How to Start planning and preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas (Hint: Start Now!)

“When should I start planning for Christmas/Thanksgiving/winter holidays?”

“How do I start preparing for the holidays?”

Because OMJ offers holiday services, we get these questions a lot. So repeat after us: Earlier is better. We recommend you start thinking about the holidays in late September or early October, right after the kids get settled back in school.

Start your holiday planning by deciding what you want to do for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the other fall and winter holidays. Are you going to stay home or travel? If you’re staying home, are you hosting others? Are you expecting family or friends to host you?


If you decide to travel during the holidays, make your travel arrangements now. According to USA Today, mid-September through mid-October is the time to find deals on airfares for Thanksgiving and December holidays. However, options will likely be more limited after mid-October, and prices will go up.


If you’re staying home and hosting others, figure out the guest list so you can start meal planning. Schedule time to get the guest room in order, especially if the space serves another purpose (like an office or storage room) the rest of the year.

Holiday cards

Do you want to send out holiday cards to friends and family? First, you should start compiling a list of names and addresses. Then reserve a photo session now for family pics and order cards soon after.

Gift shopping

Again, start with a plan. Make a list of everyone you need to get a gift for. Dividing your list into categories can help, especially if you have a lot of people on your list. Some categories...

  • Immediate family
  • Friends
  • Out-of-town family and friends
  • Colleagues/Co-workers
  • Clients
  • Service providers (nanny, hair stylist, housekeeper, etc.)
Once you’ve made your list, create a budget or price limit. Categories can be helpful here as well. For example, if you decide you only want to spend $150 on gifts for your co-workers and you have five co-workers, then plan on spending $30 each.

Prioritize shopping for gifts you need to give or send before the actual holiday, like gifts for out-of-town recipients that you need to ship or teacher gifts that you need to give before the holiday break begins.

Outsource your list

Look at outsourcing what you don’t like or do well. For example, buy dessert instead of making it from scratch. Order online and pick it up from your local store. Outsourcing or hiring help gives you more time with family and friends.

If you feel overwhelmed getting ready for the holidays or just want to enjoy your holidays, OMJ can help! Our holiday services include:

  • Declutter, organize, and prepare your guest room for visitors
  • Gift shopping, wrapping, and shipping
  • Holiday decorations set-up and take-down
Call us today to book your holiday sessions!


1731 Redwing Pines Drive
Houston TX 77009