Happy November! If you’re a planner, like me, you can’t help but think about what’s around the corner…Thanksgiving, and Christmas, family meals, gifts, decorations, cards, oh my! But a little planning and a few deep breaths can go a long way in helping you get prepared and then enjoy the holidays as you should.
Here are a few things you can start doing now in order to get a jump start on the winter holiday season:
1. Asked your loved ones for gift suggestions. Or just be very observant if you don’t want to ask them outright. Start forming a list of ideas, especially if you have kids and a spouse that you buy for every year. Then you can start looking for those things on sale or grab coupons for the stores they love and buy a little early.
2. Clean out your pantry to get ready for cooking. Spices has expiration dates so toss the old stuff. Check your recipes for your traditional holiday meals or maybe a few new dishes you want to try and make sure you have all the ingredients. Again, make a list of what you need and then go shopping! Make sure your carving knife is sharpened for the turkey.
3. Talk to relatives about the holidays to know who’s coming when and if you need to spruce up the spare bedroom, now is the time! Clear the clutter that may have been tossed in there all year and make sure you have some nice sheets and towels for the guests.
4. If you send holiday cards, decide now if you are going to use a photo that you have or take a new one. Then place your order on-line with Shutterfly or Snapfish or anywhere else you can purchase photo greeting cards. If you are sending traditional ones, purchase them now. In either case, make sure your address list or book is up to date and create mailing labels in a word document to make it easier to address the envelopes.
5. Take a look at your calendar or day planner and map out all the major things you want to get done before the holidays. For example, your checklist might look like this:
- Shopping for gifts
- Decorations Up
- Cards Addressed
- Presents wrapped
- Tree Decorated
- Cookies baked
- Food shopping for the holiday meal
Then assign a week for each task (probably more than 1 week for shopping) and put that goal on your calendar. That will give you something to shoot for and help you focus on one task at a time. Try to finish everything a day before the actual holiday so you have time for last minute details or unexpected events. Then do something festive that you enjoy after all the hustle and bustle is done.