I know, we haven’t even hit Halloween yet and I’m talking holidays – but, seriously, we all know how fast they creep up on us once November hits. Now is the perfect time to talk about what busy moms & parents can do to make the holidays a little bit easier. Planning and having a strategy for doing everything (especially if you’ll be hosting) will make your life easier.
1. Start Shopping. I’m serious – there are some great end of the season sales out there. I actually start at the end of the summer when I start seeing great things go on sale. If I know a family member or friend would like it, I pick it up. Spreading out all those holidays costs really does make a difference, especially when you snag gifts at great prices.
2. Get Organized. Along the same lines as shopping early – make a list of everything you need to do. If you are hosting, a list of things you’ll need to do and prepare. For gifts, a budget and a list of potential gift ideas. Once you have a list going, accomplish what you can early.
3. Holiday Cards – Start Early Do not wait – especially if you want to include a picture of the kids or the whole family. We are doing our family/kid pictures with a friend who is a photographer next week so that we can have ample time to pick a photo, do a card, order them and get them sent out. Where you get your cards is also really important. Storkie Christmas Cards has a great selection of cards that makes the work of holiday cards really minimal. With high quality cards, at great prices and super fast shipping – it will be one more thing you can check off your list.
4. Start Baking – Sort of. I make a lot of cookies during the holidays. As the time nears, I start making some of my cookie dough to freeze. That way, when we get invited to a party, cookie exchange or need a last minute gift, I can just take them from the freezer, slice and bake!
5. Start DeCluttering. This is a great time of year to have your kids start taking a look at their toys, personal items, clothing and seeing what you don’t need anymore and can donate. Not only does it teach a valuable lesson, but it starts getting your home ready for any holiday hosting, guests and just feels better to give back.
6. Plan for Travel Now. If you know you’ll be heading somewhere, whether via train, plane or car, start the prep work now. It’s never too early to book, reserve and coordinate an itinerary. As the holidays approach, you’ll be able to pick up and go.
7. Check Wrapping Supplies Now. I can’t stand realizing that I have too little of something, and I always end up forgetting and leaving it til the last minute. Last year, I put all my wrapping supplies, bags, bows, tags etc away carefully and I plan to get them out now and see what I have to work with. That way, I can stock up early and not be in a pinch for how to wrap a gift right before departing for that family gathering!
8. Cooking Planning. If you’re going to be hosting and cooking, start a list now of what you want to prepare and what you’d like others to bring. Not only will you be able to plan better, but you can start purchasing non-perishables that you’ll need as you see them on sale now. You’ll be able to bargain shop better, collect coupons or find great deals if you do it over the fall rather than one big last minute shopping trip.
9. Holiday Outfits. Make sure the kids and everyone else is set for the holidays in clothing dept. I remember one year my sister not having a single pair of shoes that fit her to go with a dress and she was devestated! Since it was Christmas Eve, my mom had not too many options! Make sure things fit, and everyone has their outfits ready to go.
10. Enjoy. With all the talk of planning and prep, don’t forget to enjoy what the holiday are really about – family. Take time to enjoy and be thankful for you have.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.”