Seems from the day before Thanksgiving to New Year's Day life becomes a whirlwind of chaos. There are gifts to find, parties to attend and give, cookies to bake. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. You can get organized if you just plan ahead.
Who says you have to accept every invitation you receive this Christmas? It's okay to send your regrets to one or two events-especially if they fall on the same night.
Organize your calendar so you are not running from place to place. Fifteen minutes at one party and then off to another for an hour before heading to a third does not make for happy holidays.
By the end of the year your planning calendar may be illegible with cross outs and scribbles. You can find great bargains on leftover calendars at the end of the year. Dollar stores are great places to find them. Grab one and tack it up for November and December. Put it in a place you will see it every day.
Image by Meepness - Daniel C on Flickr
The refrigerator or somewhere in the kitchen is a good choice. If you like the design and the space available for writing events in, you're more likely to use it. So don't choose one with minimal writing space if you like to write big and bold. Full month calendars work best so you can see your schedule laid out all at once.
Forgot the tape? Used your last sheet of wrapping paper? Don't run out to the drug store and spend more than you have to. Plan ahead for your holiday wrapping needs. Visit that dollar store, where they will have started putting out the Christmas wrapping supplies in October, and pick up a bundle of supplies. Get an abundance of paper, tape and bows. At a dollar each, you can afford to splurge. If you have any left over, you'll be ahead for next year.
Grab other things you might need while you're there at the dollar store. Candles and wreaths are often available as are other holiday decorations and projects for the kids to give as holiday gifts. Take some time and look around. Get it all in one trip.
Chances are you can't throw a stone without hitting a Target, WalMart or Sam's Club. Everywhere you go you'll find mega-retailers just waiting for your business. There's a good reason these stores are so popular. They are convenient places to find everything you need, at a good price, all at once. Go armed with your gift list as well as a list of any holiday supplies you need. You can spend a few hours there getting everything done. It's less time than you'd spend rushing from mall to mall searching for Christmas gifts here and there.
Visit the toy aisle and get everything all at once. Then, hit the holiday aisle. You'll find decorations, plates, cookie cutters and everything else you need to make the house festive. Grab ingredients such as nuts, flour, chocolate chips, oil and baking powder that you'll need for your Christmas cookies while you're there. Shopping at one store for everything makes financial as well as logical sense.
Stay organized this year by thinking ahead. Buy for your family and closest friends and then keep a gift closet stocked with extra presents for those who stop over unexpectedly with a gift for you. Keep extra inexpensive holiday gifts, bags and tissue so you can just pop a gift in at the last minute. Plan out the day you'll bake instead of spreading the baking out over several nights during the week. Get it all done at once and it will be more fun and productive. You can always freeze the cookies until you're ready to distribute them.
The holidays are fun when you're not stretched like a rubber band. This year, organize and you'll be spreading the cheer instead of circling the mall for a parking spot.