Santa is not the only one who should be making a list and checking it twice this time of year. In the holiday season, the big challenges are to not do too much or spend too much. The pressures to do both are high.
Don’t Over DO
Put the things you want to make sure you have time for during the last weeks of this year on your calendar now. It’s not just the school festival or city tree lighting you want to schedule. Schedule shopping time–without the kids, after you’ve eaten some protein, and preferably during non-peak store hours. Schedule lunch with a good friend, some quiet time for yourself, a family craft or baking activity, and whatever it is you intend to do for and through the holidays. Put them all on the calendar so you don’t forget about them or book over them. Set alerts on the calendar in your email or phone so you get a reminder a day or two in advance.
To help you accomplish that, I’ve created a Christmas To Do Timeline to organize your time and energy this holiday season and help remember all you might want to do related to the following:
- Events: School, Local Seasonal Events, Parties
- Food: Food Gifts, Cookie Swaps, Holiday Dinner
- Gifts: Wish Lists, Budgets, Shopping, & Mailing
- Holiday Cards: Cards, Photos, Stamps, Mailing
- Hosting: Parties, Overnight Guests, or Holiday Meals
- Mail: Cards & Gifts
- Shopping: Gifts, Food, Decorations, Cards, Home Goods
The timeline is here so that you remember what you want to do, but you can choose to forego all sorts of these categories. You don’t have to do it all over the holidays – or ever. You might decide to send out cards for Valentine’s Day instead of Christmas, or not do cards at all. Getting organized starts with deciding what to keep and what you can let go. You can do exactly that with the timeline. Cross off those things you don’t want to do and use the list for what you actually care to do.
Make a Holiday Shopping Buy, Bought, & Spent List
It’s easy to lose track of what you’ve spent or how many gifts you’ve gotten for folks if you’re wandering around stores for inspiration. For some people on your list, this is easy to do. You may have a wish list from your nieces or a letter to Santa from your child. But buying for your brother-in-law may be trickier. Finding a fun gift for your sister may require some browsing. And stocking stuffers, though little, can add up to a lot of cash.
Whether you keep a paper copy of a list or you keep notes on your phone, make a list of everyone you intend to buy for. As you purchase items (big or small), add them to the list along with what they cost. You’ll be able to see when you’ve filled a stocking or you’re nearing your budget. That means actually having a budget, of course, which will require you to decide what you can afford to spend on gifts. Sitting down to figure out the numbers may inspire you to make cookies to send to the extended family or start crocheting some scarves. Another great stocking stuffer solution is coupons. There are some great ones for kids to give parents at Buttoned Up, some free templates at Mommy Knows, and some fun ones for teachers to give students at Seusstastic.
Check the List More than Twice
Whether reminders on your phone, calendars, or gift lists, you’ve got to keep referring back to them or they don’t help. The pressure this time of year is to hurry, to spend, to celebrate. But come January 1st, many folks find themselves making resolutions to do just the opposite. They want to lose weight, keep a budget, and spend more time with loved ones. You can start doing all of that right now with some simple organizing.
Need Some Help?
If you would like help organizing your space, time, or mind this holiday season or beyond, call 512-591-8129 to get started.