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Photography by @designlovefest

As the summer comes to a close, we take time to reflect on the adventures and successes of the season. The long weekends, outdoor parties, and light and airy decor. But with the close of one season comes the beginning of another. And while we could not be more excited for fall, we’ve already gotten ahead of ourselves. That’s right, the holidays are (eventually going to be) upon us, and their on our minds right now. Keep reading to discover reasons why it’s definitely not too early to start preparing. 

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Photography by @MISSARAHGLOVER

1. “Official” holiday season is really only two months away.

If you thought summer flew by, just wait for fall to disappear in the blink of an eye. Don’t wait until November 1 to start shopping or planning your holiday parties. Preparing early (aka shopping early) will ensure you can shop holiday sales for YOURSELF, and enjoy your friends’ holiday get togethers instead of stressing about your own. In the meantime, try to enjoy fireside hangs, apple picking, and your other favorite fall festivities. 

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Photography by @COTTAGEFARM

2. You can’t stop dreaming about nights by the fire—instead of nights standing next to your air conditioner.

We’d like a temperature change right now, please. Prep a list of all the summer necessities you need to clean as well as winter amenities you need to check. This will ensure you don’t discover your heat is out the first chilly day of winter, leaving you in a major lurch.

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Photography by @CAMRINDENGEL

3. You just returned from your final summer vacation.

And you need to book a fun winter getaway, STAT. Whether it’s a day trip to go apple picking this fall, a long weekend to a nearby winery, or purchasing plane tickets to go home for the holidays, planning now will make for a more affordable experience. Plus, who doesn’t like having a few fun things to look forward to?

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Photography by HEATHERCHRISTO.COM

4. Holiday parties. Enough said.

You know what that means…Drinks on drinks on drinks. Prep by practicing new cocktail recipes, testing out appetizers, and finding that perfect bottle of wine to gift to other hosts. That way, you’ll definitely be a pro by the holidays. We love this holiday take on the classic Moscow Mule. All you have to do is add some apple and cranberry for a more festive cocktail. 

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Photography by WELLPLATED.COM

5. Fall pies > Summer pies.

Right? We love peach cobbler as much as the next sweets lover, but pecan pie? Pumpkin pie? There’s nothing like fall and winter classics. The adorable pie you see here is, of course, a mix between our two favorite festive pies… That’s right. It’s a pumpkin pecan pie. Who says you can’t have it all??

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Photography by @RENEGADECRAFT

6. Buying gifts before your mall gets overcrowded will feel GREAT.

Getting gifts personalized or handcrafted takes time, so ordering your gift early will make certain you will have it on time. It’s also a good idea to look up local craft fair and holiday markets so you’re aware what all your options are closer to the big day. (The Renegade Craft Fair‘s holiday markets are always a good time!) Comparing prices between stores never hurts, either.

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Photography by @LOCAL_MILK

7. Decorations, duh.

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the decorations—the good, the bad, and the super tacky. This is a good time to asses what you have, what you need, and what you’re planning for the season ahead. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to plan (and maybe even get in on some lingering sales from last year).

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Photography by CAMILLESTYLES.COM

8. You’ve exhausted your rosé (AND frosé) Instagram opportunities.

Time to look ahead… By looking back. Get a head start on your holiday card and compile family photos from the year prior. If you’re lacking in family photos, plan for a photoshoot (self-timer acceptable) over Thanksgiving or a time when everyone will be together this fall. Bonus points for organizing and adding new card receivers to your list.

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Photography by @LINDA_LOMELINO

9. The desserts. Did we mention dessert already?

It’s no secret desserts make major appearances throughout the holiday season. Practice new recipes and test on your coworkers, your kids’ teachers, or anyone willing to start chowing on rich, delicious recipes before holiday season begins. If you’re not drooling over this chocolate cake, you might want to start with mastering sugar cookies. 

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Photography by ELISABETH HEIER VIA MYSCANDINAVIANHOME.COM

10. There’s nothing like sleeping in your tacky childhood bedroom.

Sleeping in your old room is always a sentimental experience, but virtually helping mom with a mini redesign this fall might be a fun project to take on. Inspiration: Clean, neutral spaces that any guest will adore.

Originally published August 2016. Updated August 2017.

Get more holiday tips:

How to DIY a Garland for Your Holiday Tablescape
Domino Picks: Everything You Need to Host At Home
How to Make Holiday Ornaments Out of Leftover Wallpaper