Christmas

Things I do in July to prepare for Christmas

Life moves quickly, and the older I get the more this seems to be true. Weren’t we celebrating Christmas just last month? Though it may seem like it, 7 months have passed since the last time we got a visit from jolly Saint Nick, and before you know it he’ll be making his rounds again. How can you avoid that last-minute rush, the scramble to check everything off your list and make a merry Christmas for all of your loved ones? Take a moment to look over my quick tips for early Christmas prep success.

1. Make your list (check it twice)

I like to start my holiday shopping by making a comprehensive list of people for whom I may want to purchase a gift. For the sake of organization, I divide the gift recipients into categories: definitely receives a thoughtful gift; receives a thoughtful gift if I happen to see something they’d definitely like; receives a generic but nice gift (like wine); gift card. Little cousins almost always get gift cards, because who even knows what kids like these days? Lands’ End gift cards are always a hit. This way whether your nephew wants boys' Christmas jammies or your coworker would like a cute holiday sweater, you’re covered. Bosses and supervisors fall in the generic-but-nice category. Close friends and family get the more customized gifts.

This step, while important, shouldn’t be seen as an inventory of your worldly connections. The connections you have with the people on your list is most important, not how many of them there are. The list is adaptable and should be updated as you gain or lose friends and coworkers.

2. Buy what you can early

Some gifts are completely timeless, so it makes sense to buy them early. A Lands’ End needlepoint Christmas stocking, for example, is always thoughtful and appropriate. Your loved ones will appreciate your thoughtful and customized gift, and they’ll think of you every time they look at their stocking hanging on their mantel. The best part is that stockings are available all year, so you can stock up early! Why not get that stocking wrapped up and taken care of months ahead of time? You’ll be thanking yourself.

3. Some gifts are always in season

Ok, so maybe you’re looking at holiday gifts, but what about all those other pesky gift-giving events? Maybe you’ve already gotten your sister-in-law a set of flannel sheets for Christmas, but then you realize she’s got a birthday in September! Fear not, just repurpose those sheets for her birthday (holiday-neutral wrapping paper comes in handy here). You can always pick up something else for her holiday gift – a coordinating set of monogrammed bath towels, perhaps – but you can rest assured you’ve got something in reserve for her.

4. Make it personal

The best thing about all of our Lands’ End home products is that so many of them can be monogrammed. Want to turn that beach towel into something more special? Have it monogrammed with your friend or loved one’s name or initials! They’ll take one look at that monogram and revel in how thoughtful you are. Monogramming services are available all year and for just a small upcharge to your order.

5. Relax

It’s July. You’ve got plenty of time to get these things done and taken care of. With a little thought and preparation, you can be ready for the holidays well in advance, and with the right gift choices you can have a gift at the ready, any time you need one.

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