When you wait until the last minute to shop for gifts, decorate the house, bake cookies, and send greeting cards — you are guaranteed to have a stressful holiday. But with a little planning and an early start, you can get it all done with plenty of time and energy to spare.
begin developing a potential gift list — each family member’s wants, sizes, color preferences, etc.
shop ahead of time for gifts on sale throughout the year
bookmark websites and cut pages from catalogs for gift ideas
start looking for holiday travel ideas and deals on accommodations
set up a “gift center” — store wrap, tags, scissors, tape, and gifts all in one location
set up your address list on the computer to print labels for mailing gifts and cards
finalize your travel plans — have all tickets purchased, reservations made, itinerary laid out
buy holiday cards if you didn’t shop on sale after last Christmas
if you are sending customized cards, design and order or print
order copies of any photos you want to include with your cards
set aside time to fill out holiday cards and write your annual letter
buy stamps and other mailing supplies
print your address labels
plan menus for holiday meal and other parties
create your supply lists for baking, entertaining, and special dinners
assemble and mail your cards — go to a coffee shop for the afternoon and make it fun
finish up any last-minute gift shopping and begin wrapping gifts
decide which holiday traditions you will skip this year — schedule in those activities that are a priority
start unpacking lights, ornaments, etc. — begin putting up household decorations
begin shopping for baking, cooking, and entertaining supplies
organize your social calendar for the month
mail Christmas cards
decorate the Christmas tree
finish shopping for baking, cooking, and entertaining supplies
mail gifts to out-of-town friends and family
bake cookies or other holiday goodies
enjoy the season!
review cards you received to update your address list
pack up your decorations
make note of recipes you particularly enjoyed this year
review what worked and what didn’t this holiday — make note of what you will change next year
shop for wrap, cards, decorations, and gifts for next year on saleClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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