If you love the holidays, then you are already on it with Christmas in July!
Christmas might be my favorite holiday. So having permission to think about Christmas in July is so wonderful. It is also a great opportunity to get organized this year and get ahead of things. If you like to cook and entertain like I do, and hosts guests for the holidays, then you will need to be organized so that you can enjoy all the festivities too!
This post will hopefully help you navigate all the things necessary you will need to be the hostess with the ‘mostess’ this coming season.
Shopping and Gift Giving
Take advantage of sales this month. From Amazon to department stores and everything in between and online, there are just as many sales this month as in November and December almost. And there will be plenty time left to pay some if not all of it off by Christmas which is a big financial load off your mind.
If you like to gift wrap by theme or color that match your decorations, seek out wrapping paper and supplies now and even get some wrapping done. Doing it this early, keeping a Gift Journal is a must so you can remember who gets what and what’s available for your Hostess gift stash for all those party invites. You will never come empty handed again.
Make a list and check it twice.
It’s easy to go off the rails in gift giving when starting this early, but it’s also easier to stay on budget with a list. When your list is done it’s harder to justify more purchases. It also makes weeding through those sales less stressful when you now what you want and can do price comparisons.
Where do you begin? Let’s ask some questions first.
- Do you know where your decorations are?
- Are they organized?
- Are you ready to move on and get new stuff?
- Did you buy a new home this year and want to show off a little?
- Is your current Christmas tree going to be the right one for your decorating ideas?
- How about adding one in another room?
- Are you decorating outside this year?
Now’s the time to take stock in what’s on hand and what’s needed. Maybe you will want to do an environmental holiday so do a little research into buying more sustainable products.
Last thing, organize and label as you go so next year wondering what box the tree topper is in won’t be an issue.
Baking and Food Gifts
Baking and food gifts takes a little more thought than main and side dishes (at least for me). Having a stocked Pantry to makes all those cookies, cakes, pies and giftables like food gift baskets possible at a moments notice. Do you cookie swap or plan on giving them as gifts? Gathering ideas and getting your packaging now is a great idea.
If you are lucky enough to have a Pantry, start making an area just for stocking up on things you will need like flour, sugars, spices, chocolate chips, extracts, nuts, molasses, dried fruit, etc. as these items tend to get more scarce the closer the holidays get. This cuts down on frantic runs to the store and a dessert getting dropped from the list for lack of ingredients.
The Freezer is also part of your Pantry too. Stock up on things like make ahead batches of pie dough, cookie doughs, puff pastry, butter (lots of butter!), frozen cranberries and other fruit, and even cream cheese which can be stored up to six months in the freezer.
Add these to your Holiday Menu this Year!
Planning your Menus
It’s crazy to think about how much food we consume over the holidays. Ok, don’t think about it just enjoy yourself.
In saying that, who’s cooking all of it? Maybe this year you can cook some and order some. Or let someone else host one of the big ones this year. maybe you want to go organic this year, so research for ethically raised farms and put your orders in early so you won’t miss out. Whatever route you take there are plenty of other meals and snacks that need to be made and eaten. This is where Meal Prepping can really shine to save some time.
Casseroles, soups, and stews are perfect for freezing ahead of time. Some times way ahead like 3-5 months. Have these meals on hand for long days of shopping and no time to cook dinner or even homemade breakfasts ready to go and just heat up.
Here some great Recipe Ideas to try!
Entertaining and Hosting Guests
Entertaining and Hosting really is all about organizing.
Making lists can be your lifesaver
- Guest list + food allergies
- Grocery list
- Sundry or toiletries list for guests
- Room extras for guests
These lists can be worked on as early as possible until your guests arrive. Special orders and deliveries from your favorite markets can also save time and your sanity and is well worth the extra costs.
Have a Christmas in July Party! What a fun thing to do to kick off the Christmas countdown. End it watching a Hallmark Christmas movie or your favorite one that’s gets you in the mood, and I dare you not to be excited for the holidays.