The holiday season comes with so much extra stuff! It’s inevitable that the December calendar is filled to the max and your weekly errands have multiplied. Your house is brimming with extra piles and goodies that are over taking your counter. Make the effort to not get overwhelmed by the chaos and intentionally enjoy the moments with family and friends.
Set yourself up for holiday season success:
Establish a Gift Station
Create a gift closet or bin for the items you need to wrap or take to gatherings. Have a temporary gift-wrapping station in bedroom, storage room or laundry room so you aren’t spending time hauling out the ribbon every week. Better yet, wrap all your gifts at once so you have less of a mess! I love turning on the tunes and making an event out of wrapping gifts—makes it more enjoyable than a dreaded task.
Remember what you bought
If you are a big gift buyer, put masking tape on each gift with the initials of whom it’s to be given to. How often do you get to wrapping and can’t remember who you bought it for, or realize you bought two gifts for the same person?!? (I’m guilty of it! Now I keep my gift list in Evernote so I always have my list with me.)
Create a Place
Create a place for even the temporary items during this season when there is so much extra stuff in the house. Cards go in a specific basket or posted on the wall; the gingerbread becomes an intentional part of the decorations and not something that gets moved three times a day to make space; the bills are still processed daily/weekly so you don’t get behind; the kids keep their projects in their rooms this time of year; and you limit the number of decorations that take up counter space – try to hang or put them on other shelves. You need to keep some cleared space to work and minimize feeling overwhelmed.
Label Decoration Boxes
When putting up decorations, label each box ABC or 123. Put a small number on the bottom of each item so it correspondence with its respectively labeled box. Then when you go to put the decorations away, you are able to fit them all back in the correct boxes. Sometimes they never seem to fit back in the way you took them out.
Put Decorations Away Efficiently
When you put away all your decorations, it’s inevitable that you forget to take down few items. Instead of pulling your boxes back out or leaving it on the shelf to “remember” to put away later…create a small box for miscellaneous decorations and store it with the other boxes. Putting it away in an “I forgot” box, is better than leaving it to get broken or lost.
Make a Seasonal Master Calendar
Create a master calendar for the season. If you don’t have a family calendar (digital or paper) create one for the month of December. Add Christmas programs, church services, office parties, and even meals. It helps the whole family see that it’s a busy month and you all need to be thinking ahead. And having meals on there reminds you of what you need to bring to the neighborhood bash!
Plan for Meals and Grocery Shopping
Plan your meals and plan for left overs. There is enough running around this time of year, so make a master grocery list and try to stick to it so you aren’t running back to the store for one or two items. Make a large batch of the same goodie to bring to all the parties and freeze the extras so you can take them out when it’s time to go.
Spend in the Right Places
Keep your “spending” simple this year. Holidays are so meaningful, but only when you are intentional about the time you spend, who you spend it with, and how you spend your money. It’s ok to limit the number of parties you attend to the ones that mean the most. You don’t want to go through the season and realize you didn’t carve out any time to be home with your immediate family.
What else helps you cherish this season amongst the busy schedules?