Beat Holiday Stress: Why November is the Perfect Time to Plan for Christmas

What is your least favourite month of the year?

Mine used to be November. Why? Because November feels dreary.

November feels like an in between-Thanksgiving-and-Christmas, useless kind of a month during which the dormant, brown grass becomes a reflection of what I feel inside – not alive, not dead, just somewhat depressed while I wait for the magic of Christmas to begin.

But, guess what? I’ve discovered that:

November is the perfect time to plan for Christmas

advice to beat holiday stress by planning for Christmas in November

Therefore, November has made a turn-around for me over the last few years. It’s become a season of anticipation and excitement.

In fact, the anticipation of Christmas now seems almost more enjoyable than Christmas itself. Planning for Christmas, shopping for Christmas, and engaging in all the little Advent activities and treats that come before the big day – these have become my favourite parts of the holiday season.

Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped in November
Photo by on

Four Days of November Remaining

November is also the perfect time to plan for Christmas because it leaves December free for us to enjoy the busyness of the season and still having plenty of time to spend with our families.

That being said, there are only four more days of November left!

To celebrate the start of December, I’d love to share with you two new Christmas plans I’ll be implementing this year. (And I’m hoping you’ll share some of your Christmas ideas and plans in the comment section below. 😊)

mother and child celebrating family beside Christmas tree
Photo by cottonbro on

No. 1 – Varagesale Christmas

I sat down with the kids a while back to talk about how they’d feel if we had a Varagesale Christmas. I explained that they would still get a few new items, but that many of their presents would be purchased second-hand. They agreed; and they’re excited to save up their allowance and buy used gifts for one another because these are gifts they can afford!

On Varagesale, things like books, games, LEGO, and toys can be found for a fraction of the price and are just as enjoyable used as they are new.

(Quick note: This isn’t a varagesale advertisement. I just like using the app.)
varagesale ideas for children's affordable christmas presesnts

No. 2 – Random Advent

I love advent; and every year, our family celebrates advent a little differently. Why? Because families change, ages change, and Mama’s energy levels change (can anyone relate?).

This year, I plan to buy inexpensive chocolate advent calendars from our local dollar store. Then, I will place a small sticker on random advent dates on the calendar. When the kids open a chocolate door that has a sticker on it, they will get to pick one small present from their advent Christmas box.

Some ideas for what these small presents could be are:
  • An activity coupon (eg. free backrub at bedtime tonight, or your pick for movie night tonight)
  • A clue leading them to a hidden gift somewhere in the house (eg. a Christmas book, or a stuffed animal)
  • A small, wrapped present (eg. a pack of gum, or a hot wheels car)
celebrate christmas with little presents on random advent dates

What Are Your Christmas Plans?

I’d love to hear how you plan for Christmas and what your ideas are for this holiday season! Please comment below.

If you’d like to see what our Christmas Advent season looked like last year, check out these posts:

How I Learned…To Connect With God at Christmas (Plus 6 Simple Steps for an Advent DIY)


What to Do With an Epic Fail Advent

And, Merry Christmas!

With love,

Sara Jane Kehler

6 thoughts on “Beat Holiday Stress: Why November is the Perfect Time to Plan for Christmas

Add yours

    1. Thanks, Cindy.

      This is how I like to get ready for Christmas so that I can be (mostly) stress free in December. But the next person would find it more stressful to plan so far ahead, because we’re all made differently. 🙂


  1. Love the varageslae idea! My mom bought chocolate advent calendars for us and I carried on the tradition with our kids. Our youngest is 19 and still asks for one!

    Liked by 4 people

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