Well, seems like before you know it, the holidays are upon us. Years ago when I was a kid, the Christmas holiday didn't really begin until a few days before Christmas and lasted until January 6th. These days, the commercial Christmas season begins on Thanksgiving, diminishing the importance of Thanksgiving and rushing the true Christmas season of December 25th through January 6th. Anyway, you have to start preparing for your Christmas train layout now. This is the time, October and early November, where you can find a lot of Christmas items, sometimes at a reduced price. Check the craft stores that often have 40% and 50% off coupons (usually on one item). Aside from getting the better stuff early, like Department 56 style buildings, figures, and trees, and at a good price, you'll need to get a handle on all the train repairs, either doing it yourself or having a qualified repair person do it for you. It takes time to order some train parts! I hate the feeling of falling behind, when company visits and you aren't ready. Unfortunately for us old-school Christmas people, the season begins too early. (I have fond memories of working into the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day putting the finishing touches on certain Christmas projects.)
So, figure on things taking twice or even three times as long to complete than your best estimate, and allow for the unexpected. Best advice is to start early! Perhaps your Christmas layout will become a year 'round hobby if you don't already have a permanent layout. Enjoy the process and don't be discouraged no matter what doesn't work or what goes wrong! And if you cannot afford or have the space for a larger set-up, the smallest loop of track and a couple buildings is all you really need! It may take years, even a life-time, to get it right, but enjoy every little project and share it with others if you can.