Guest post from Dianna Scofield
Every year when the holidays roll around, I start wishing I was better prepared. Here are the things I always wish I had done before it was too late. What do you find yourself wishing you had done when the holidays sneak up on you?
10 things to do before the holidays:
1. Make lists. Who are you inviting for Thanksgiving? Who gets cards, cookie deliveries, or gifts? What gifts do you need to buy? If you make a list now, you can look for sales.
2. Deep-clean the house. Especially areas where you’ll be celebrating, or where you’ll have guests. I love a clean house on Christmas morning.
3. Plan menus and try new recipes. Want to try something new for a holiday meal? Try it now, before you have guests over, to avoid a flop on the big day. What’s more, you’ll know what ingredients you need to look for in the big sales leading up to the holidays.
4. Make travel plans. Where are you staying? How are you getting there? What are you packing? Make arrangements now.
5. Start handmade gifts now. I always end up sewing madly the week before Christmas, or just buying something new instead. Starting now will help me relax when the holidays arrive.
6. Stock emergency gifts. I always end up spending extra at the last minute when I realize I forgot to put someone on my gift shopping list, or when I need a hostess gift. I like to keep a stash of generic gifts in my closet for those occasions.
7. Evaluate your family’s traditions. Do you like your traditions? Do you want to start anything new? If you want to make any changes, now is a good time to discuss it so you can prepare.
8. Make a holiday calendar. The holidays usually end up being jam-packed with celebrations and obligations. Start planning now so you will be able to fit everything in.
9. Start a to-do list. I have a hard time relaxing if there are ten things floating around my head that I need to do. Writing them down will free up your brain—and help you remember what you need to get done! (You can download a big to do list here.)
10. Simplify. The holidays can be overwhelming. You don’t have to do it all! Is there anything you can cut out?
Want to get it all on paper? Here’s a 2013 Holiday Planner complete with calendars, checklists, and space for brainstorming. Click here to download.
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