Tick tock, we’re on the Christmas countdown and it’s the best time to give a little thought to a few small things in preparation for the coming holidays.
Everyone wants to make the holidays special and we can try to alleviate the stress by planning for the holidays. It’s a lot to think about with;
- financial strains of finding and purchasing gifts,
- food shopping and preparations,
- travel arrangements and bookings if your family is living in a different state.
Let’s get organized.
1. Start Decluttering
Any cluttered space can contribute to anxiety and to a lack of focus. A clean space does the opposite – it gives you a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind. Clean the fridge and the pantry, clean your room and your kid’s room. Declutter and refresh the bathroom that your guest will surely use if you’re hosting a holiday party.
2. Take Control
Take advantage of the few weeks you still have before Christmas. Sit down with a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of wine or a nice glass of scotch. List the parties or the events that you want to attend, family traditions, community events, food and gifts for your family and friends.
You need to have complete control when planning your time and budget. Do not over-spend or over-indulge. Spend within your budget because if not, you’ll be in debt, you’ll have stress and everything will result in holiday chaos. Planning will put you in the driver’s seat and you’ll have a more realistic view of your limitations and the family’s values. Planning ahead will also make you enjoy the holidays full blast because everything is well organized.
3. Pay In Cash
For many, Christmas is the season of gift giving but it also comes in the form of credit card balances that linger for months into the New Year. Paying debts made in the previous year is not a good way to start the new year. Yes, it’s too easy to just get the card especially for last minute shopping or deadlines, but that’s why you’re planning ahead to prevent this.
Set a holiday budget and use cash for your purchases. Preparing a gift list in advance will help you take advantage of any seasonal specials as they arise. You will spend less, get more and keep your debt minimal.
4. Revise Your Gift List
A growing family, a new commitment to a simple holiday or an economic circumstance can mean a renegotiable gift exchange. This Christmas may be a time to adjust your gift-giving practices in your extended family or else you may have a humongous bill just for gifts. Planning in advance will make it easy for you to negotiate gifts with less drama or any hard feelings.
5. Maintain A Schedule
The demands of preparing for the holidays on top of a normal work week can be daunting and overwhelming for most people. The season’s excitement and the anticipation of a perfect Christmas will surely inspire you to draw energy to get things done by giving up leisure time and sleep. The expected crash will sometimes happen after the gifts are open, the guests are fed and everyone has left. Having some downtime every day and week is essential to save your sanity and enjoy the company of your loved ones during the holidays.
6. Tune Into Your Family’s Traditions
Planning ahead will ensure the seasonal traditions will take center stage. You will have all the time to buy the Nutcracker tickets, bake your apple pies to be given away to family and friends, go ice skating, go skiing, or take a drive to see the wonderful Christmas lights if you’re not rushing with any last minute checklists.
7. Make The Holidays Meaningful
Keep your priorities in mind and think of what’s important to you and your family. Talk to your family about what you liked the year before and what you didn’t like. Start planning ways to make the holiday memorable and more meaningful. Manage expectations because it’s better to talk about it as early as possible than to drop a bomb and not meet each other’s expectations.