Faith · Holidays · Organization

How To Prepare For Christmas In November {Without Skipping Thanksgiving!}

On my way home from Tennessee last weekend, I stopped at the Asheville Outlets (because Kirklands). Walking from my car to the stores I was completely in awe of the gorgeous fall leaves everywhere in the parking lot. The trees were just full of vibrant fall color. I turned the corner toward the first set of stores and was immediately slapped in the face with intense Christmas decorations! This outlet mall goes all out for Christmas – it’s very festive, but it seriously clashes with orange and yellow. I’d rather not take my picture in front of a fiery orange tree covered in huge red ornaments.

Everywhere we go, our culture tries to force us to rush right from Halloween into Christmas…completely ignoring Thanksgiving. Is it wrong to start preparing for Christmas in November? I think you can have a little bit of both – as long as you don’t decorate with fall orange and Christmas red at the same time. πŸ™‚

I believe it’s actually important to start preparing for Christmas in November. Doing so helps us to enjoy the season even more, because we won’t be rushing around as we try to cram everything into a few crazy weeks! Here are three simple things you can (and should!) do now to start preparing for Christmas.

Prepare Your Heart

One of the best ways you can prepare for Christmas is to embrace the season of Thanksgiving! If you spend the next few weeks pondering all that you have to be grateful for, you’ll be ready to move right into the Christmas season with a heart of worship. When we praise the Lord, we take the focus off ourselves and put it on Him. Could there be any better heart attitude for Christmas?

Prepare Your Mind

This involves one of my favorite things – PLANNING! November is a great time to gather all your thoughts and sort them out in whatever fashion works for you. This year I’m using a printable planner that my friend Mandi created (get yours here – it’s a free download!) to enhance my tried and true Christmas planning system.

It’s important to remind yourself that you have to say no to something. You can’t buy, decorate, bake, eat or do #allthethings. Think back to what didn’t work last year and decide to say no to those things. When you say no to something that doesn’t help you reach your goal of a peaceful, Christ-focused Christmas, picture yourself saying yes to the goal!

Prepare Your Family

Gather everyone that lives in your house and talk through expectations, wishes, schedules and plans. This weekend, Paul and I worked through our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans and covered all of those topics. We talked about work schedules, ideas for gifting (with each other and our family), travel plans and even potentially stressful situations that we want to be prepared to handle.

Nobody lives in a perfect family! If there’s an event or individual that causes stress in your home (particularly in your marriage), talk through that with your husband now. Be prepared to approach the situation as a team with your man.

Whether you have a calm, loving family that usually always gets along or a crazy, dysfunctional family with little in common – God will honor your desire to please Him and encourage others with your family time. (Read more about how to have the best kind of family gathering here)

Have you started preparing for Christmas?

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8 thoughts on “How To Prepare For Christmas In November {Without Skipping Thanksgiving!}

  1. I just ordered my advent devotional this week. I have followed along online with Bishop Robert Barron for two years now and I am happy he is doing a hard copy this year so I can keep it for future reference. While I am not Catholic, Bishop Barron is one of the best theologians I have come across. He hits the nail on the head every time. I am also getting my shopping done so there is no frantic rush in December. I like to have time to enjoy every moment of the season.

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  2. Such good reminders to start preparing now for the holiday season. I’d love to sit down with my husband to discuss our favorite activities together. That way we can make sure to do those and see which events we could eliminate from our calendar. We were just talking last night about the best ways to make our Thanksgiving full of thanks and giving and not stressful with the family events we’ll be attending. Love your advice and will be taking it to heart this season.

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    1. It is so easy to become stressed when there are lots of family members to visit. Family time is important, but not if you have to run yourself ragged trying to make everyone happy. I have to remind myself of that, too!

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  3. We have a Kirklands about 30 minutes away and I really need to make a trip out to see it sometime. I follow them on IG and I’ve been on their online site, but I feel like I need to go in their actual store sometime soon! πŸ™‚ I haven’t planned anything for Christmas yet, I used to be such a planner… I’m not sure what happened! Somehow it always gets done tho! I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving, I am such a foodie and I love how it is such a cozy holiday! I love all of your tips. I have been saying no to a lot of things I used to do, I have learned it is better not to get burned out!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Hey Carrie! Yes you definitely need to visit Kirklands! They have great stuff, but their store isn’t huge so it’s not overwhelming. I’m such a foodie too – I’m already craving all the Thanksgiving carbs! πŸ™‚

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  4. It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving! I feel like I need to be careful or I’ll blink and it’ll be New Year’s! I’ve been making Christmas gift lists and am trying to get a good majority bought before Thanksgiving so it’s not a mad dash. We do a lot of family baking in December and like to visit some local Christmasy attractions, so we’ll be a lot more peaceful celebrating the spirit of the season if the “must-do”s are checked off first. I usually get a few small items last-minute, but that’s not too frustrating. It’s just fun stocking stuffers that I see on sale. You never know what fun things will pop up in the stores! πŸ™‚

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