Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Holiday Planning Tips!!!

Happy Wednesday friends! As we start November, I thought I would share a few of my tips to help make the holiday season a little less crazy or maybe a little more organized. Here are a few things I do this month to ease the load of December's hustle and bustle! And it seems an appropriate time for this post as I started listening to Christmas music yesterday!  A local radio station started playing it and it sure brought a smile to my face. So some of you hear holiday planning and Christmas music in November and you are all like....
But if you are on the side of  "don't talk Christmas until after Thanksgiving", then maybe this post isn't for you 😉
For those still reading, here are some of my holiday planning tips!

A Christmas List
I actually start this a little earlier in the year. I keep a piece of paper in my wallet with those I need to buy gifts for. As I see things in store or hear them talk about something, I write it down. I also check off things if I purchase them... this helps to keep tabs on what you have and still need to get. And if you want to be really organized, make a note where you stash those early gifts! I mean haven't we all "lost" a gift or two we bought too early!
 I feel like I will be out shopping in September and see something and think, "gosh, that would be perfect for.....". So I write it down. You can also put it in notes in your phone. I just happen to be very much a pen, paper and list girl. Even with a really great list, this may or may not happen to me at some point in the holiday season!
Image result for christmas shopping meme
Another way to make your list is write out need, wear, want and read and try to get one thing in each bucket, instead of just a bunch of "wants" that will probably lose their wow factor immediately after opening. And if you need help with your lists, stay tuned... I'll be sharing my gift guides this month!! 

There are lots of fun holiday things to do and see! Like you could do something everyday! We like touring the lights, ice skating, visit to Santa, family visits, holiday can get hectic. Schedule out what you want to do and when you want to do it.  You can check our our Christmas Bucket List  here. It's from a few years ago, but we do love Christmas traditions, so it is pretty much the same year after year!
I'm talking really schedule. Like ride around to see lights on Tuesday December 11. Be specific, but be sure to leave nights for doing nothing but enjoy your own Christmas decorations with your kids, popcorn, and a fun Christmas movie!
I just LOVE this time of year!!

Pantry Stock up
I love to host holiday parties and also love holiday baking. Try to plan out what you are baking and what you might need for parties and get some of your pantry items now. Baking supplies, spices, frozen items, etc. are all good things to stock up on early in the season.
And it will make for a lighter grocery cart as you battle your way through the produce aisles on the day before Thanksgiving!!

Wine & Gift Cards
Now that I have your attention..... November is the perfect time to stock up on some extra bottles of wine. Great to have on hand if you need a last minute gift, something to bring the hostess, or need a glass for some late night wrapping!
 And speaking of hostess gifts, be sure to check back next week....I am sharing some gift ideas for the hostess.
We usually give gift cards to our local coffee/lunch spot for teachers, bus drivers and our mailman. Grab them now to check that off the list. 

Wrapping Paper, Tape, Scissors
If you did not stock up on wrapping paper at the end of season last year, get it now. The selection is great this time of year.  And if you have not checked out wrapping supplies at Home Goods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx, they have the cutest (and best quality) wrapping paper and boxes!
While you may pay a little more than waiting for the sale in mid- December, I like to be able to wrap when I have  few extra minutes. 
Have your paper, extra tape, scissors, Sharpies, and whatever else you need ready to go so you can wrap as you buy.  ***always buy an extra roll of tape....I always seem to run out at the worst time!

Make a stop to the post office this month to pick up stamps and shipping materials. That place is just going to keep getting busier, so grab your stuff now to avoid the rush!!!
If you mail out Christmas Cards, now is the time to "make them". I always pick my design and add my pictures to my Shutterfly account. I save it in my cart, so that on Black Friday or Cyber Monday when they have a crazy good sale I can just click to buy! 

Elf on the Shelf
Does this little Elf make an appearance at your house after Thanksgiving? Does the thought of what tricks he will do or where he will hide each day stress you out??? Make a plan now. I write out the dates from his arrival to his departure and fill in what he will do or where he will hide each day. If he brings "special things" throughout the month, get that stuff now. 
That way each night you can check the list and sleep more soundly! Now remembering to check the list each night.....that's another story!!!
So while these tips may not be earth-shattering, they are some little things that can help make December more fun. I have worked in retail my whole life, so I know all about the craziness of the holidays! I have found that with a little's a lot more fun. I like to get things all wrapped up (literally!) by December 10th so we can really enjoy those weeks leading up to Christmas. It's such a magical time with the kids and really is "the most wonderful time of the year!". And yes I sang that as I typed!
Ok I am officially in the holiday spirit!!!

Have the best Wednesday! See you on Friday for Friday favorites! There is always room for one more at our family table.

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