Get Organized for the Holidays
The holiday season can be...exhausting.
Between entertaining friends and family for what seems like one month straight – cooking, buying gifts, dressing up, and cleaning – it can be a rough [but oh so fun] season.
I like to plan well in advance for all of these festivities. Here are some of the tips I recommend to get organized for the holidays...
Get Your Gifts Early
Now, let’s get one thing straight – I 100% agree with the sentiment that public works and retail stores should follow the rule of waiting until after the Thanksgiving holiday is over to adorn city streets and shop windows with winter holiday decorations.
However, I don’t think that holiday gift planning and the like necessarily need to wait. Getting those gifts early will help avoid last-minute scrambling, and ensure the recipient gets the best gift possible.
I like to do my shopping year-round, or at least keep a running list for whenever I think of a great gift for someone. That way, when the holidays roll around, I’ve either already got most of my gifts taken care of, or at least know exactly what I’ll be buying – and that’s the easiest part!
Despite all the preeminent gift-buying efforts you may impart, if the presents aren’t wrapped when it’s time to present them, all that foreplanning will go to waste! That’s why I like to wrap items as soon as I get them home from the store or mall. I just feel better knowing that things are 100% ready for when the occasion presents itself!
A good way to make this part of your gifting process, is to have all of your wrapping supplies stored in one place, like a hallway closet or dedicated garage shelf. Having an empty table space nearby, or a “wrap station” in an office (mine is pictured to the right...it folds up for easy storing!), always helps as well, so that presents can be ‘processed’ and stored away in just a few simple steps.
(Helpful tip: I also make sure to tag or make a note on each gift to remind myself who it’s for and prevent future confusion!).
Plan Your Hostess Gifts in Advance
Not only should one gather gifts early on, one should also anticipate being invited to gatherings and thus have a stock of hostess-type gifts wrapped and ready. This will save you from last-minute stress and will make all of the festivities feel a little more festive.
Keep a List
In addition to keeping a running list for ‘to-buy’ gifts, I also keep a list of the gifts I’ve given over the years. This is to make sure the same teacher, friend, or colleague doesn’t get the same gift. This goes for birthdays and other gift-garnering occasions all year long as well. Keeping a log helps the “old lady” brain in my case. And I’m sure even young people with the multi-tasking lives they lead would benefit from a checkpoint of sorts. This has really helped me over the years.
Stock up on Groceries
We all know that the holidays can also involve a lot of cooking... so, I like to get to the grocery store early (at least a few days before I have to cook) to get all of the ingredients that I know will last (i.e. flours, bread crumbs, hearty vegetables like squashes, potatoes and onions, and any non-perishable baking items i’ll need). After that, I can do quicker runs to the store to get fresh items, right before they’ll be used. There’s nothing worse than having the local grocery store run out of the most important ingredient that you need for your signature dish... A little bit of pre-planning and stocking up before the big day will help lessen the load when it comes down to cooking!
Happy Holidays everyone!