Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the holiday season is now in full swing. Now's the time to make sure you're ready. Between baking, gifting and entertaining, there's lots to think about.
Here are a few ideas to get organized now, so you can enjoy the season instead of stressing through it. It won't take long, and you'll be glad you did it.
Will you spend much of the season baking cookies and sweets for parties and gifts? Make a list of everything you'll make right now - from fruit cakes to sugar cookies - and list the ingredients. (If the recipes are from Gatherings, add them to My Gatherings to print a simple grocery list.)
Once you have your ingredients listed, check your cupboards and note what needs to be purchased. You may find that all the baking requires 36 cups of flour, and it's likely you don't have everything in your pantry.
It's also helpful to schedule when you need the sweets and when you will have time to bake them. Mark your calendar, and you'll be prepared to bake away!
It's easy to go overboard on gifting when you don't have a budget in place. Talk with your family about limits for gifts and stick to them. This will not only keep you from running up your credit card bill, but also give you some boundaries.
Once your budget is in place, make a list of gift ideas for family and friends. Keep that list in your wallet or purse and refer to it when out and about. You'll be amazed where you can find great gifts - from church bazaars to the grocery store - so having it handy will help you buy gifts throughout the month instead of waiting until the last minute.
With so many parties, recitals and open houses going on in December, it's important to plan ahead. If you don't already have a calendar in your home, now is the time. It could be as simple as printing a monthly calendar from your computer and taping it to the fridge.
Then, make it clear to all family members that any and all committments for the month should be listed on the common calendar. That means if it isn't on the calendar, it doesn't exist.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it's easy to become stressed and forget the true meaning of the season. Take time throughout the month to spend time with friends and family, set aside time to enjoy a holiday movie, or just take a breather. With this perspective, you'll be able to make it through the season without losing your cool.
Sound off: What's your best tip to be prepared for the holidays?