Twelve Months of Christmas – Intro

I know what you’re thinking… Twelve months of Christmas?! Shouldn’t that be twelve days? I mean, I like Christmas and all, but twelve months is a whole year… And doesn’t that make Christmas less special?

But I did mean twelve months of Christmas! Not twelve months of celebrating, of having the house decorated and lights hung, or even listening to Christmas music (I try to limit that to six months, personally).

What I’m talking about is twelve months of Christmas preparations. Not to be confused with 365 days. That’s not what this is. I’m just tired of Christmas sneaking up on me every year (it’s not like it isn’t already on the calendar for next year, people!) and that mad last-minute rush of everything I meant to do sooner. 

So I start my planning in January (or December 26) for Christmas. Not in a “cram in as much stuff as I can” sort of way, but really appreciating what Christmas is really about, and the miracle of Christmas is something we really can celebrate 365 366 days (2016 is a leap year, after all) of the year.

So here’s an easy start to 12 months of Christmas:

 What to Buy on Clearance Now, for Next Year

(But before you start, consider what you have and buy strategically… Don’t just shovel from the shelves to your cart.)

  • Wrapping paper, boxes, and gift bags (it’s super cheap and easy to overdo, but you probably don’t need more than 3-4 rolls to get you through next year… Unless it’s a style that can double for birthday or other gifts, then grab 1-2 extra)
  • Lights – where did you come up short this year that you want more next year? And also if you need stakes/clips, get those now, too.
  • Tree ornaments, garlands, ribbon, tree stand, etc. plan your color scheme/theme and buy accordingly. As for the tree itself, they often sell out quickly… The markdown seldom goes past what it will be on sale next November. If you find one you love that survived past the 50% off sale, and it’s part of next year’s plan, then I’ll leave that up to you, but from what I’ve seen it makes more sense to save the money and buy in season.
  • Kids’ Outfits – I have girls, and dresses are pretty forgiving, but I try to err on the side of one size too big (and sometimes we get two years out of the dress). Worst case scenario, if they’re about to outgrow the dress in August, take your Christmas pictures then. Who doesn’t love a nice flowery picture when all they can see outside is snow?
  • Decor – again, don’t just shovel it into your cart. Consider broken pieces that need replacing, empty spaces that need filling, or one or two pieces that you just can’t walk away from. And if you’re moving between now and next Christmas, you probably should just hold off on this one.
  • Gift sets – these are for year round, not just for Christmas. But Valentines Day is right around the corner, and your mom has a birthday this year, etc. I try to buy at least one cologne set for my husband, too. Some gift/decor stuff can work for next year’s gifts, but only f you can keep track of it and keep it hidden for 11 1/2 months (non-food items).

What are your go-to clearance items for Christmas? Or, did you have a favorite find? Please share!

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