I know. I know. It is only October 1st and you are likely just now (thinking about?) pulling out the fall décor, considering shopping for pumpkins for the front door step, and contemplating costume choices for the kids. You probably read the title of this post and wondered why the heck I am starting a countdown to Christmas NOW.

Here’s the thing – Halloween kicks off the holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then the New Year all seem to be a whirlwind that show up much like a hurricane – even though it is their season, they all seem to come a bit unexpected, throw our lives into a busy whirlwind, and before we know it – leave us looking at the 2013 calendar wondering where the last few months went.

For our Monday Motivation, I suggest starting to think about the holidays now (easier said than done, I know). What can you do NOW to make the holiday season less stressful and more focused on family and celebration?

You might begin to make plans for who will host the Christmas brunch this year…or take the initiative to draw names for gifts so everyone isn’t left scrambling to buy 118 gifts for every niece, nephew, cousin, and puppy in the family. If money is tight, take advantage of the layaway plans that many stores are offering starting now! It might be that all you do today is make a short list of what you want to accomplish over the next several months and devote a little time each Monday to checking things off the list in preparation for the season.

Whatever it is – for this week’s Monday Motivation, make a vow to prepare a little bit at a time for the upcoming holiday season so that fun, family, and friendship take center spotlight when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begin to approach…in eighty-three days.

Ideas? Let’s hear them. How can you make your holiday to-do list a little shorter before December 1 rolls around?