I know, I know, I will have pumpkins and leaves and scarves thrown at me with screams of “IT’S STILL FALL, HALLOWEEN HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED” but depending on how big your holiday celebrations are, you may have to start getting the wheels in motion now. There are less than 90 days until Christmas day, and putting in a little bit of time now makes the world of difference in eliminating some of the heavy-duty stress later on- you can do things at your own pace rather than running around Christmas at the Kranks style.
1. Make a Gift List and Budget
Now is the time to go through and make a list of what you plan on making or buying for the people in your life! It makes it far easier to plan and give gifts that are meaningful if you can take time your time and not buy something because it’s simply there on the shelf rather than something thoughtful. I usually start with a total budget and then divide accordingly once I have a list set. I’m not going to lie, I can spend three to four weeks thinking on a gift for someone, so starting now gives me that flexibility and time. It also allows me to catch sales that aren’t Black Friday/Cyber Monday/super early Boxing Day/Week/Month deals. (Spreading shopping out over 6 paycheques rather than 1-2 can make a huge difference). Taking time to make the list really helps to make sure you don’t forget people that you might otherwise have given something to- I don’t believe that gifts have to expensive or consuming, just thoughtful and personal.
2. Get Started on Anything Made
If you plan on making any gifts, I would get started on it now! Life will only get busier between now and the holidays- Canadian and American Thanksgiving, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day, and any number of holidays, not to mention school, sports teams, clubs, and several other things that usually start back up in the autumn. Set aside a little bit of time every week or two to make gifts. Obviously anything that is meant to be eaten should be made closer to whenever you are giving it, but knitting, sewing, art, mugs, blankets, books, and anything else could be tackled earlier! If you plan on spray painting or shellac-ing anything, now is the time to do it while you can still get things done outside. It’s also nice to have time for an alternative option if something doesn’t happen to go quite according to plan… (It happens to all of us.) Treat it as time to yourself and get ahead!
3. Start Picking Dates
Everyone’s holiday season just gets busier and busier every single year, so pick your dates for any holiday gatherings now! Decide if you want a shorter get together on a week day, or perhaps a weekend afternoon, or if you are dreaming big- an all day event, and start letting people know. In 2017, mailed out invites for a holiday party are really not necessary (although I’m sure that people would certainly enjoy receiving it), but ideally you need to give 6-8 weeks notice and this will allow you time to pick a date, get a rough idea of what kind of event you want to host, and send out your invites. Plus, I am positive that you will also appreciate having a heads up on events that you will be invited to! (Just because you give notice, it doesn’t mean that it has to elaborate or expensive in anyway- simply that you want to spend time with your friends and family!)
4. Keep Track of Dates and Deadlines
If you don’t regularly use a planner, you might want to just use a regular calendar or print one out to track any dates that you might have come up. The aforementioned parties, holiday concerts, mailing and shipping deadlines, any work events, and just general life can snowball up together really quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Mailing and shipping deadlines are particularly important if you have friends and family in other countries- depending on how far your packages are going, you may need to have them mailed by late October or early November. It’s also important to make sure that you have time to yourself sometimes, even if you have to schedule it into your calendar! (Don’t forget to include any family events and traditions.)
Do you plan on making any new recipes or DIY projects for the holidays?