Organizing Your Christmas Holiday

If you’ve been to any store lately you’ve seen that the holiday decorations have hit the stores. It’s the time of year that puts everyone in a good mood until the time that the family arrives on your doorstep.

Then of course, the rush is on to get it all done in time. If you’re anything like me and my family, there are always last minute trips to the store to get everything that is needed for the dinner and the delivery of presents.

Throughout all the joy comes holiday stress and lack of organization! Now is the time to plan out your whole event. You should know now whether you are traveling to a relatives’ for the holiday or even just for dinner. It’s a good time to start planning your menu’s and your presents for the people on your list.

Here are a few things to make your holidays run a bit smoother:

1. Write a list of each person who is to receive a present. If you need to draw names, make it happen via email this week. Then select a budget for each person and draw the cash out and put it in envelopes. Make a vow to stay within the budget you’ve set.

2. Start by perusing the catalogs. It’s an easier way to shop. There are so many catalogs on line now so shopping on line will help you stay away from that crazy holiday rush.

3. Shopping in one place certainly saves time, and places like TJ MAX and Marshalls are old favorites and do carry affordable items for the whole family.

4. Once you’ve gotten the shopping done, it’s time to start the decorating. I usually purchase a few magazines specifically for the holidays and do one art project that will last. It’s been fun to see my projects through the years that took a day to make, but have been in our family for years.

If you’re “crafty” enough, then these items make excellent gifts for your friends and neighbors. Presents like pine cone wreaths or candle covers are easy, fun to make and last for years.

5. Next, comes the cooking! This is the one that seems like it should wait, but in realty it’s a great time to start right now! We still have a few weekends before Christmas and those early Saturday mornings are a great time to bake up and decorate holiday cookies and bars.

In addition, homemade jellies and jams make excellent holiday gifts to share. My personal favorite is Hot Jezabel. I make it with pineapple and apricot jelly, horseradish, dry mustard and black pepper. It is delicious on top of cream cheese with crackers. Put in a cute jar, with a box of crackers, the recipe in a basket makes an affordable and delicious gift.

6. Get your kids dressed and head to the nearest hotel lobby for a beautiful holiday picture! Sure, you can go to a studio and spend upwards of $100, or you can get dressed and go to a nice hotel where you can take a picture that is classy and will impress your friends! Get them printed at Walmart and you’re good to go for your holiday newsletter and card!

7. Last but not least, understand that the holidays are some of the most stressful times of the year. If you have a family and are traveling or entertaining, you need to schedule some time for relaxing without doing anything. Book your manicure ahead of time or a fun cookie exchange evening out with the gals in advance.

Then kick back and enjoy the time this year. If you plan ahead this year, like you SAID you would last year, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the holidays creating memories, instead of stress!

Making a List for Christmas Shopping

“He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice.” This may be a line from one of the most recognized Christmas carol. Almost everyone who celebrates Christmas knows all about Santa’s good list as well as his naughty list and most people do their best to avoid being placed on Santa’s naughty list.

While the concept of Santa’s good list and naughty list is a fun way to convince children to be on their best behavior during the Christmas season, the concept of a list should one that all Christmas shoppers adhere to while they are doing their Christmas shopping.

In fact Christmas shopping should be filled with all sorts of lists. You can create lists of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year, lists of potential gift ideas and even lists of the actual gifts you select. All of this list making may sound tedious but this article will explain how all of these lists can be very helpful.

Making a list of everyone you plan to give a Christmas gift to should be the first step in any Christmas shopping expedition. This list is so important because it gives you a handy reference to all the people you should keep in mind while you are shopping and also gives you an indication of the total number of people on your Christmas list.

Knowing how many people are on your list is important for setting a budget. Consider how much money you have to spend and divide this amount by the number of people on your list and this will give you an idea of how much you can spend on each person on your Christmas list.

After you make this list and set your budget, it is a good idea to make another list of potential gift ideas for each person on your Christmas gift list. It is a good idea to brainstorm and try to come up with a few good gift ideas for each person on your list. This is helpful because when you are out Christmas shopping you know where to start your search and will have a few choices if you are having difficulty finding one of the items on your list of suggestions.

You may find items which are not on your list but are perfect for the person you are shopping for and it is acceptable to buy these items. It is important to remember your list of suggestions is just a starting point and if you find a more appropriate gift that is not on your list it is a good idea to purchase this gift instead.

When Christmas shopping you should also keep a list of the items you actually purchase as Christmas gifts for those on your list. This is a good idea because if you have a particularly long list, you may have difficulty remembering all the items you already bought. Keeping an updated list of whom you have already purchased Christmas gifts for and what you bought them will minimize this problem.

This list also comes in handy when it is time to start wrapping all the Christmas gifts you purchased. You may have a closet full of gifts but you may have trouble remembers which gift goes to which recipient. However, if you kept an accurate list as you made your purchases this should not be a problem.