Even though it might feel like there is still lots of time to get organized, Christmas festivities are fast approaching. If you start planning your Christmas now, the holidays will be much more enjoyable — you’ll be partying instead of panicking! With that in mind, it’s time to start making lists, cooking, and cleaning.

1- Use a calendar

Write down all the parties you already have scheduled. If you want to go on outings with family or friends, note them down as well, including a trip to the country, skiing, skating, or sliding.

2- Send party invitations and write your Christmas cards

Mail or e-mail party invitations as early as possible in December. Print off a nice family photo and use that for your invitations and greeting cards.

3- Decorate the house

Hang a few electric wreaths outside. Inside, decorate the Christmas tree, and arrange a few pine branches in a vase. Now you’re all set!

4- Cook smart

Plan your menu and draw up a detailed list of all the food you have to purchase. When you’re cooking, make extras that you can reheat and use to feed the family during busy times.

5- Ensure all the family is looking their best

If you can, buy a few new items of clothing for all the family. There’s no good reason to celebrate Christmas in a faded old blouse. This is also the time to freshen up your haircut, get a manicure, and pluck your eyebrows.

6- Buy the gifts

Make a list of the Christmas gifts you have to buy and avoid leaving the shopping until Christmas Eve!

7- Clean strategically

You don’t have to clean your home from top to bottom, but at least make sure that neglected areas are spick and span. Don’t hesitate to use a home cleaning service if the job seems overwhelming.