I know. It’s still September. However, we’re less than three months from Christmas. Getting an early jump on the planning can make a world of difference on how well things go in December.
Have you been a bit stressed during past Christmas‘s? Does it seem like the holidays bring too much to do? By organizing Christmas this year you can help to make this a low-stress holiday. Here are a few tips to get organized for Christmas.
Automate your card list
Enter the information in a spreadsheet. Use separate columns for each item in the address such as first name, last name, street address, city, province and postal code. Use mail merge with your word processor to create address labels. You can also create columns on your spreadsheet to track gift ideas, friends’ children’s names, ages, birthdays, etc.
Have a gift-wrap center
Keep a storage bin for wrapping supplies under your bed or in a closet. Include wrapping paper, scissors, tape, name tags, bows and any other supplies you might need. Do not borrow from these supplies for other areas of your home. If you have to search for a gift-wrap supply each time you need to use it, that’s not organized or easy.
Don’t worry, ask questions
Ask people what they want for gifts. Don’t get stressed trying to guess want when you can ask them. You’re more likely to give them something they really need. To keep the surprise factor, as for a list to chose from or get some general suggestions and surprise them with a specific item.
I hate shopping in general and gift shopping specifically. Can stand in long lines and go from store to store looking for one with your item in stock; or you can shop online. Often, your favourite brick and mortar store has an on-line version.
You have a choice, go to your doorstep to retrieve the gift and spend the rest of the time drinking eggnog and watching holiday movies, or you can fight for parking, sweat in line, get frustrated by items not in stock.
Pre-test new recipes
If you’re planning a big holiday party, that’s not the time to test a new recipe. If it doens’t work, you’ll hear about it forever. Test drive a new recipe before the big day.
Ask for help
You’re not Superman or Wonder Woman. If you are, you don’t need to do everything yourself. Delegate a few tasks to willing family members. Perhaps you can swap errands with friends. You will stand in line at the post office if she will pick up your recipe ingredients at the supermarket.
Set a budget
The stress of the holiday season can carry over into January, when the credit card bill arrives. Don’t overspend on gifts, holiday outfits and food purchases. Make a list, check it twice, make sure it fits your budget nice. (Sorry). Watch for the impulse items merchants purposely put in your way in the store.
Have a decorating plan
If you like to set up your decorations the same way each year, don’t leave it to your memory. Write it down, take a photo of it and store in binder. Create a system for putting away the decorations. Why struggle fitting items back in the storage containers when you can follow a plan you know works?
Organizing Christmas will virtually guarantee you have a merry one every year. Then you can focus on enjoying and celebrating your holiday the way you want.