Use the mead calculator on the Got Mead? site to figure out about how much honey to use in the batch.
Take an OG reading to see how close you came to your target.
Use yeast that has a tolerance in range with your goals. I've used Lalvin strains with solid results.
Decide if you're going to step-feed the batch, or give it everything up front.
Read the newbee guide on the Got Mead? site.
Look in the forums for posts about first batches on the Got Mead? site.
Plan for the batch to take about a year to be ready for drinking (if about 14-18%) or longer (if over 18%).
Plan to rack off the lees every couple of months to get it to clear.
MEASURE HONEY BY WEIGHT
Make your bottle volume plus some. You'll lose volume to racking as well as hydrometer
Try to get regional/local honey whenever possible. The better the honey is going into the batch, the better your end product will be.
Heat your honey/must above 100F.
Try to rush the batch.
Measure honey by volume.
If you're looking to have this ready for drinking before the holidays next year, and want something around 18%, there are a couple of Lalvin strains
that will work. Namely EC-1118 and K1V-1116. They both have wide temperature ranges and are solid choices. If you want a lower ABV, then check out the other strains on that page.
Typically you use 3-5# of honey per gallon of must. Not gallon of water, but total solution volume.