With everything that’s happening around the holidays it’s difficult, impossible maybe (?), to stay organized through the holiday period. Like it or not, the holidays are almost here. Is it just me, or do they start with holiday commercials right after Halloween? Here are a few tips to help keep you organized and hopefully a little calmer during the holidays.
I know a lot of you put off the holiday shopping until the last minute (guys, I’m talking to you) but try to set some time aside to get it done earlier. Put it in your calendar and treat it like an appointment – no changes.
Arrange a babysitter if need be or if you’re able to book an afternoon off work, even better. The shopping malls get crazy with each passing day, as you know. Last minute shopping is the perfect recipe for stress over the holidays. A lot of malls are now offering valet parking service for a small fee. The money goes to charity and what better way to start a nerve racking adventure.
If you haven’t already, gather all of your wrapping supplies and keep them in one place. Make a list of what you are short of and get out to buy what you need before the selection is minimal in the stores. I created a wrapping station several years ago with all of the wrapping essentials for all occasions stored there. Everyone knows where it is and it saves time running around looking for the paper, tape, bows and everything else.
Planning The Feast
Holidays to me are all about the meal with family and friends. Sure, the gifts can be nice but there is nothing like the laughs and conversations you have around the dinner table. Make a list now of everything that you will need for dinner. Order the turkey, the ham or whatever you cook to celebrate now to ensure you have the size you need.
If wine is on your list you can expect crowds at the stores so get out there early while your favorite is still in stock and avoid the long line-ups. Don’t forget the extras like the cranberry sauce and rolls. Oh, I’m getting hungry already!
Make Room For New Gifts
Now is the time to go through the toys or clothes of you and your kids and pare down what is no longer usable, appropriate of just doesn’t fit any longer. You know family is going to spoil the kids with a lot of gifts so make room now and reduce the stress of trying to make everything fit into the same space later. Have the kids get involved. It will build their excitement leading up to the big day.
The Art Of Gift Giving
I’m sure you have already given plenty of thought to what you’re going to purchase for your loved ones. Many of us anguish and plead for hints or ideas trying to give that special gift. My children are all a bit older now so one year we purchased charity items for people in need in third world countries on behalf of each child as part of their gifts that year. School supplies for a school in need, goats for a family that would produce milk, things of that nature.
They were touched by it and it got them to thinking of what the holidays are all about. Many items over the holidays are returned or even worse, not used at all and end up adding to the clutter that people already have. When thinking of charities there are a few websites that track how much of your dollars actually make it where the funds are really needed. When in doubt gift cards are always appreciated and with the newer consumer laws most will not have an expiry date.
The holidays can be a very stressful time for most of us but with a little bit of planning we can reduce the stress and stay organized during this time. If you need assistance in getting ready for the holiday season there is still time. Contact us here to see how we can help.