The holidays are approaching quickly, so to avoid the stress of it all, here are 4 tips to help you plan for the holidays; shopping, food and travel. When making your plan, try and divide your time until the big day, into weekly sections. By breaking it down into chunks, it makes your life a whole lot more manageable.
Make a list
- Set a budget. This eliminates 95% of the stress. It’s not about how much money you have, it’s about spending it wisely
- Make a list of all the people you want to purchase gifts for. Don’t forget hostess gifts, your boss, paperboy, doorman, etc.
- Beside each name on your list, try and write two gift options for each person
- Keep the list handy. Set aside some time each week in your calendar to do some shopping. Also, when you are out running errands, keep your eye out for that special gift for someone on your list. How great will that feel to mark them off the list?!
- Don’t forget to add holiday cards and stamps to your list
- Avoid the “shop till you drop” marathons. You will usually waste more time and purchase things that are not necessary or even on your list
- Ask for gift receipts. Cut the price off and staple it to the tag, right there and then. I can’t tell how much this simplifies things for you
- Remember to mark things off your list as you purchase them. Yay, another one done! Great job. When you shop early, it is actually a lot more enjoyable
- Always keep an eye open for stocking stuffers
- If you absolutely hate shopping, use the internet. Remember though, you still have to wrap it
- A better option for those who hate shopping is to hire someone to do it for you (Personal Concierge or Personal Shopper)
Keep It Simple
- Don’t kid yourself, we all get stressed around the holidays
- Instead of shopping for everyone – consider a gift exchange with your extended family or your group of friends. You may find this is a relief for everyone
- There is no reason you can’t cheat a little when it comes to preparing the food. Find foods that are easy to make or prepare, instead of time-consuming, complicated recipes.
- No one has to know that it is store bought. It’s about making your life easier – especially if you’re preparing large quantities
- By doing a little each week, you will be surprised how less stressed you will feel
- Try and cut back on attending every social event your invited to
- Wrap your purchases as soon as you get them
Give yourself the gift of time
- Instead of new clothes/purse/shoes, purchase 3 months of house-cleaning services for yourself!
- Hire a Personal Concierge or Personal Shopper to do your groceries/errands for a few months
- If you have a dog – consider a dog groomer
- If you live in a northern climate, hire someone to shovel snow for the winter
- Book yourself a SPA day – you deserve it!
- Remember you can never get your time back – so treat yourself to something you really don’t like or have time to do!
No matter how you choose to get started, just getting started is the biggest step! Stick to your plan, keep your list handy and look forward to a stress free holiday!
See, all it took was a little organization and planning and you’re way ahead of everyone else!
I’d love to hear from you. What are your favourite stress-free tips. Please share them with my readers. And leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,