Think July is too early to start planning for Christmas? Think again. Summer is the best time to prepare for Christmas & ensure a stress-free holiday season.

You might be thinking July is waaay too soon to be worrying about Christmas. And yet the holidays somehow have a way of sneaking up on us, making us woefully unprepared, stressed out and utterly tired of running around with a long to-do list and an even longer shopping list.

While it’s decidedly too early to be putting up your Christmas decorations and wrapping presents, there are a few things you can get checked off your list now to make this year’s holiday season preparations more enjoyable and manageable.

Here are 7 easy ways you can get a head start on Christmas planning now – and why it makes more sense to get these things accomplished early – especially in 2021.

Prepare for Christmas 2021

BONUS for 2021: Avoid Supply Issues & Shipping Delays

The coronavirus pandemic is not quite done wrecking havoc on retailers, both traditional brick-and-mortar shops as well as online and e-commerce stores. From supply chain problems to shipping issues, the busiest season of the year will surely be affected in 2021.

Shopping early is vital for Christmas 2021, just as it was last year. The uncertainty and precarious nature of 2020 seems to have followed into the new year.

Many retailers will have to deal with the same merchandise shortages and shipment delays as in 2020. Unfortunately for customers, this might translate into less options, and less discounts and deals. Shipping will also be an issue for many online retailers. With an increase in demand during the pandemic, many shipping carriers were at their capacity last holiday season.. In 2021, you can expect shipping prices to increase and shipments to take longer.

That’s why it’s so important to start preparing for Christmas early, especially in these uncertain times. Continue reading see how you can take advantage of the best summer deals, get organized, plan and prep as much as you can before the holidays arrive.

Take advantage of summer deals

1. Take Advantage Of Summer Deals

With lots of retailers offering their Black Friday and Christmas in July sales, the summer has great deals on a variety of items, especially electronics, clothing and apparel, jewelry, tools, and vacation packages. It’s also a good time for purchasing home décor, including holiday decorations, as many shops are starting to plan for their Christmas season and want to downsize their stock of last year’s items.

The best summer shopping days include Amazon Prime Day, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, clothing semiannual sales from a variety of retailers, Fourth of July and Labor Day sales, along with tax-free weekends taking place in more than a dozen states — happening in July and August.

Here at Personalization Mall, July is one of the best months to buy personalized gifts and home décor with both the Christmas in July promotion and Black Friday in July sales. Sign up for email updates to get notified of these and other big promotions! To save on shipping, you can also take advantage of the Celebrations Passport Free Shipping program, which applies to Personalization Mall and all of 1-800 Flowers family of brands.

2. Get A Head Start On Holiday DIY Projects

If you like to make your own holiday gifts or decorations, now is the perfect time to start working on them. Gather your materials, ideas and plans. Figure out what you can make ahead of time, what materials you need to complete the projects, and get started.

The thing about DIY projects is that they tend to take twice as much time as you initially plan, especially when you have so many other holiday to-do items on your list. Getting at least some of them done early will not only give you a head start on the holiday season, it will make the projects more enjoyable.

Christmas Shopping List & Budget

3. Create A Holiday Shopping List & Budget

Santa already has his Christmas list. Do you? Starting your holiday shopping list in advance will ensure you don’t forget someone – and that you budget accordingly.

Start with your family and close friends, neighbors, work friends, important clients, teachers, coaches, babysitters, host and hostess gifts and anyone else you typically buy for.

Don’t forget your kids’ bus driver or car pool drivers, your mailman and garbage men, hairdresser, dog walker, paper boy, doctor, nurse or caregiver, priest or pastor, church group, carolers and anyone else you regularly see and want to honor or thank this holiday.

Once you have your list and budget, add a couple of extra gifts (or gift cards) just in case you forgot someone.

You can also use our free downloadable holiday shopping list and budget planner to help you along.

4. Plan Your Christmas Cards In The Summer

While it might be too early to purchase your Christmas cards, this time is perfect to start planning them, especially if you want your cards to feature a family photo.

Decide on a theme for your photo and get it taken now while the weather is nice and you can get great photos outside. If you’d rather have a fall or winter backdrop in your photos, book your photography session now while the spots are still open. Figure out what your family will wear, the type of photo you want and other important details.

You can also order your holiday stamps, make your holiday address labels or customize an address stamp so you’re ready to send out your Christmas cards on time this year!

Christmas baking

5. Test New Recipes For Your Holiday Menu

A week before Christmas is not the time to experiment with a new Christmas cookie recipe or any other recipe for that matter.

Whether you’re hosting this year or just bringing a dish along, now is the perfect time to research and try out new holiday recipes. Doing this so far ahead of the holiday season will help you not only find the best recipes, but will give you enough time to perfect them.

Additionally, you can get a good idea of how much time each recipe will take to create, where you’ll need to go to get all of the ingredients, and most importantly, if your family actually likes it.

6. Make Travel Arrangements Early

Holidays are one the the busiest times for travel, so it makes sense to plan as far ahead as possible.

Because it’s such a popular time for travel, there are many flights, hotels and vacation packages to choose from. But this also means that spots will fill up quickly, so the earlier you can book the better. Booking early will not only allow you to get a better price, it’s also a great way to budget the travel costs ahead of all of the typical holiday expenses of gifts and decorations.

Whether you’re planning on traveling before, after or during Christmas to to visit family and friends or to take a holiday vacation, making your travel arrangements months in advance is a great way to make it more affordable.

Family Christmas Traditions

7. Start A New Family Christmas Tradition

The holidays can get a bit hectic, with so much to do, so many places to visit, and so many people to see. That’s why it’s so important to make time for family.

Finding the right Christmas traditions for your family to enjoy year after year is essential. Whether it’s baking cookies together for a cookie exchange, making your own Christmas decorations, sending letters to Santa, having a Christmas movie marathon, hosting an ugly Christmas sweater party, going out to see the lighting of the Christmas tree or caroling in your neighborhood, there are many great ways to spend quality family time during the holidays.

It’s never too late to start a new family Christmas tradition, but some activities might take a bit of research, planning and preparations. Take a look at our list of fun Christmas traditions for kids or ask your friends and loved ones to share their favorite holiday traditions with you. Then decide on what would be fun for your family, plan it out and put it on your calendar.

How Do You Prepare for Christmas Early?

What other ways have helped you make the holiday season less stressful? Share your tips below!


Kasia Lorenc is a writer and editor at Personalization Mall, covering gifting, home decorating and more.


  1. Kevin Vautour Reply

    Do you produce personal Christmas cards.

    In other word, if I was to send a photo, can it be made into a Christmas card?

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