WHAT??!! How can I possibly be suggesting things to do NOW for Christmas...it's just under 180 days away?
And that's exactly the point; start doing things now and you'll have the smoothest, easiest holiday time you've ever had.
I asked one of our sister SHEs, Greta Heddy, for some help. Here's what she wrote:
I know it seems early for us SHEs, but you might want to start now so you'll be ready for Christmas or Chanukah. If you’re like me, you have a vague idea of what to do, but never get around to it until December is upon you. Here are seven things you, I mean, we can do right now to be organized for Christmas!
1. Gifts List everyone you want to give gifts to. Family, friends, letter carrier, hair dresser, whoever. If you know what you're getting them, great! (Consider cash and use Pam’s Right on the Money Stickers. Write it down beside each name. Organize any gifts you already have. Get boxes, label them, and hide them where no one will find them except you. Wrap and label each gift when you buy it.
2. Budget Set a dollar limit for each person. My husband and I always had a $100 limit for each child. As I shopped, I knew when to stop. It made buying and looking for bargains much more fun. Oh – and add in extra money for postage and shipping. If you are traveling this December, remember the cost of plane tickets or other travel expenses. budget
If you haven't already, start putting money aside now for gifts and holiday meals and goodies. It’ll feel so wonderful to not have any debt this year. There’s something very disheartening to still owe money on a gift, especially for a child, that has been discarded or broken. How sad it would be to keep paying for a toy that was already in the dump.
3. Cards/Letters If you are one to send holiday cards, or even “worse,” the “Holiday Letter,”
make a list of the lucky recipients. With this list in hand, you can then find or update addresses, and be ready to send them out as the holidays approach. Start writing that Holiday Letter now. You know - the one that lists all the accomplishments of your family and the trials you've overcome during the last year. If you start now, the letter will write itself in November.
4. Schedule Set firm dates when you want to be finished with all the holiday planning, gathering (gifts, wrapping, etc.), baking, mailing cards/gifts, cleaning, decorating, etc. With this in hand, nothing will be rushed, and no one will have to run out at the last minute to get sugar or tape.
5. Food Make a menu of the holiday goodies you want to make. Check your freezer and get rid of all ancient frozen relics so there’ll be room for your goodies to be kept cold and fresh until the
holidays roll around. Plan to have all the ingredients for each goodie ahead of time so that you can do the baking/cooking exactly when you want to.
6. Decorations Find all your decorations and go through them. Keep the ones that will work – lights, Christmas balls, menorahs (candle and electric), etc., and toss all bad or broken ones. Make a list of things to buy to make all the decorations work – new bulbs, candles, table linens, or strings of lights. Check silverware and china, etc. to ensure that it doesn't need to be polished or professionally cleaned.
7. Travel If you are traveling for the holidays, make your reservations
NOW!! Plane tickets and hotel rooms only get more expensive as you get closer to the holidays.
If you pick five out of the seven tasks above to do right now, it will help you have a stress-free holiday come December.
Guess which five I'm doing.
Thank you Gretta. Great ideas to make this year's holidays the best ever!
What ideas do you have?
If you want a little help getting the Spirit of the holidays, I think you'll love to listen to Home for the Holidays. It's a recorded speech Peggy and I gave to get moms to enjoy the holidays more. It's very inspiring if I do say so myself. http://shop.cluborganized.com/pam-and-peggys-home-for-the-holidays