Yes... the holidays. I'm talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas people. You probably think - no! It's too early? It's not even Halloween crazy person?!?! True. Here's some data to back up my statement: 9 weeks. 67 days. A countdown to Christmas.
Which means Thanksgiving is even closer.
This is not meant to panic or stress anyone - that's what I want to avoid! Planning and preparation can help you have a calm, relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. Here are a few things my husband and I are doing now to get prepared:
- Make a gift-giving list. Whether it's family members or co-workers you give baked items to, put them on the list.
- Designate a spot in your house for gifts. We use a large tote, hidden in our bedroom closet.
- Get a small binder - decorate the front, get a few sheets of cute scrapbooking paper, make it festive!
- Brainstorm gift ideas for everyone on your list - compile your ideas, print 2 copies. Put one in your purse or car, the other in your holiday binder. Then keep an eye out for sales or small items you can purchase now. As you purchase items, scratch them off both lists and put in your 'gift tote.'
- Plan ahead on your decorations: Think thru last years decor - need anything? Lights need to be replaced? Places like Hobby Lobby are already putting Christmas items on sale, buy slowly.
- Talk with your spouse and family members - what is everyone's favorite activity or tradition? Make these priority and plan ahead. Life is extra-chaotic November & December, but you still want it to be special for everyone.
- Go ahead and mention travel arrangements to family - where are you going this year? How much time will be spent on the road? Or, is the family coming to you this year?
- Start your Christmas card list. Has someone moved? Do you have new friends and neighbors to add to the list? Print and file your list in your holiday binder - remember, We're working to keep it neat and organized!
For the past few years, I have used a holiday planner FlyLady provides - it is very helpful. I have slowly adapted the lists to fit my family and keep them in my holiday binder. This allows me to look back on meals, recipes, past gifts, card lists, etc. - After the holidays I will even make a list of what needs to be replaced for next year, what worked, new favorite tradition, etc. for a quick and easy starting point!
I hope to continue writing holiday planning posts with tips, websites, recipes, gift ideas, craft - anything and everything to help make the holidays extra special!