History in the Making

Preparing for the Holidays… Part III: November

Now that Halloween is past, the holiday season is getting into the full swing of things slowly. Whether you are in the US and awaiting Thanksgiving still, or somewhere else, the winter holiday season is approaching and we are all getting busier whether we like it or not. If you celebrate Christmas, you’ve got less than 60 days to find and make gifts, clean and decorate, organise get togethers, and who knows what else. This is a check-list for what you can tackle now to stay organised and on top of everything because the intense craziness sets in!
Christmas Prep Guide- Early November

1) Get Your Fitness Routine in Place 

The holidays are a maze of long days, decadent meals, and a lack of sleep- exercise and self care is the first thing to do for most of us. I would say that this isn’t the time to set finite goals- inches lost, pounds lifted, miles clocked- but exercise for the feeling. Get rid of the tension in your muscles, work on the cramps, keep the blood pumping, and just move. Set aside 20 minutes a day and fit in a yoga sequence, a HIIT workout, a run, or a walk, and make your fitness a priority. If it’s a brand new addition to your routine, take a little bit of time to figure out when it would fit best in your day for the best outcome. Go out of your way- put it in your planner, set an alarm, and block out that time! And if you really need motivation, get some new workout clothes that make you want to use them. (This is also a great way to get a jump start on any New Year’s fitness resolutions, and a good time to take advantage of holiday gym offers.)

2) Send Out Invites If You Haven’t Already 

If you haven’t already sent out invites for your holiday get-togethers, you need to do that yesterday. The holiday season is incredibly busy between work parties, holiday concerts, family get-together, year-end windups, on top of all of the other regular daily, weekly, and monthly things that you do. Even if it’s as simple as an email or a text confirming a day and time, lock in your dates with your friends and family and make sure that you will have time together! Because it is getting into the holiday season, do try to have as many details locked down as possible. What time of the day, what kind of party is it, will people be fed a meal, and do they have to bring anything? If it’s an ugly sweater party, they might have to go buy one. If it’s a cocktail party for adults, they may have to find a babysitter. It’s also a good time to ask for any dietary restrictions to give you time to find suitable options if there is anything specific that needs to be avoided!

3) Get Those Gifts! 

I’m a big fan of trying to track down the perfect gift for someone, and it’s difficult for most of us to do that when we are in a time crunch in a crazy, hectic mall. Most companies and stores are releasing their holiday gift guides this week and next, and websites are filling up with more and more products daily. Spend some time browsing online and in person, and make your list! I know that Black Friday is becoming a world-wide retail phenomenon, but there are sales all throughout November and December and you might get a better deal now than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I like to use these sales to get stocking stuffers and Secret Santa gifts that would suit most people; you never know when you might have forgotten a hostess gift or thank you present. Planning ahead is crucial for staying within your budget and finding the perfect present!

4) It’s DIY Time 

If you are making any of your gifts and your decor, this is the time to get those started. As someone who has tried many different projects, I would say that in half of DIY projects you will need to scrap it or at least start over. You can’t leave it to the last minute, because you may need to make adjustments or try a different option, and that may mean buying more supplies. And even if everything goes according to plan, paint and glue may have to dry, things may have to settle, and baking has to cool. (Patience is a virtue that I don’t have that DIY forces upon me.) Starting now is going to give you enough time to hopefully catch some of what you need on sale, do your research on your projects, and give yourself more time than you would ever think you would need.
DIY Salted Cream Scrub.jpg

5) Stay On Top of Your Schedule 

Now is the time when people casually ask if you’d like to come over on Sunday afternoon or Tuesday night, and you suddenly aren’t so sure about your schedule because it’s busier than you think. Keep your schedule with you, and make sure that it is open before you agree to meet with someone- no one wants to be the person who has to continually cancel and reschedule and shuffle things around, especially during the holidays. I’m all for a paper planner (my planner is with me 90% of the time or more) but you may want to keep a copy of your schedule (or even a picture of it) on your phone for easy access. Take 5 minutes in the morning or the evening and make sure you know what’s coming up in the next few days and if you need to do anything to prepare for it.
Kate Spade peony planner 2017 month view.jpg
I get ready for the holidays for trying new recipes; do you have any favourite holiday recipes to share?
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
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4 thoughts on “Preparing for the Holidays… Part III: November”

  • Great tips! I think you make a great point about a fitness routine and keeping the schedule handy. One thing I do at this time of year is begin my kids “Gift Spreadsheet.” This sounds ridiculous, but with divorced and remarried parents the number of grandparents, and aunts and uncles who want to give my kid a present is, well, a lot. Which is lovely and I appreciate each and every one of them. But giving each of these folks gift ideas without telling them all “Legos” is an operation in and of itself. So I have my son go through a catalogue, pick out the toys and books he wants. Then enter them on a spreadsheet and allocate a few low and medium cost items to each family who I know will be asking. That way, they have choices, and we don’t have a worry about repeat gifts.
    In preparation for this gift extravaganza, we go through his room and he gives away toys he doesn’t play with but that other children can enjoy. We also make it a point to buy several items form his Christmas list to give to Toys for Tots. If he likes and wants it, other kids will too.

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