some local parks near you. We had our engagement pictures, and 1 year wedding anniversary pictures made in state parks, and we had our Christmas pictures made last year in a Christmas tree farm. None of those places charged us to have pictures taken there and we were more than satisfied with our pictures!

3 | Order Christmas cards.

As soon as we get our fall pictures taken and back I will order our Christmas cards. We have already picked out the design, and all we're waiting on is our fall picture to upload to it.

Ordering Christmas cards now is a great way to save money and to mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list!  A lot of companies offer cheaper prices if you order in advance, and it takes the stress off of you about spending even more money closer to Christmas time. You can also avoid any expedited shipping fees, by ordering them early. I love ordering our Christmas cards early, so that I cant start addressing them and writing a little note on the back a little at a time, instead of spending a whole afternoon trying to finish them all so that I can ship them the next morning, There is no such thing as being too prepared, so look around for some sales and cute designs and order them now!

4 | Start shopping for gifts.

I would love to have all of our gifts bought before Thanksgiving, or buy the last few gifts on our list on Black Friday, so that we could enjoy the whole month of December without running around to different stores or paying expedited shipping on things to get them here in time.

If this sounds like a good idea to you then a great way to do this is to keep a physical list in your purse or to keep a list in your "notes" app of the people you are buying for and what you would like to get them, that way if you are out and see something you can reference.your list and cross that item off. Keep an eye out for sales in stores as well as online, search for coupon codes!

5 | Finalize holiday travel plans.

Go on and start planning out your holiday schedule now. Who and where you will be spending the holidays with. Will you be going out of town or staying close to home? If you will be traveling, will you be flying, if so go on and book those flights! Will you need to take additional days off from work or burn some PTO days? If so, go on and plan those and get them approved at work.

Matthew and I are finalizing our holiday plans now. Who and where we are spending what days with. Last year our holiday plans actually worked out really well, so I think we will be sticking to that schedule again this year. It's actually very relieving to know and have holiday travel plans already scheduled out in advance. That way we can avoid any miscommunications and enjoy our time spent with each other and our families!

6 | Plan out your holiday traditions (or decide on which ones you want to start)

I love driving around Christmas  time and looking at Christmas lights while Christmas music is playing in the background. I'm pretty sure Matthew and I have done this every year that we have been together. We have never really planned a specific time to do this, simply because we don't go to specific areas or locations, but if you were planning on going to a certain event or location that has operating hours, go on and plan your trip there.

Do you host a Christmas party or event every year? If so, go on and nail down a date and send a Facebook event to save the date. December is full of tons of holiday events for everyone so throw your date out early to give people plenty of time to plan accordingly. If you are the person who attends a Christmas party or event every year then as soon as you get the invitation write it down, so you don't accidentally double book yourselves. If this is your first married Christmas, or even if this is your 10th married Christmas, look into some new and fun Christmas traditions. You don't have to spend a lot of money on traditions. You could volunteer together somewhere in your town as a Christmas date night, you could get together with a bunch of friends and watch your favorite Christmas movies, spend one whole day Christmas shopping together and grab a lunch at a new place every year,  or make Christmas cookies together and enjoy them and hot chocolate with your favorite Christmas movie and candle going...there are so many ideas out there pick a few and see which ones you really enjoy and would want to do every year as your family grows!

There are six ways to start preparing for Christmas now. We are doing these now in order to reduce any holiday stress and to fully enjoy the holidays together and with our families. How do you prepare for the holidays?

To see other free Christmas binder printables, go here.


  1. I just looked at Christmas cards on Friday!!! We're getting our one year anniversary pictures taken in a few weeks, but I wanted to go on ahead and pick out the design! :)

  2. I know what's on your mind and I'm not far off ;) I actually already got my Christmas skirt at J Crew outlet when I went with my parents! Can't wait to wear it :) Are the Christmas cards really cheaper now? We're going to use a picture from our recent photoshoot and I saw Mpix was having a sale but I never know if they're truly on sale... Great tips! This post is making me super excited for Christmas!!

  3. Shopping for gifts early is a great idea. I worked in retail for a few years, and a lot of the Black Friday deals are jokes. Best to start your shopping early and spread it out.

  4. Love this share, I do the exact same thing with getting presents done early. We're already halfway through with Christmas shopping and we use travel photos for our cards so we're ordering them this weekend.


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