How to Get Ready for Christmas

Five Parts:Planning GiftsSetting the SceneEating Your Holidays AwayPlanning Christmas EventswikiHow Holiday Cookbook

Do you love Christmas but hate the stress leading up to it? The holidays should be a fun time of year that you can easily tackle in a fun and organized manner. Plan your gifts, set the scene, and loosen your belt so you can eat the holiday away.

Part 1
Planning Gifts

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    Brainstorm gift ideas. As the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive. Have fun thinking about what to give your family, friends, and whomever else is lucky enough to get on your list. Write down your ideas to ensure that you don’t miss anyone. Whether it’s a gag gift or a sentimental one, taking the time to find the right gift for the right person is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.[1]
    • Finding the right gift for someone may be difficult but you can search for online gift guides to help you through the process. A good starting point can be choosing a gift based on the personality or your relationship. For example, if the person is a friend from college, you can give them a sweatshirt from your alma mater.
    • Ask if the the person has a wish list. While it may seem lazy, research has shown that people receiving a gift that they actually want makes them happier than if they were to receive a gift that a lot of thought was put into. However, if you do put a lot of thought into a gift you may feel closer to the receiver.[2]
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    Make a list and check it twice. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit so prepare a list and budget. Just because you have the perfect gift idea for your dad, doesn’t mean you should mortgage your home to get it for him. Be disciplined in your spending by creating a list, complete with prices and alternatives, and keep it with you at all times.[3]
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    Shop online if you want to avoid crowds. Avoid the holiday crowds by shopping in the comfort in your own home. It is easier to stick to your budget as you keep a spreadsheet open or app to help you track your spending. You may also find great promotions and deals exclusive to shopping sites. Be aware to read the fine print on shipping and returns. You don’t want to buy the perfect gift and have it arrive 2 weeks late, damaged, and only eligible for store credit.[4]
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    Shop in person if you want to make sure the item is exactly what you're looking for. Shopping online can be risky because you may not get a chance to see and hold the item. If the item is the wrong colour, size, or texture, you may not have time to return it. Shopping in person can also be a fun activity when done with company as you can joke or get another opinion if you're having trouble deciding.
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    Begin a countdown. You can find many chocolate calendars that help you get into the Christmas spirit with a daily treat. If chocolate isn’t your thing, you can also use any calendar or download a fun app to help countdown the days. Countdowns help build anticipation and let you stay on track with your shopping and preparations.

Part 2
Setting the Scene

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    Use an aroma pot. Waking up to the smells of the season are a great way to start each day. Create a Christmas aroma pot using orange, cinnamon, apple cider, and cloves. Let everything simmer during the day so that the aroma wafts throughout your entire your home.[5]
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    Create a festive music playlist. No matter what genre of music you enjoy, chances are there are Christmas songs that are perfect for your musical taste. While variety is good, only you know what songs can get you in the mood for the season. Whether you find each individual song or download a pre made playlist, enjoy the sounds of the season.[6]
    • Some popular Christmas songs are “Santa Baby” by Madonna, “All I want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” By Thurl Ravenscroft, “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson, and something from Michael Bublé’s Christmas album.[7]
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    Decorate your home, office, and yourself. As soon as Halloween is over, Christmas decorations will start to appear. The earlier you shop for decorations, the cheaper they will be. You may also use social media to find used and unique decorations as well as instructions on how to create your own. You may also decorate your food, your face, your clothes, or anything else you have permission to decorate.[8]
    • Buy festive wrapping paper, Christmas lights and ornaments on sale right after Christmas. Buy them with neighbors for bulk pricing.
    • Encourage your neighbors to decorate their homes with lights.
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    Watch a Christmas movie. There are many classic Christmas movies that you can stream online or watch on tv as many major networks will begin to show Christmas programming. You may also watch new release movies as Christmas time has some of the biggest and most anticipated movie openings of the year.[9]
    • Some great examples of Christmas movies are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Elf.
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    Get your Christmas tree and decorate it. Christmas trees are synonymous with the season. Whether you go out and choose a real tree or get your plastic one from the basement, enjoy the annual tradition of decorating your tree with your family and friends. Themes can always be fun to let your creative juices flow.[10]
    • Although live trees are traditional, consider a less flammable synthetic tree to reduce the risk of fire ruining your Christmas.
    • If you don’t have the space or budget for a full blown tree, visit local displays. Department stores and even entire neighbourhoods will display Christmas trees so check your community calendar.[11]

