This is it, we’re in the holiday homestretch, and with three weeks to go, we’re down to the wire! Have I made you a bit nervous yet? Not to worry! These seven steps to an organized Christmas will help you accomplish most of the tasks on your to-do list.
Send your cards out right now. It might seem a little early, but this is a good task to knock off your list right away. Hopefully, you have all your names and addresses on your computer to print labels quickly. Or you could sign up for an online service like Send Out Cards. Maybe you’re a grinch like me, and you don’t send holiday cards to anyone. (I know! I know! What’s up with that? Long story – ask me sometime.)
2. Gift Shopping
Check the hiding spots in your house for the gifts you bought throughout the year and forgot about. I’m sure you have your gift bin carefully marked, and you add to it as you purchase items, right? Have a plan before you go shopping. If you like to shop in person for your holiday gifts, spend some time researching online first. It will help you figure out what you want to buy, for whom, and maybe even where. It will save you a ton of time when you’re ready to head out. Of course, ordering online saves even more time, but please check the return policy. If all else fails, a gift card or charitable donation on someone’s behalf is an option.
My favourite part of the holiday season is decorating. I especially love having lights outside my home. Truth be told, I put them up last year and didn’t take them down. Because they are white rope lights, we use them all year round. They are so beautiful. There are so many choices for outdoor lighting available, and every year marketing savvy retailers tempt us with new styles and options. Remember, you can have too much of a good thing. Who needs gifts? Just bring me decorations!
I’m guessing those of you who love to bake for the holidays have done most of it already. Everything is in the freezer and ready to go. If you enjoy baking, go for it! And if not, leave it to the experts at your local bakery (and support a local business). Hosting a baking/cookie exchange with friends is a fabulous, time-saving idea, and you can enjoy the time you spend together too.
I don’t know about you, but my calendar is filling up with several holiday parties. I’m buying a tree and inviting friends over to help decorate it (another time-saving activity). I’m also scheduling out-of-town excursions to visit with loved ones. The key to having an organized Christmas holiday is to pick and choose the events that are most important to you. You don’t have to say yes to every invitation. When you have several events on the same night, choose one instead of trying to get to all of them.
I’m a huge fan of having a gift-wrapping marathon a day or two before the big day. Except, of course, if you have to send gifts away, which I’m assuming you’ve done already. Turn on the Charlie Brown Christmas music playlist (Spotify or Apple) and pour a glass of your favourite holiday beverage. Gather your supplies, surround yourself with wrap and ribbon, and have fun!
To cook or not to cook, that is the question! And one that you should ask yourself. Maybe you will decide to go out for your holiday dinner. Or, if you enjoy cooking, you could stay home and prepare a meal. Or perhaps, you might order a fully prepared dinner from a local hotel or catering service – the best of both worlds. Choose what is right for you this year, and know that you can change your plans for next year.
Whew, I think that’s it. Please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything. Enjoy an organized Christmas in your beautifully decorated home, with delicious food in the company of your friends and family. Happy holidays to all!