Don’t let the holidays stress you out this year. With some advanced planning and a bit of organizing you can simplify the season and enjoy the happiest time of the year!
Here are some helpful tips to a relaxing holiday season!
- Make a List. Just like Santa you should always start out the holiday season by making a list! Put together a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and don’t forget the stocking stuffers! (Save these lists after each year this way you can avoid accidentally giving someone the same gift twice!)
- Set a Budget. Come up with an overall gift budget that you feel comfortable with and then go through your list and assign an amount to each person.
- Money Saving Tip: Give a gift to yourself by signing up for free store reward programs as well as websites like retailmenot.com and ebates.com.
- Gift Wrapping. Save yourself the stress on Christmas Eve and wrap your gifts as you buy them. Make sure you label each gift so you don’t have to unwrap them just to figure out which gift is which.
- Holiday Cards. It’s important to start your holiday cards early. You need to decide if you are going to buy pre made cards or have a personalized card made, this can add at least a week to your timeline. Before you start addressing those envelopes double check to make sure you have everyone’s current address.
- Deck the Halls. go through your holiday decorations and make sure everything is in working order. You don’t want to string all those lights just to plug them in and find out you have a blown bulb! It’s also a good idea while going through your decorations to unclutter, if you did not use something last year and are not planning on using it this year ask yourself if it’s worth keeping if not consider throwing it out or donating it.
- Plan the Menu. Whether you are hosting Christmas dinner or just making cookies for your friends it is important to plan the menu and come up with a list of ingredients. Go through your pantry and create a shopping list, it is helpful to split the list into two: non-perishable items you can purchase in advance and perishable items you will need to buy a couple of days before.
- Money Saving Tip: if you create your ingredient list in advance you can check weekly grocery store ads for coupons and to see if any of your items are on special.
- Check Your Dining Ware. If you are hosting Christmas dinner be sure to go through your china, serve ware, glassware and flatware to make sure you have full sets and nothing is damaged. You should also do a headcount and make sure you have enough tables, chairs and linens! Do all of this a couple of weeks before the holiday so you have time to either purchase or you can save the hassle and rent.