Part 3
Eating Your Holidays Away

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    Build a gingerbread house. Gingerbread houses are a fun activity for family or friends. Find your favourite recipe and build the type of house that fits your budget and schedule. Whether you’re making it to be displayed or to be eaten, enjoy the process.[12]
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    Bake Christmas goodies ahead of time. Christmas is a great time to mix old favourites with new recipes. Baked goods are a fun gift and are tough to run out of since this is the most social time of the year. When you have free time to bake, make sure you freeze baked in sturdy containers that can stack easily.[13]
    • Ensure that the baked goods have cooled down and wrapped before storing them as you don’t want freezer burn.[14]
    • You may use royal icing to decorate cookies before you freeze them. Wait until the icing is hard before you stack them. You may also place each individual cookie in its own plastic bag before stacking.[15]
    • If you’re making a few different baked goods, keep them in separate containers to make sure the flavors don’t blend together. Store your treats in the back of the freezer to maintain freshness as they’ll keep up to 3 months.[16]
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    Make your own version of an Advent calendar. Advent calendars mark each day leading up to Christmas with a piece of chocolate and can be found at most grocery stores. They are cardboard boxes with little windows that you open, one for every day of December, up to Christmas. Use your imagination to create your own version with a small treat for each day. Whether you bake little pieces of chocolate or more extravagant gourmet candies, create anticipation as each day becomes a fun surprise.[17]

Part 4
Planning Christmas Events

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    Organize a family party. While many families may already have an annual tradition, make sure to send your invites early if this is the first year organizing a family Christmas. When creating your invite list, make sure that you are aware of any conflicts between family members or extended family to avoid any awkwardness. Depending on how many people you invite, be sure to create a menu for enough people and with plenty of recipes you can cook ahead of time.[18]
    • If you're inviting a large number of people, save yourself time and energy by asking for contributions to the meal. Make sure to keep an organized list to get enough variety for everyone and that anyone cooking is comfortable making their assigned dish.
    • Organize games and activities if there are a lot of children in your family. Young children may get easily restless in anticipation of opening their presents.
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    Get away for the holidays. Whether traveling on your own or with others, Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to travel so book your holiday in advance. Many people choose to escape the cold weather and look to vacation in warmer climates. Create a budget and look for all-inclusive packages to help save money.
    • Ensure that you are able to take the time off of work before planning any vacation. Other coworkers may have already booked the time off.
    • Read reviews or consult a travel agent if you do not know where you would like to take your vacation. Do not book your travel itinerary without researching the pros and cons of your destination. Vacationing should be an escape from any stress so put in the work beforehand to ensure a fun filled getaway.
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    Plan a gift exchange with co-workers. Add some Christmas cheer to your office by organizing a gift exchange or Secret Santa. Simply place everyone's name in a hat or organize a system in which each co-worker is anonymously assigned a fellow co-worker to buy a gift for. Make sure that there is a price limit and to stress that gifts should be appropriate for your work environment.[19]
    • For a more random exchange, create a cakewalk in which everyone buys a gift. Set a price limit so that no one goes overboard. Line up all the gifts and assign each with a different number. Follow the rules of musical chairs and play a song as everyone walks around the gifts. When the music stops, each person gets the gift closest to them.[20]
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    Find a place to worship (optional). Depending on your faith, Christmas may be a time to express your faith. Many Christian churches will post their schedules for the holidays. Find your local place of worship and be sure to come early as some places of worship may be filled beyond capacity.

wikiHow Holiday Cookbook

Holiday Cookbook


  • Place breakable ornaments at the top of the tree, near the star and out of reach of young children and pets, to prevent losing treasured Christmas ornaments.
  • Repack the lights, ornaments and wrapping paper really well, for next year.
  • Hand-make things as much as you can, such as the cards, ornaments, bows and even wrapping paper (by drawing on plain paper).
  • Recycle the tree if it's a live cut one, and all the paper and boxes.
  • Sleep in when you get time off!
  • Wish everyone safe, happy holidays!
  • Buy a white plastic Christmas tree they look surprisingly great! And some light up! It is quite splendid!


  • Don't leave anything to the last minute.
  • Make sure to keep water in the tree stand for real Christmas trees.
  • Use care when burning candles.
  • Check Christmas bulbs, wiring, etc. to make sure they are hazard free.
  • If you have stockings that are hung by something heavy, make sure to keep out of reach of children and on Christmas help the child get their stocking down.
  • Make sure to turn the Christmas lights off before going to bed
  • Get the young ones to help you with Christmas tree lights and baking cookies.
  • Place the Christmas tree lighting on a power bar. Turn the tree lights off when leaving the tree unattended.
  • Do not leave the tree lit while unattended.
  • Don't drink too much rum!

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Categories: Christmas