It seems like every year the Holiday Season starts earlier and earlier. I mean what happened to Christmas decorations and music starting the day after Thanksgiving? Here it is the day after Halloween and Christmas displays are in full force! Truth be told, I started seeing them pop up as early as August this year. Tis the Season? More like Tis Half The Year! Last year I was determined to do most of my shopping and decorating closer to Christmas itself. That only resulted in frustration with items being sold out and caused a lot of unnecessary stress to get it all done at once. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So this year, I'm determined to have a simple, joyful, stress-free, successful Holiday Season. Isn't that what it's all about anyways?! I hope you'll join me this November (I'll still be posting Fall & Thanksgiving idea posts), but will also highlight Holiday Decorations and Christmas ideas to hopefully inspire you to have a joyful and stress-free holiday!
So to kick off the season, here's the top ten things I'm doing now
to ensure a happy holiday:
Buy Holiday Postage Stamps
Last year I was shocked that they had SOLD OUT by the time I was ready to buy!
When I went to my local branch yesterday to ask when they will start getting them, they told me they've already sold out of in-store merchandise twice and are waiting on another shipment. They suggested I come back next week and go online to pre-sell new designs, as the popular ones typically sell out.
Buy White Lights
The other item that SOLD OUT last year that had me saying "Really?!" was white lights. With more and more people decorating Christmas trees and the outside of their house with white string lights, it only makes since that they sell fast. Last year I only needed 2 small boxes and I ended up wasting a whole day running around town trying to find some. This was like two and half weeks before Christmas, not the day before, yet every store I went into practically laughed when I asked if they still had them. I lucked out when I finally found a couple boxes hidden amounts the colored lighting. But again, this took me an entire day of driving around town and fighting holiday traffic. So this weekend I'm pulling out the white lights and assessing how many strands need to be replaced and I'm going out to buy them this weekend.
Whether you're looking for unique gift wrap or fun printed ribbon, now's the time. Places like Michaels & Hobby Lobby will start putting that stuff on major sale and stores like Container Store always sell out of the best designs first. So to ensure you get the best deal on the cutest stuff you may want to go ahead and stock up.
Start a Shopping List
The season does have a way to get away from us, so make a list, keep it in your car or purse and add to it as needed. That way when you're out and about running normal errands you can start knocking things off your never ending holiday list ~ think two birds one stone.
Order/Buy Christmas Cards
We tend to forget that when ordering Holiday Cards it can take several weeks for them to be printed, shipped to us, plus the time it takes to personalize and mail them out. For those of you that have already decided on your Christmas Cards ~ GO YOU! For the rest of us, make it a top priority this week.
Every year I have plans to give handmade, personalized, thoughtful gifts. It either ends up with me staying up all night trying to finish, or I brake down and buy something that costs way more than I originally wished to spend. So, when making my Holiday to-do list this weekend, I plan to get a head start on those handmade items. This also applies to any handmade or personalized gifts I plan to buy ~ think monogrammed gifts or Etsy purchases. Wait too long and you'll be paying rush fees to have it arrive on time if at all.
If you're looking for unique or cheap Holiday decorations now's the time to hit up local thrift stores & consignment shops for vintage & second hand holiday decor. Not only are prices marked to sell, but if you wait any longer, odds are it will be picked over. I just bought some cute stuff I'll share with you next week!
Buy Hot Ticket Items
Whether your kids want that trendy toy or your significant other wants the latest and greatest in the tech world, don't be left empty handed.
I always have plans of grandeur wanting to try some new holiday recipe. Be it grandma's cookies or stuffing, now's the time to pick one new recipe you must make this holiday season. Or maybe it's not a new one, but taking the time to perfect the one recipe that you never seem to get right the day of.
Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors
We all should be doing this twice a year anyways, but somehow this can easily be overlooked during the holidays. So, heaven forbid you need to use them, give you and family peace of mind by getting this done now!
So let the holidays begin! And I don't mean get all stressed out this weekend with this to-do list, but take some time to sit down, think about what's most important, make a list, check it twice and start crossing things off. Let's plan ahead to ensure the holidays are what they're all about ~spending quality time with those closest to us!
Have a good Holiday to-do now idea?!
Share it with all of us in the comments below!