Our top tips and tricks to make your holiday plans go smoothly!
It’s that time of year where the stress is high and the to-do list seems even higher. To help with the stress and to maybe help with that to-do list, we’ve compiled a complete list to help you get ready for the holiday rush and give you more time to enjoy your loved ones.
Set a Budget
If you are anything like me, you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping yet. You may have taken some notes, or even started some lists, but you haven’t really thoughtfully planned actually purchasing the presents yet. If that’s the case, sit down and make a budget. Look at how many people you need to buy for, count in travel, food expenses if you’re the one hosting the dinner or if your family is expecting your famous cookies, and don’t forget to add your Christmas Cards in the budget as well.
If you have kids, no matter the age, you are going to want to go through and purge and declutter your house before bringing in more stuff from all the Christmas presents you will be getting! Purge room by room, getting rid of things that you haven’t used in the past year, or you no longer need. When purging toys, think of kids who won’t get any presents this year and consider donating them. As you purge each room, declutter and organize as you go, making your holiday go by smoothly.
Plan your Christmas Cards
Whether you plan on using a professional photographer or you are taking the photo yourself, you will want to plan your Christmas Cards in enough time to get them made and shipped to you, so you can be sure to send them to your friends and family in time for the Holiday. Plan your haircuts, dog trims and get the matching pj’s out to take that perfect picture to put on your card. With apps like Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Amazon Photos – making your Christmas cards is quick, rather painless, and budget friendly.
Make Reservations for your Holiday Travel
Are you staying with family or would you rather stay in a hotel nearby or even a cute little Airbnb? Whatever your holiday travel plans, you want to get those plans nailed down for your mode of transportation – whether you’re driving, flying, or hopping on the Amtrak – make sure you plan for your pit stops or hop online to order your tickets! Don’t forget reservations for a cozy cabin, room in a BnB, or hotel, unless you plan on sleeping on Granny’s plastic covered couch!
Plan and Buy your presents online
Any online shopping you plan on doing, you are going to want to get it done ASAP, to ensure those packages arrive on time! Plan who and what you are buying online, so you can research and find the best prices. When ordering and planning don’t forget to take into account shipping. Amazon Prime is great for free shipping, but even on Amazon there are items that are not Prime, so pay attention to what you are ordering. You want your hard earned money to go to the present, not the added cost of shipping.
Wrap your presents as you go!
Wrap your presents as you buy them! When they get delivered, go ahead and wrap right then. Doing this will save you time and back ache later! The old way of taking 4+ hours wrapping, ALL the gifts you’ve bought are over! Have your wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and ribbons handy so you can wrap all of those online orders and gifts you buy on Black Friday
Plan for some R&R after the chaos of the holidays
Whew! The stress of the holidays is finally over and you deserve a break! Now, take some time to de-stress, relax, and unwind. Make your plans now, that way you have something to look forward to after the holidays are over! Having those plans may just pull you through and make the holidays a little less stressful. Check out www.1st ChoiceLodging.com for stays in cabins, lodges, vacation homes, lake view retreats, or rooms in B&Bs.
– Tabetha Dunlevy