As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and followed by Christmas and New Years, I’ve wanted to create a checklist of “Planning For The Holidays.” With the blog being new this year, I wasn’t able to get this posted as early into the season as I would have liked, but better late than never, right? I hope this helps someone prepare and enjoy the Holidays without some of the stress!
Create your budget. There is nothing worse than ending up with a bunch of credit card debt after the holidays and starting the New Year off with a bunch of debt. Spending with cash will save you heart ache, a head ache, and an empty bank account later on. Make sure you consider all of the following into your budget: travel expenses, food, gifts, postage and supplies for wrapping or sending the gifts, and your cards (with postage).
Plan your menu. Are you hosting or visiting someone for the holidays? If you are hosting, make a list of how many people will be attending, what you will be making, and what other items you will need to stock up on (toilet paper, napkins, paper plates, etc). Will anyone be staying at your house that you may be making other meals? If you are traveling, decide what you are going to take and make a list of what you need to buy.
Make a list of every one you will be shopping for or making gifts for. Include an estimate of what each gift will cost including the gifts you will be making. (Supplies can add up quickly if you don’t have them already on hand!)
Create a list of supplies you will need to buy to make your gifts.
Create a list of supplies you will need to wrap presents. (Don’t forget the extras such as stamps and boxes to mail the presents in! Batteries are a good item to add to your list as well as they are usually needed for gifts!)
Make your Christmas card list. Look for online deals if you are creating your own or printing photos to go inside of them.
Put Important Events On The Calendar. (Make sure you put a date on the calendar to mail gifts to ensure they get to their destination timely if you are mailing presents!)
Have a family meeting and decide what you do and do not want to do. Where are you going for the holidays? What does each individual member of the family love to do this time of year? Do you drive around and see the lights while drinking hot cocoa, go to a Christmas play, make cookies, or go Christmas caroling? Even more importantly, this time of the year is very busy, what does each member NOT want to do this year? (Many times knowing what your family doesn’t want to do is just as important as what they do!)
Prepare Travel Plans. I will admit, I am not the best at giving advice on this one because the farthest I have to travel is 2 hours away. So for those of you that fly or drive for longer periods of time, I’m sorry, I’m sure you have been planning a long time in advance before now on plane tickets and vacation days! Be sure to make a list of what you will need, stop your mail if you will be gone for several days, and find someone to take care of the pets!
Clean Area Where You Will Putting Up Christmas Tree. If the area is clean, you will feel more excited to decorate! Put on some holiday music and light a scented calendar to get everyone in the holiday mood and begin decorating!
As you purchase your gifts, wrap them! This will save your sanity the night before celebrating (I had this horrible experience last year, 4 hours of wrapping presents on Christmas Eve…ugh!) Be sure to write down what you have wrapped so there are no surprises later on!
Enjoy the holidays and remember what it’s all about.
Do you have some special holiday tips? Let us know by commenting!