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Halloween is over and now we’re counting down to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time of year can be stressful so I’m sharing 5 ways to plan ahead and enjoy the holidays this year! Let’s avoid the post-holiday burnout and create special memories instead.
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If you’re anything like me, you love celebrating and want to fit in all of the festivities that come up but there are only so many days on the calendar before we ring in the new year. I love this time of year, but it is always the busiest. How can we make the most of it? Let’s get some of that prep work out of the way early so there’s less rushing around at the last minute feeling frazzled.
Here are 5 ways to plan ahead this year
The holiday season is a magical time, filled with the warmth of family, the joy of giving, and the delight of festive decorations. But it’s also a season that can bring about a fair share of stress. The key to truly savoring the holidays is to plan ahead. By taking thoughtful steps in advance, you can create a smoother, more enjoyable season that allows you to relish every moment. Here’s a guide on how to plan ahead and make this holiday season unforgettable.
1. Start decluttering now and be thoughtful about where you donate items. If you need some inspiration to get started on this, you can check out 10 Things to Declutter Right Now for some ideas. A pre-holiday declutter will help you feel a little relief before the holiday decorations are put out and new gifts are coming in. This is definitely the time to focus on clothing that your family has outgrown, toys that aren’t being played with, books you’ve read and aren’t going to read again, etc. Rather than just dropping off donations to one location, take some time to look into where specific items might best serve those in your community, especially during this time of year. If the items you’re letting go of are in new or like-new condition, who can most benefit from them during the holidays?
2. Figure out your holiday budget. If you don’t start with a budget, you’ll be overspending on SO much. Take into account who you need to get gifts for, any activities you are committed to, special groceries, event-specific items you might need, and more. Break down your spending by categories and stick to it! Find some ways to Stay Under Your Christmas Budget.
3. Get those holiday cards ready. Or maybe you choose not to send them this year. Do what is best for you. If you do choose to send them though, make sure to update any addresses on your list. I personally use a combination of an Excel spreadsheet and a website called Postable. Postable allows you to share a link where your contacts can enter their information into your address book. It’s also super helpful each year because you can send out an email asking if they need to update any information and it’s all right there when you log in. If you need a photo for your card, see if there is a local photographer doing mini sessions or even just set up your own tripod in front of a nice background and do it yourself. Make sure to order your cards early to ensure plenty of time to receive them from the company and then prep them to send out yourself.
4. Create your JOY list and add these items to your schedule. Consider this a type of bucket list for the season. What are all of the things you love doing during this time of year and want to ensure enough time is set aside to make them happen? You know if it doesn’t get scheduled, there’s a pretty good chance that during all of the craziness, it will get missed. Make sure that doesn’t happen!
5. Use grocery delivery or store pickup to save time. Personally, I use the Shipt app and Walmart Grocery Pickup depending on what’s on my list and the availability of certain items. I save so much time not browsing each aisle of the grocery store. I know what I need and stick to my list, then it’s either delivered to my door or loaded in my car. I highly recommend finding tasks that you can outsource; your time is valuable!
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The holiday season is a time for reflection, gratitude, and sharing. By planning ahead and making thoughtful preparations, you can create a holiday season that is not just about getting through the to-do list, but about savoring every moment. This year, let the season fill your heart with joy and treasured memories as you celebrate what truly matters. Embrace the magic of the holidays, and remember that the most beautiful gift you can give is your presence and love.
This will give you a head start for a holiday season you can actually enjoy – spend more time with your loved ones and create special memories. What do you like to do ahead of time for a smoother season?
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