I like to go through and see what’s been clearanced right after Christmas but I’m very careful about what I buy. I only buy the things that I really like…assuming that they won’t be on the shelf long once the discount goes higher than 50%. I pass on anything that I can live without in hopes that it will still be laying around when the discount is really good.
January 1st- Mid February
I will randomly pop into stores around town and check out what’s left on the shelves. I’m always amazed at some of the great things still left even after going 80% off or higher. I have purchased pieces and parts to whole collections at just $1.00 to $1.75 a box. If you’re going to buy the ornaments then you might as well buy any coordinating ribbons, picks, wreaths, etc. Even boxes of plain glass ball ornaments for $0.30 a piece will come in handy next year when you have a glass vase or bowl to fill.
August is the month that I start making trips up to the attic and dig through the boxes and bags of things I purchased on clearance. I start sorting a little by color and seeing exactly what new things I have to work with. This is usually when the wheels in my head start turning and I begin formulating a plan for each room.
Hobby Lobby begins putting out Christmas around this time. It’s a great time to stroll through the isles and get inspired. Their ornament isles are perfect for inspiration because they color coordinate their grids. You can view things hanging there together while imagining them paired with things that you already own. Or better yet…maybe it will inspire you to add a new color or go a whole new route with your color choices.
This is the month when I really start planning. I will often grab random ornaments from storage and group them together to see how they look with one another. I don’t ever do the exact same thing two years in a row so I often mix new colors together to give me something fresh and different. Of course I’ve already cruised the isles of heaven (aka Hobby Lobby) and have made a list of the things I know that I have to buy to.
I start making lists for each room, outlining things such as color scheme, theme, which tree and where it will go. I will even sketch out specific things that I want to be sure and remember.
I begin working on any handmade elements in October. Unintentionally I usually have one basic item that I pick and make most of that year's things out of. It can be anything like beads, scrapbooking paper, feathers, painted and glittered glass, etc.. This year I’m making lots out of pages from a vintage book and hymnal.
November – The real magic begins now…LOL
I always begin setting up Christmas on November 1st. I know that this sounds horribly early to most but I have very good reason. I host a yearly Christmas Open House so that friends and family can come view the holiday grandeur. It is nearly always held on the first weekend in December so that it doesn’t cut into all of the other festivities that keep people occupied during the month.
Thanksgiving weekend is usually pretty intense considering I put up at least six trees and decorate every bare surface in the house. After every last inch has been decorated it’s time to scrub the house down to remove all piles of glitter and artificial tree needles.