So here's my personal list of what I will and won't do before that late November date:
To Do Early:
1. Begin Christmas shopping (seriously, if I waited until December to start my Christmas shopping, I'd never finish or I'd end up so stressed that the month would be spoiled).
2. Make any gifts I intend to make or sew anything that needs sewing (such as gift bags).
3. Read Christmas books to get in the mood (we've talked about this here before. Kudos to Laney4 who reads Christmas books year-round).
4. Start researching any new recipes I might want to make (like the Christmas tree cookies above).
5. Gather supplies (wrapping paper, cards) if they happen to be on sale. Otherwise, I'll wait on this.
6. If (big if) there's an especially warm day near the end of November, we might put the outside lights up but not turn them on. (I'm not sure we've actually ever done this, but it's always a possibility).
To Leave Until December
1. Most of my shopping
2. Wrapping things
3. Listening to Christmas music
4. Watching Christmas movies (Note: I'm not criticizing anyone who does any of the things on this part of the list early. I just get burned out if I start too early with music and movies...usually).
5. Snow (as if I had the power to make this hold off. I like having snow just before Christmas. Otherwise, it can wait. If I only had a magic wand...).
I'm absolutely positive that I've left scores of things off the list. What's your list like? Are there things you do early or even all year and other things that you like to leave until the last minute? Either way, I hope you have fun with your preparations!