October 7, 2011

10 Holiday Planning Tips

How many shopping days until Christmas? You don't want to ask yourself that mid December. It is important to start planning now so you don't find yourself in a holiday frenzy. Here are 10 Holiday Planning Tips to help you plan ahead.

1. Make A Schedule And Stick To It
Holidays are so busy! I know in my family it is always a struggle trying to divide ourselves equally between our two families. If you plan now with your family members you won't get those calls come Christmas Eve asking when you are coming to over and what time is dinner, etc. Sticking to a schedule will make your holidays more relaxed.

2. Check Off Holiday Gift Lists Early
Start shopping now. Don't wait until you are fighting with that crazy lady trying to get the last Elmo at Toys R Us. Start now which will allow you plenty of time to look for great sales and find the gifts that everyone on your list wants.

3. Don't Wait Until The Last Minute To Order Holiday Cards
Start deciding now what Holiday Christmas Cards you want and order them early. How nice would it be to have them all stamped and addressed and ready to go come Thanksgiving? It is one less thing to worry about later.

4. Set A Budget
Times are still hard for a lot of us. Now is the time to set a budget and stick to it. If you give yourself some time you can find great deals on gifts and start saving your coupons for your food. When you plan things out you won't be surprised with a huge credit card bill in January.

5. Deck The Halls Early
If you live in a cold climate you know how hard it can be to deck the halls outside of your home when it is below zero. Get all of your decorations ready to go and if you are lucky you can put them up in some mild weather right after Thanksgiving. If you wait until December you will be more likely to have to battle the elements to make the outside of your home sparkle.

6. Plan Your Meals Now
You don't want to scramble to find the ingredients or the recipes for that matter at the last minute. If you find the perfect recipe now, go ahead and stock up on food that won't expire. Then you will have less shopping to do come the holidays when the lines are a mile long.

7. Use Your Gift Cards
Have you accumulated a drawer full of gift cards that you aren't sure what to do with? Use them to buy your gifts! Your nephew would love something from that sporting good store you have a gift card for. Your mother-in-law would love a sweater from that clothing store you have a gift card for! Don't let them collect dust and go to waste.

8. Plan Some Fun Holiday Themed Events 
To get yourself and your family in the holiday spirit, start looking for fun events to plan in your area. What about the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony in your town? Or an ice carving demonstration? Or a cookie baking class? I am sure there are several fun things to pencil in your calendar now to make your holiday even more special.

9. Wrap Your Gifts As Soon As You Buy Them
I don't know about you but I often find myself having a wrapping marathon about a week before Christmas. It  takes me hours and I can't feel my legs by the end of it because I have been sitting on the floor for so long. When you find a great deal on a gift, buy it now and wrap it now. How nice would it be to decorate your tree and have your gifts all ready to go to put under it? Making a note to self to take my own advice on this one.

10. Relax and Have Fun
Don't stress yourself out to get everything just perfect. You are only human and there is only so much you can do. By planning early you can have more time to relax and enjoy your holiday season!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.

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