How do you keep your sanity during the holidays? I love the holidays and all the hustle and bustle that goes along with it. I will admit however that I am often finishing things up as we are expecting our guests to arrive or heading out the door. I hope to be more prepared this year and will share with you my 10 tips to survive this holiday season.
1. Organization is the key to survival. Start making your lists. Who are you buying presents for? Who are you sending Christmas cards to? Do you know where you are supposed to be on what day? Start with a binder and put in some regular lined paper and dividers. That way you will just need to grab your binder when you get ready to shop or prepare your cards. I would also put in there a few page protectors to hold valuable coupons and a calendar.
2. Do you host a dinner party or are you a guest? Start making your list as to what you need for your dinner(s). It's early enough that you can start looking for the good deals. Keeping a checklist will help to make sure that you won't have to make any last minute trips to the store.
3.Will your children have a gift exchange at school? Do you need teacher gifts? Bus driver, mailman, babysitter, hairdresser? These gifts can really add up if you are not prepared and end up running out to pick something up really quick. Think of something that you can either make or buy in bulk that you will be able to separate out to make a cute individual gift. One year I bought a box of stylish Christmas ornaments and gave them out individually. Now each year when they put the ornament on their tree they think of my kids.
4. Baking can be stressful if you let it be. Pick a few cookies or desserts that you would like to make. Stick to it, have fun making them and include your kids make it a new tradition. You can simplify your baking by using the refridgerated cookie dough or buy sugar cookies in the bakery and decorate them yourself.
5. Order your Christmas cards early, get the envelopes ready with the stamp and all and then hold on to them until you are ready to mail them out. That means if you do not have that "perfect" family picture yet, you need to plan on getting that soon. You might consider using Tiny Prints Christmas Cards. Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable.
6.Shop with your binder and have a list in there of what you are buying, who you are buying for and what you have already bought. I know that I always hate going out for a couple more gifts for one of the kids because I feel like they don't have as much as the other kids.
7. Remember that this time of year is about family, friends and loved ones. It's not about spending all of your money and being stressed out. Take time out to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Don't take on more than you want to. It is ok to say no.
8. Do you travel? Make sure that everyone knows what the plan is. When are you leaving and returning. Do you have a travel bag ready with books,movies and games? This is something you can have ready in advance.
9.Traditions are important to the holiday season. Sometimes we get so busy doing for everyone else that when we look back on it we realize that we didn't take the time to create a memory for our kids of just us. That was a hard one for me after we moved. I felt like I needed to please everyone and we didn't have any time with just us at home with our traditions. Over the last couple years we have gradually added events and meals that we want to have just us 5. It makes me happy to think that my kids will have great memories of traditions that we created together.
10.Volunteer, donate or give in some way. Help out someone that may not be as fortunate as you are. What a great way teach our kids how fortunate they are.
Most of all remember the reason for the season!!!
What tips do you have for surviving the holidays? What tips do you have?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.