It may feel like Christmas is still a long way off, but Santa’s on his way, and the more you prepare now, the happier you’ll be on Christmas Eve.
From expert travel tips to gift-giving expertise, here are a few tips to help you get on top of your holiday to-do list early — for once, this year.
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1. Make a List and Check It Twice
Your gift list doesn’t have to be as long as jolly old Saint Nick’s, but writing out your intended giftees will help you remember to buy something for everyone. Keep a rolling list all year-round, updating it whenever ideas occur to you, rather than trying to remember those perfect gifts all at once in mid-December.
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2. Print Your Holiday Cards Now
It may seem odd to dress up in your holiday best weeks before snow ever touches down, but starting your holiday cards early will give you time to personalize each one. Don’t bother printing off a massive stack. Focus on getting the right picture on the right card with the right note to the right few friends and family. The extra, early effort will mean a lot to anyone who receives a particularly great holiday message.
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3. Invite Guests
Be the first host to hit your guests’ inboxes with a holiday party invite to ensure maximum attendance. Last-minute hosts only have themselves to blame when invitees already have other plans.
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4. Wrap the Presents
If you’ve been a good elf and ordered all your presents early (avoiding the one-day shipping fees), go ahead and wrap them whenever you have a spare moment. A warm feeling of accomplishment will wash over you every time you open your closet to see your pile of expertly prepped presents, like a mini-gift to yourself every time you get dressed all month long.
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If you’re traveling to visit family or friends for the holidays, set aside a suitcase far ahead of time. You likely don’t need that ugly Christmas sweater or pair of festive socks between now and December 24 anyway. Not only does packing ahead of time ensure you won’t forget anything at the last minute, but it will also reinforce your sense of preparedness, giving you confidence as you face the gauntlet of flying Christmas week.
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6. Give Your Car a Tune-Up
Driving hours to grandma’s house is difficult enough without your car breaking down. Take your chariot to a mechanic for a quick pre-holiday tune-up and double check that you have chains and a spare ready for ferocious winter weather.
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7. Make Time for Yourself
Put some me-time on your calendar for the days leading up to and following your holiday festivities. Commit to a daily rituals like morning gym visits or afternoon walks. Make a reservation for a solo meal. Pick up a new book that’s perfect for reading in the tub. Plotting some time alone doesn’t make you selfish; it readies your mind to make the best of time together with loved ones.