Technically we can cross Halloween out of out list, so what’s next?! It’s time to get ready for what is sure to be a cold hectic winter! I know you’ve heard this year after year, but the best advice right now is: prepare ahead of time! Shipping always gets crazy, stores are always crowded, people should be at their nicest but unfortunately they are not, stock is low, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! This weekend, put 1 hour aside, sit down with pen and paper and write your action plan for the Season, at least you’ll have an idea of what to expect and hopefully start getting ready early; that way you are sure to be more relax and enjoy the beauty of it all. That’s why I’m calling this our Holiday Season Survival Guide!
- Party and Event Planning
Usually by now most company parties have already been announced, and if not, you are very likely to hear from them within the next week or so. Set those days on a visible calendar so you don’t have any “double booking” issue later. Make sure you write from now all those important dates like your child’s recital, school play and volunteer days. These are days that are scheduled ahead of time with the only purpose of giving you a chance to plan, if you write them big, bold and visible you will know when your schedule is full and when is time to say “no, I wont be able to make it”.
Apart from those unexpected gifts that come up every year, your gifts list remains pretty much the same. Family and close friends make the top of the list; then teachers, coworkers, service personal, neighbors, etc. Write all of the names on a list and if you already know what you would like to get them, write it next to their name. Do keep it simple; you want them to remember you and fall in love with their gift, but simplicity goes along way. For me, the key to a beautiful gift is the wrapping (more about that on another post!), simple gifts with detailed wrapping! Since you already have an idea of how your schedule is looking, then take some of those spare November days and start shopping, what’s the point of waiting for sales if you can’t find what you’re looking for or lose your mind while you shop! If you are planning on making some of your gifts, start now and check out my previous post on DIY Gifts for All. It’s also a good idea to buy a couple of extra generic gifts for those unexpected party invites or guest. Wine or Seasonal candy are always a good gift; keep them nicely wrapped and tucked away so it doesn’t seem like you just decorated them while you were in the kitchen!
Yes, the Holidays are here, that means lights, wreaths, ornaments and all! Don’t wait for the hectic days in order to start decorating your house. The truth is, we all have these big ideas of how we’d like our house to look, usually once we start decorating it goes something like this: I forgot to buy milk, the baby is crying, the lights don’t work, can’t find what your looking for, it’s broken!… sounds familiar?! Start early, even if you are the first one on the block! Make it a family affair and skip the movie night. In our house we’ve made its traditional to put up the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving, we mostly do it on Black Friday evening. Choose a tradition that fits your family and write it down on the calendar so no one makes any plan for Decoration Day!
Family dinner are always a most and so are friends get togethers during this time of the year. Since you can’t really ask them to set up the day from now (some might have the day already but some might not), just leave some space on your calendar for those dinner plans you know, will pop up. Take the time to set your family dinner day from now, that way you can let family members that travel know so that they can make arrangements. If you invite people with just a week noticed, you can’t get offended when they don’t show up, during the Holidays unfortunately that sometimes is too late.
If you are planning a dinner, write down from now what your meal plan should look like, nothing solid, just a draft. If you are planning on asking friends and family to bring something to the table, you might want to let them know about a month ahead of time. Avoid trying new recipes on the day of your dinner party, nobody wants to sit through a dry turkey! Try your recipes with you immediate family ahead of time, they are you own personal Ginny pigs!
Never forget your familys traditions, sometimes with all the hecticness, we forget to light our candles or sing our Christmas Carols. Set time aside to have those moments and cherish the Season for what it really means. Your kids and friends will appreciate the warmth of not just the food but the Christmas Spirit in your house. There are tons of beautiful traditions both cultural and fun that you can incorporate (I’m actually writing a book about that!), just keep in mind your family’s personality and what the Season means to you; and above all, have fun! Traditions shouldn’t be boring, your kids won’t carry them over if they don’t care for them, they should be meaningful and fun.
That’s it! Five simple tips to survive the Season with peace of mind and a happy heart!
Enjoy your Trick or Treating and be safe!