1. Make a list. I use a spreadsheet. Include each person you have to buy for and a budget you plan on spending. Then add each gift purchased and the actual amount. Stay in budget!
2. Start shopping for that list early! I usually start shopping by Aug or Sept. I am done by Thanksgiving. It spreads the finances over months, you are able to keep an eye out for specific deals, and you can always return or exchange.
3. Keep all Christmas receipts in a separate envelope... if a return or exchange is needed, I know exactly where it is.
4. Order your Christmas cards early... there are great deals now, and it's one less thing to "get done". Also consider doing a spreadsheet (can you tell - I love spreadsheets) of your address book. you can do a mail merge and labels for your envelopes. Super time saver!
5. Make a menu if you are hosting. I use a spreadsheet. Include each item and the person who is making that item. You can start shopping for the items you are making early. There are also several dishes you can make early and freezer (I already have an apple pie and garlic butter frozen... next week I start on pumpkin roll. Yum!)
|Sweet Potato Casserole||Me|
6. Plan your month. Add all those fun family events going on around town, through church, with family and friends, etc... but also be sure to schedule down time to rest in this busy season. You don't have to see every light display. Plan the fun AND plan the rest.
7. ENJOY! Planning ahead and spreading the work relives the stress of the holiday season. People around me often seem stressed, but I enjoy (almost) every moment because most of my work is done before Thanksgiving even hits. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!