At the risk of sounding like your 5th-grade teacher – “Failing to plan will be a plan to fail” this holiday season. Here are small things you can do to help ensure you have a less stressful holiday season.
Start Early!! Start Now.
Set up your holiday calendar now – that could mean buying a special planner, wall calendar, or notebook, but get started with it now.
I’m an advocate for something that you can add pages to easily – like a 3-ring binder or disc binder, I prefer disc to 3 ring, but it’s just a personal preference.
Start filling in your calendar with major events and tasks; holidays, school, social, or church events, mailing Christmas cards, etc..
Once the major events are scheduled, you can begin scheduling the tasks it will take to get to that event. As an example, Sending out Christmas Cards, your task list might look something like this:
December 1 – Last day to send out Christmas Cards
Create/find Christmas card list.
Add new names and addresses to the card list.
Print mailing labels for cards
Purchase supplies for making Christmas cards.
Start making cards
Finish making cards
Print photos to include in cards
Write a holiday letter to include in cards
Personalize cards and label envelopes
Brainstorm your list first and then put it into step by step order.
Once it’s been arranged you can add each step to your calendar. You’ll notice the list above is only 12 items long, but once I started arranging the list, I added a few more items.
- Create/find Christmas card list
- Add new names and address to the card list
- Estimate # of cards needed
- Design card
- Purchase supplies for making Christmas cards.
- Start making cards
- Finish making cards
- Print photos to include in cards
- Write a holiday letter to include in cards
- Final additions to card list
- Print mailing labels for cards
- Personalize cards and label envelopes
- Purchase stamps
- December 1 – Last day to send out Christmas Cards
Embrace the weirdness and plan for it.
This holiday season will prove to be significantly different than any we’ve experienced in the past. Try to stay positive and creative rather than disappointed. Undoubtedly there will be many things that you’ve done in the past that you may not be able to do this year. Your brain will believe and embrace whatever you tell it to believe and embrace so rather than lamenting what you can’t do, tell yourself, your family, and your friends all the fun things you’re planning without mentioning why you’re doing them (pandemic – blah, we’re all so tired of it) or what you’re missing.
Every year at my holiday open house I set out a little table where guests can make their own “wine glass tag”. This year we’ll be decorating simple cotton “holiday masks” as well. These masks have a split in them so you can sip your beverage. Guests can take the masks with them and wear them through the season. Hot glue, sequins, and a few precut vinyl iron-on options will add to the fun. Guests will arrive with masks on but can make something more festive and fun.
If you live in an area where you need to limit the number of people at your events to be in compliance with social distancing rules don’t abandon the events, just figure out a way to be compliant – whether that’s moving things to Zoom or changing your holiday baking party to just a simple cookie exchange.
Put your creative brain in gear and you’ll be able to come up with lots of ideas – when you do, please come back to this post and share them, we’re all going to need creative ideas this year.
Arrange space in your home for holiday chores and storage.
Planning ahead for the holidays means you’ll have things in your home for a longer period of time than you usually would; everything from gifts and card making supplies to wrapping paper and newly made/purchased home décor.
Take some time this weekend to clean out space in a closet or your garage so you can easily store these items until you need them. You may need to purchase or repurpose a few storage totes, or just get your hands on a few empty cardboard boxes.
In the kitchen or pantry, have a plan and space for holiday baking and cooking supplies. When you’re ready to do your final grocery shopping you’ll be able to take a quick pantry inventory and ensure you’ve got everything you need.
Wrapping always takes more time and space than we think it will. Setting up a wrapping station will help get this job done.
My mother always wrapped and tagged gifts early, and then add beautiful ribbons and bows, just before she put things under the tree. This kept the bows from getting flattened and made it easier to store the pre-wrapped gifts.
Getting things done early is going to be really important this year.
Shipping lanes will undoubtedly be more crowded this year, products may be in short supply, more people than ever will be shopping online – the key to keeping your stress level down, and your spirits up is going to be starting early.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. Happy Holiday planning to all of you!