Tips for Christmas preparation that will help you get the most out of this Holiday season.

Start Preparing for Christmas

How time flies! Though it may seem as if the last Holiday season is barely past, the next will soon be upon us. For Christmas enthusiasts that's a good thing, actually it’s a great thing! The Holiday season is the best time of year for those of us that love Christmas. So for most of us, Christmas can't get here soon enough.

But it can get here too soon.

That's because the magic of Christmas doesn't just happen, well…magically. The most delightful, most memorable, most magical Christmases happen when we've planned ahead, and we've prepared ourselves, our homes and our budgets for the holiday season.

So here are a few tips for helping you sail smoothly into the next Christmas season, which is already delightfully, tantalizingly near.

  • Use the “B” Word: Budget - who really likes that word? It conveys such a sense of stuffiness and constriction. In truth, when used properly, a Christmas budget can be your very best friend because if you realistically plan out ahead of time what you can comfortably spend - and if you're disciplined in sticking with your budget - you can greatly relieve the financial stress that so often accompanies Christmas.
    A Christmas budget can also help to save you from experiencing the all-to-common post-Christmas funk of being deluged with bills that you can't really afford. And right now is the time to plan your Christmas budget. You can tweak it as needed as Christmas draws closer, but having your budget in place before you spend dime one will help to keep your expenses under control - and that provides wonderful peace-of-mind.
  • Allow Sufficient Time to Take Your Time: What lights and décor will you be adding to your inventory this year? Now's the time to decide. Not many self-respecting Christmas enthusiasts do the same-old, same-old every season. Most enjoy pushing the boundaries of their Christmas décor each year: trying new lights, expanding the coverage area, experimenting with new items of décor. Now is the ideal time to plan for this year's decorations. You can plan at your leisure instead of in a last minute rush. And planning in a relaxed and leisurely manner is likely to do wonders for your creativity. One other reason for planning your lights and décor now and buying them now: you can save some real money.
    You can find some great bargains this time of year!
  • Plan Precisely: Will you be buying lights and décor for this Christmas? If so, use some care in deciding how much you'll need. That means dragging out ladders and stepstools as needed, and laying tape measure to surface. There's simply no other way to assure that what you order is what you'll really need.
    It typically works best to start measuring at the base of your house, working your way up, carefully measuring the length of every run. Don't forget to measure door frames and window frames. And if you'll have light runs on vertical columns, be sure to measure those too. For wrapping lights around foliage like large bushes and trees, be sure to carefully estimate the area as foliage can be very tricky to measure.
    Remember that safety is always paramount. After all, accidents can happen when you're measuring for your lights just as readily as when you're installing them. So be sure to use proper equipment for negotiating heights and working on elevated surfaces. (We highly recommend Cougar Paws shoes and Little Giant ladders.) Nothing will deflate your sails faster than running out of lights when you're smack in the middle of installing your decorations. Plan and measure carefully, and that won't happen.
  • Choose the RIGHT Products: Buying top-quality LED Christmas lights can have a large impact in helping to make this Christmas the best ever and you don’t need to reach deep into your pockets either. The truth is there are plenty of cheap, poorly made Christmas lights on the market. But quality lights will last longer, use less energy, and generate far fewer nuisance headaches from light outages. Save yourself a headache and some money and buy Pro Grade Christmas lights, they are truly the best option.

 

A Fringe Benefit… Getting an early start on Christmas preparation will pay big dividends in maximizing the joy of the holiday season for you and your family. And knowing what you can spend, and what you'll spend it on, will help to ratchet down the stress levels that can sometimes soar during Christmas.

But there's one other benefit you'll enjoy by getting a jump on holiday planning. By starting your planning early, you'll help to build the anticipation of that magical time of year. And there's nothing like finely honed anticipation to enhance the enjoyment of an event. (Some of you might even be old enough to remember a ketchup commercial that reminded us of the power of anticipation.) So as you look forward to next holiday season, you have every right to expect this Christmas to be the best ever. After all, you'll have it all planned out ahead of time!