It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. . .
It’s that time of the year when the leaves are starting to fall and the Alabama heat is coming to an end. Finally, the holidays are here and there is much to be done. Families will visit, children will be out of school, and our lives will be crazier than usual (or at least mine will). One thing that will make the holiday season less stressful is preparing ahead of time. Preparing ourselves and our homes for the holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult, and I’ve included some creative and budget friendly tips here to help you prepare for the holiday season in no time.
Go ahead and take the time to write down all of your upcoming tasks for the holiday season. There are multiple ways that you can organize your information. Whether you decide to use a planner, notebook, bulletin board, or your calendar, it’s nice to have everything organized in one place. It’s also nice to feel accomplished by checking things off the list!
Have Realistic Expectations.
Be realistic about the hustle and bustle of it all. Assign yourself a deadline for each task and do your best to stick to it. For example, set up dates for the following:
- taking your family pictures
- ordering your Christmas cards
- updating your mailing list
- mailing the cards
Don’t Make It Complicated.
Don’t over complicate things. While it would be fun to attend every event this holiday season, that isn’t going to happen. Try to decide on events that all family members can enjoy, like your Christmas Eve candlelight worship service, a school Christmas party, or your annual trip to see Santa Claus.
Plan and Prepare.
Plan your meals. In our family, we are big supporters of meal preparation. It helps to relieve a lot of stress in our morning routine. Talk with your family members about planning meals. Then make sure to give yourself enough time to shop, prepare, and serve realistic meals. Another helpful tool during the holiday season is local grocery store pick-up/delivery.
Wrap, Wrap, Wrap.
Make a wrapping station. Find an area in your home that you can keep little hands out of and put all of your wrapping supplies there. It’s helpful to wrap presents as you buy them so you can place them under the tree to enjoy. Be sure to write down what you have wrapped and in what wrapping paper. This will help you remember what is in each package.
Make Time to Shop.
Start buying gifts ahead of time and do your research. We all know about the two dreaded words—Black Friday. But sometimes you can find good deals and not have to deal with the crowds. Start looking at sale papers and getting ideas for gifts in October. If you purchase items early, this will allow you to budget and spread out your purchases over a longer period of time.
Keep Up With Your List.
As you purchase presents, be sure to write down each item you buy, who it is for, and the cost of it. It may be helpful to keep gifts in separate bins or bags for each person at your wrapping station. Be sure to keep this list in a safe and secret place from little peeping eyes!
As a mother of two, I know how stressful the holiday season can be. It’s typically busy and crazy. I have found that if I start planning early it is less stressful for me. When I make sure to give myself plenty of time to organize, plan, and prepare, there is much less chaos for my family to deal with. I hope these organizing strategies help to make your holiday season less stressful!