Organization tips for Christmas

Don’t we all want Christmas to be full of joy instead of anger, standing in lines forever, and panicking about not being ready on time with all the preparations? It’s very easy to get organized for this eventful time of year, even if you’re on a tight budget.

Here are just a few tips:

  • In the beginning of December you can introduce a festive feeling to your house and garden by starting to decorate the key places where you’ll be spending the holidays. Start early, make an inventory of what you already have (best to keep all Christmas decorations in one particular place!) so you can buy more in case they aren’t sufficient and replace broken things.
  • Tidy and clean the fridge, freezer and pantry before you start stacking up for the holidays. It’s a good time to check the stock of spices which lose their flavor within 6 months to a year. Dispose of expired food, inventory the remaining ones and you can already start filling out a special holiday groceries shopping list. Increase the amount of coffee, tea, dried snacks, sweets you usually buy. Besides food, don’t forget to write on the list: batteries for toys, decorative candles, matches, light bulbs, ribbons for wrapping paper and gifts, CDs with Christmas songs, etc.
  • Get a head start on winter house cleaning so you won’t be too tired right before the holidays when everything’s hectic enough as is.
  • I personally like to give handmade gifts, but if that’s not your thing, start making a list of relatives, friends, who you want to surprise with gifts, then set the maximum budget and mainly what you want to buy for them. Besides these gifts make sure you have some extra sweets, etc. for unexpected guests popping by.
  • Make a list of people to whom you send greeting cards/letters, emails, text greetings to. Send snail mail at least two weeks before, as for emails and SMS messages type them up and save drafts on your PC/phone so in the days around the holidays they will become very easy and less time consuming to send.
  • Establish your holidays menu, so you’ll buy only the food you need and you will not overload the refrigerator with things that will spoil,or that won’t get eaten and will have to be thrown away.
  • Some sweets may be prepared some time before Christmas, but keep a recipe for an afternoon which you’ll spend with your family and bake together. For this add to your shopping list icing, pearls, colored sugar, candy holders, etc.
  • Dishes must be placed in a way that they can all be used conveniently. All year round you can find a bit of extra time on your hands if you already have an organized system of keeping cups, mugs, glasses handy so you can easily use at any time.
  • Make lists and playlists of favorite Christmas songs and carols in various interpretations. The offer in shops are huge now, but YouTube may also prove to be useful for songs that are hard to find otherwise.
  • Try not to spend more money than you can afford. Don’t use your credit card unless you are sure that you will be able to return the money in the time frame given by the bank, otherwise interest will be enormous.
  • You can set the table in the evening, so the following morning you’ll just have to prepare the dishes while you enjoy with your family the gifts Santa brings.

All the above tips I’ve found useful over the years and are designed to help plan this event-packed time of year, so that you can eliminate stress and can better enjoy the holidays. Not everything must be perfectly arranged, hospitality and the warmth of our homes are more important.

At the same time we must not forget that there are many less privileged people than us and if possible we should think about them and how we can help, even if with a meal, volunteering at a shelter for a few hours, etc.
I know the economic climate is bleak, but in these days we should leave worries behind and not forget that Christmas is about celebrating the joy of being together with our families that remind us what is really most important in life, and excesses wouldn’t necessarily bring extra happiness.

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2 Comments to “Organization tips for Christmas”

  1. Great tips! No if only we could all be this organized. :)

  2. Very good tips!
    I must confess I start my Christimas shopping in October, and sometimes in September. By mid November I have all my presents very well hidden. That’s my way of not stressing with the so typical rush on the days before Christimas.
    :D

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