Today I am linking up with Shay and Erika for Workin' It Wednesday, and we are talking about planning for holidays. Before I begin, I usually try to keep things pretty simple and laid back for our family. However, during the holiday season that goes out the window, and we do all the things because it's fun and exciting, my kids love it, and it only comes around once a year. We want to make the most of the holiday season and our time together. Plus, some of our best memories are made doing all the holiday things!
Even though there is nothing really simple about the holidays here are some tips to hopefully help make the holidays a little more enjoyable!
Make lists. This may seem simple, but it really is important for staying organized and sticking to a budget. I am the queen of making lists, so I have lists for everything during the holidays....things like Thanksgiving meal/grocery list, Christmas gifts, Christmas activities, Christmas food/grocery lists, and then misc stuff like "buy Christmas pajamas for my kids" or "buy Christmas cards/wrapping paper" etc. I start working on these lists in October and early November to help keep me organized. Plus then I can start grabbing stuff here and there as I see it on sale or for a good deal which leads me to #2...
Buy Early. I learned this the hard way last year when I waited until the last minute to get supplies and even some gifts thinking that stores would still have stuff and/or that I may get a better deal. I remember going to Hobby Lobby on the week of Thanksgiving to pick up some cute Thanksgiving supplies for our meal, and Thanksgiving was all GONE....not because it had all been bought, but it was taken out of the store like it was never there and replaced with Christmas AND Valentines Day stuff. Buying early also helps avoid running around frantically trying to buy all the things.
Shop for Christmas gifts early. This could be paired with number two, but then it would have been a really long paragrah ;) In the past, I have waited and waited to buy gifts hoping for a better deal and then I just end up running around frantically trying to get stuff and usually end up settling for something I don't even really like and spending way more money. I've noticed in the last few years that stores are putting out good deals throughout the Fall season and even November so there really is no reason to wait. I like to have my gifts bought and wrapped (if possible) by the end of November so that I can fully enjoy the Christmas season and not have to worry about running around (or spending hours on the internet) looking for the perfect gift.
Start planning and booking holiday related activities. Things start to fly the week of Thanksgiving and before we know it, Christmas has come and gone, and we never did all the fun things we had planned. It's the beginning of November, and I am starting to write our Christmas activities on the calendar (and book things that need to be booked) so that we can enjoy the Christmas season while it is here. My kids are still too young, but this is a great time to sit down with your kids and make a bucket list for Christmas! The holidays only come around once a year so I really want to make the most of them.
Prepare as much ahead of time. Are there things (especially for meals) that can be prepared ahead of time? This is where a freezer comes in handy :) I am really going to try and do this for all of our holiday meals this year so that I can enjoy our company when they are over instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
Decide if making it yourself is worth it or more of a hassle. How many times do we look at the price of something at the store and then think we can do it ourselves for cheaper? I used to do that all the time but have learned two things. 1). doing it myself doesn't always save me money. In fact, I usually end up spending more money after purchasing all the supplies or ingredients. 2). Is it worth my time to do it? Time during the holidays is pretty precious, and I would rather spend my time enjoying the season instead of running around trying to collect supplies and put things together. Now some things you may want to make (whether that be food, a gift, a craft etc) and that's great! Just decide if it's worth your time and money (if you need to buy supplies). Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't :)
Relax and remember the real reason for the season. It is so easy to get caught up in having the perfect meal, the perfect looking table, buying the perfect Christmas gifts, and so on. And then we miss out on what's really important (and honestly we are probably pretty cranky). So relax and enjoy the holiday season!
None of these things are earth shattering but are hopefully helpful in staying organized and enjoying the holidays with your loved ones!
What are your tips for planning for the holidays?!