Time management & planning tips for the holidays

from Aurelia Williams 

The Holidays are coming, the holidays are coming…

The best way to ensure that you remain stress free for the holidays is to be sure that you get a head start on organizing yourself, your family and your holiday check lists.

Here are some helpful tips that you can start using today:

Holiday Cards: Start early! I use a holiday card list that I derive from saving names and addresses from holiday cards my family has received in past years. I created a simple, computerized list that is easy to edit and print onto address labels. Be sure to stock up on stamps so that when you have your cards signed, stuffed and addressed you can affix a stamp to them and make one, simple trip to the Post Office.

Holiday Gifts: There’s nothing like getting a HUGE credit card bill in the mail at the start of the New Year. Many of us tend to want to be generous when shopping for holiday gifts. While your generosity will be appreciated at gift giving time, keep in mind that it is very easy to succumb to “impulse buying” and go all out on your holiday shopping. While your intentions may be good, your pocketbook may be singing a different song. Set a budget and stick to it – your bank account will thank you for it after the start of the New Year.

Start Early: Now is a great time to get starting on your shopping. Don’t run out to the malls just yet, why not turn on your computer and let your fingers do the shopping. You can shop online securely with many stores and work at home mothers.

Baking & cooking: If you will be cooking during the holidays, it is important to plan your meals ahead of time. Be sure to stock up ahead of time on all the necessary non-perishable baking ingredients such as flour, sugar and spices. Create a list of your holiday menus and a list of the ingredients you will need to prepare each of those meals. Also, try to think of a few dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and then frozen as an extra timesaving measure

Delegate: This is one of my favorite tips. Be sure to enlist the help of your family or friends. Sit down and discuss what needs to be done then ask for volunteers. If no hands are raised, simply assign small tasks to each of them. Whether it is arranging for a babysitter so that you can escape for a child free day of shopping, passing the shopping list onto another family member or friend so that they can pick up the items for you, or letting the children decorate your home. Be sure to get the whole family involved in the holiday preparations so that you will not be overwhelmed.

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