In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Twelve Things to do This November (in Preparation for Christmas)

Christmas is only 54 short days away.  And although some Grinches think it's still much too early to start thinking about Christmas (like my husband, ahem) I think this is a great time to get a head start so that December can be a time of celebration instead of frustration.

Twelve Things to do this November in preparation for Christmas: 
  1.  A really deep clean.  Prepare your home for Christmas decorating by getting things spiffy clean.  During the busyness of December you will be able to get by with just some maintenance cleaning. 
  2. Get a Christmas photo taken. Whether it's for your Christmas cards, gifts for the grand parents or just for your own records, now is the time to get a family photo taken.  If you want to get them done professionally and haven't booked your photographer yet,  you may want to do that right now!
  3. Go to the Salon.  Dye your hair, get your eyebrows waxed, do whatever cosmetic things you like to do but won't have a lot of time for during the Christmas rush.
  4. Finish up any home decor projects that are hanging over your head.
  5. Buy Christmas outfits for the whole family. Get this out of the way before the malls fill with frantic shoppers.  Don't forget that you need something elegant to wear to your Christmas festivities too!
  6. Set the date for any holiday parties you would like to host and try to send out invites one month prior to the date of the party.
  7. Stock the pantry with Christmas baking essentials
  8. Double a couple weeknight dinners and freeze half for busy December days
  9. Hang outdoor Christmas lights while the weather is still a little less frigid.  If you are a scrooge patient person who likes to wait until December to turn on the festive lights, you could put them up now and not actually turn them on until December 1st.
  10. Plan your Holiday Gift Giving. Make a list of everyone you need a gift for and brainstorm some gift ideas. Set a budget or extend the limit on your credit card.  I was just kidding about that last part!
  11. Make a Christmas Bucket List. List things you'd really like to do as a family this holiday season and then find time for them on the calendar before it starts to fill up with other events.
  12. Watch a Christmas movie in your PJ's.


  1. has a Holiday Control Journal that helps too. Keep lists, and more and its free to print.

  2. Fantastic! I especially like the Bucket List idea! I always have so many things I want to do with the kiddos and never seem to get to them. This year we'll make it happen!! Thanks for the tips!

  3. This is an awesome list! I have already gotten started on a few Christmas things but this reminded me of some I had forgotten! I'm soooo excited!

    If Work Permits

  4. I love making holiday themed "bucket lists"! Such a fun idea. Great list.

  5. mom is a big scrooge who doesn't like christmas music before thanksgiving is over. i tried to take a picture for cards yesterday while we still had snow, but I think i need to try again. i also have a list and a few presents but I love the idea of a bucket list!!!

  6. Love the list!

    #8 rings a bell. It would be nice to have some dinners in the freezer for when it's busy.

    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D
    "31 Days - 31 Minutes to a More Organized Life!"

  7. Awesome! Another thing to remember is the Christmas clothes you buy for the festivites can double as you picture taking clothes... And I think Christmas Cards should be there somewhere...

  8. I found your blog as you did the 31 days...I loved following you and was inspired to make my own list of jobs I needed to tackle around the house...I have gleaming kitchen floor trim thanks to you...I was so happy to see your post yesterday...I worried that the month had burned you out! I read the list and immediately called my fave photography studio to book our Christmas pics...(had to have new years pics taken instead last year)...Much to my delight they were having an incentive (probably to get those freaked out straglers back in line)...I was one of the first people to book and so they waived the sitting fee!!! I owe you thanks for a great month, thanks for the beautiful white gleaming kitchen trim and thanks for $99 savings!! You have a great blog and i am loving meeting you and your family..Jenny

  9. Great ideas! The only thing I would add to the list is if you're going to be making Christmas presents for anyone, definitely start as soon as possible - it always takes longer than you think it will and you don't want to be up late sewing on Christmas eve... yes, I've done that, not fun! Thanks for the reminder to get a Christmas pic!

  10. mmmm, love number 12. I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...

  11. Love the list. I started the big clean this week, hope to be done today. Didn't want to put christmas decorations on top of dust.

  12. Just one more thing...if you are mailing gifts to friends & family, be sure to get the must-ship dates on your calendar

  13. I know it's crazy, but you probably want to book a photographer WAY before November. I'm a photographer, and I was already booked in mid-October. However, I don't schedule anything after Thanksgiving, but i would imagine most pros would be the same.

  14. I love it! You're an organization junky like me. I love that I got a few new ideas here! Another thing I do, I keep an excel workbook for Christmas and I add a tab for every year. This way I know what I bought everyone in past years and how much I spent. I also have a tab for crafts, baking, Christmas cards to mail and the activities (bucket list). Our family is so large that the adults pick names. If you pick at Christmas for the following year you have all year to make note of things 'your' person likes and wants. So you can give them something they wouldn't splurge on themselves.

  15. I keep a "gift" tub at the house with a list of everyone we give gifts to for Christmas (which has two parts, one for people we mail things to and one for people who are local) and a list of birthdays. Then I keep a blank sheet of paper on top so that I can write down what gift is going in the tub and who it is for. That way I can Christmas or birthday shop all year when I find the perfect gift and remember who I've bought for!

  16. Great list, and thanks for reminding us to get a plan in place!

  17. Love this list- I am so on this bandwagon!

  18. Thanks so much for your great list Kelly, I highlighted it on my blog today! Hope it keeps me on top of things this year!

  19. Just discovered your blog and I'm so glad!!! Beautiful family, great ideas. And I'm a fellow lover of teal -- used it in my bathroom with purple towels -- gorgeous!!!!

    I'm gathering fabrics for the raggedy edge quilt -- a really good idea for someone who doesn't have the space to spread out a large quilt for pinning, quilting, binding. etc. I made a doll-sized version, using three-inch squares, for my granddaughter several years ago -- it was adorable, if I do say so myself!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be checking your site frequently.


  20. Would love the hear some ideas for the bucket list . . .


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