Tips for Organizing your Christmas Season

Guest Article by: Jody Taylor

How to Truly Enjoy your Holiday Season!!

OK! Before the mad excess of overcrowded stores and Christmas carols on repeat threaten to overload you, I want you to take one minute. Relax and take a deep breath. Think back and remember that magical, cozy feeling that engulfed you during the Christmas holidays when you were a child. My memories feel warm; smell of sumptuous food; sound of old recordings of carols and hymns on the record player; and see dancing, colourful lights. I think back to that time and wonder how my feelings could have changed so much over the years.

Today, the Holiday season is a very different experience for many people. There are huge demands and great expectations placed on our time and finances and many people feel exhausted and broke at the end of it all.

I would like to help bring a little bit of the old magic back! I’m going to do this by sharing with you some easy ways to prepare for the holidays this year so that you don’t find yourself running out of time and resources and feeling way too stressed out when they do come around.

You are in a fortunate position to be reading this article with nearly one whole month to prepare. So, before delving in, pour a cup of tea, grab a pen and notepad and consider the following:
1. The Money

* Write down how much money you’d like to spend this holiday season. Break it up into gifts, food, baking, parties and activities.
* Now, I’d like you to write down how much you can afford to spend! Keep this in mind when considering each of the following categories.

2. The Gifts

* Make a double-spaced list of all the people who you will be buying gifts for this year and how much money you are going to spend on them.
* Now brainstorm what kinds of gifts you can purchase for each person based on your budget and their interests and style.
* After reviewing your brainstorming session, circle any gift that you are sure you’d like to buy. Beside these finalized items, write down the stores you know of that carry them. Do these stores have websites that you can order from? If so, why not save some time and shop online?
* The last and most important step is to check this list any time that you go out shopping between now and Christmas (so put it in your wallet right away!). Picking up any items while shopping now will take that many more off of your “to do” list later (like on December 22nd!)

3. Food and Baking

* Are you planning on doing any Christmas baking this year? If not, easy for you! If so, how many of each item would you like to have on store?
* Are you hosting any dinners or family gatherings? If not, easy for you! If so, look at what food items you will need to provide. If you have a really long list, consider delegating some items to guests and relatives. Pot lucks are truly the way to go! The work load isn’t placed unfairly on one person and everyone gets to taste an array of dishes!
* Make a list of any non-perishable ingredients that you will need to have on hand. Add these to your list and pick up any ingredients that you can throughout the next few weeks.

4. Parties and Activities

* What parties do you already know you’ll be attending or hosting?
* Do you have outfits to choose from or will you need to go shopping for some holiday clothes!?
* Do you have enough dinner ware, glasses, napkins, chairs, candles etc.?
* How much wine, beer and liquor will you need to have on hand? Maybe you should start picking up an extra bottle here and there.
* Will you be going skiing or skating or doing any activities that require you to have any gear? If so, better buy some warm mitts and get those skates sharpened before the line ups get too long!
* Do you need to make room in that front closet for your guest’s winter coats and boots? You may want to view my last article on closet organizing for some easy and creative space saving tips if you do.
* As with the gifts and non-perishable food ingredients, the last and most important step is to add all of the items you will need to your list and check this list any time that you go out shopping between now and Christmas. Remember, picking up any items while shopping now will take that many more off of your “to do” list later (like on December 22nd!)

Give yourself the gift of time this year by following these simple measures. Making more time for friends, family and precious R&R will also give you another gift… PEACE AND JOY! Hmmm. What the holidays were meant to be about!

Have a great holiday!

Jodi Taylor
Whatta Mess Professional Organizing

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Categories : Articles, Christmas