Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10 Holiday Planning Tips

Oh yes, the countdown to Christmas has begun. Less than 100 days... Christmas as a mom takes a lot more planning than it used to! Here's some great tips for gearing up for the holidays

  1. Make a timeline - list all the events, chores, shopping, cooking that you want to do before Christmas. Then plot it out on a calendar to see where certain items MUST go, and where you have time to fit in the rest! When I did this, I realized my "Christmas To-Do" list needed to be drastically shortened, because there simply wasn't enough TIME!
  2. Use Technology - Create a spreadsheet to keep track of Christmas cards, wish lists, menus. Or use online planners. Don't have a bunch of sticky notes fluttering around when you can have all your planning in one spot!
  3. Check your lists - One year, I kept buying presents, but when I sat down to wrap them, I realized I way overbought for one nephew, and had hardly anything for my neice. I hadn't been keeping track of who I was buying what for, so I had to go shopping again to even out the gifts.
  4. Shop online, but EARLY - I can't stress enough how great it feels to spend a couple of quiet, uncrowded hours online and take care of most of my holiday shopping in one stop! Just be sure to shop early so you don't have presents get stuck in the mail!
  5. Buy Christmas Cards online - Another easy-fix to the yearly chore of sending out cards. Don't scour the toppling boxes of second-rate cards at the drug store. Instead, check out Storkie Christmas cards for some classic cards. Or be different and sent a photo magnet card - this way your family photo doesn't get tossed after New Year's Day! I also love the sleek look of Storkie's modern Christmas Card designs.
  6. Don't shop alone - Invite a friend or family member along to chat with, share ideas, a cup of cocoa... and most importanly keep a second pair of eyes on the kids, or hold your spot in those long lines while you change a diaper!
  7. Be an Early Bird - start NOW to create your christmas lists, print address labels, buy stamps, check your Christmas gift wrap stash, and look up menus and recipes.
  8. Go Large! If you have a large group to buy for (coworkers, teachers) consider buying the same item in bulk - you could get a discount!
  9. Get Money Back - Cash Back is always nice! A great bonus of shopping online is that through Ebates, MyPoints, UPromise and other rewards programs, you might even earn some change back from all that holiday shopping! Again, plan ahead, because shipping can take 7-10 days!
  10. Try it First - Nothing ruins a holiday like a burnt roast, a flopped dessert, or tasteless dish. Try out new recipes in advance (like, NOW!) to see how they work out, and know how much time they take! (And nobody will mind test-tasting those Christmas cookies a little early!
Maybe these aren't new ideas, but just great reminders that if you plan ahead, the holidays can be smooth sailing! Please add your own tips to the comments! I'd love to hear!

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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