Wow this year has flown by. I can’t believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. It might just be me but Thanksgiving and Christmas used to cause me alot of stress. It always seemed like there was way more things to do than there was hours in the day and that leads to STRESS. Kick ass – “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over”- stress. Part of it was time stress but there was also alot of money stress too. Gift buying, donating to charities, and grocery shopping for holiday events was taxing our household budget to the max. The past few years I’ve made a conscious effort to not let the holidays run me ragged or break the bank. The best way to prevent that is to start planning early.
These are a few things I’ve made fall rituals in order to get ready for the holidays. They may seem minor individually, but together they represent 12 things that I can check off my to do list now so I don’t have to worry about them over the next two months.
- Clean out your cabinets/pantry. Get rid of all baking supplies and canned goods that are past their prime.
- Pull out all of your holiday cards and count your inventory. Cards will be going on sale soon so what you need to purchase.
- Start trolling thrift stores for holiday tins, gift bags, and wrapping paper.
- Check your Christmas lights now instead of waiting until December so you’ll know what needs to be replaced and you can catch the sales.
- Start gathering and trying out recipes now for those big holiday meals. A large family meal isn’t the time to experiment with a new recipe.
- If you haven’t already, make lists of gift ideas for family and friends.
- Ramp up your savings for Christmas gifts. Having your Christmas cash together before Black Friday will help you save a ton of money.
- Restock all craft supplies you might be using through the end of the year. Michael’s and Joann’s have great deals this time of year.
- If your family uses the good silver during the holidays, give it a good polish now. Closer to the holidays you’ll only have to give it a quick wash.
- Send your good tablecloths to the dry cleaners now and keep them stored in the dry cleaning bags so they’ll stay clean. When you get ready to use them, they’ll only need a quick iron.
- Start setting aside some extra money for charities. Inevitably donation opportunities will pop up for organizations you may want to support.
- If you’re sending out photo Christmas cards of the family, order them now before the rush starts.