Monday, November 15, 2010

Start Your Christmas Planning Now

It is hard to believe that some are packing away their cornucopias and putting up the Christmas trees before we even celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday! Of course retailers start with Christmas in October before Halloween. With a sluggish economy it is imperative that retailers start early in attempts to stay in the black with Christmas retail sales. Black Friday has traditionally been the Friday after Thanksgiving. I am even seeing ads for Pre-Black Friday sales. Getting a head start on Holiday shopping is always a good idea. If you can save money in the process, then this is a bonus. Many of the mail order companies offer incentives such as free shipping from now until Christmas. Thus, the Christmas frenzy has officially begun. In order to keep your sanity and enjoy the holidays, it is not too early to draft a plan. It is the last minute details that often add the stress. Divide your “to do” list into the following: gift list, food, decorations, wrapping, cards and shipping.
Gift list – Is it possible to trim a few names off the list? Most of us could certainly trim the number of gifts that our children receive. My sister’s friend had a novel idea. She told her children that Jesus received three gifts, so that is the number of gifts that her children will receive.
Food – If you traditionally prepare a meal for Christmas, what are the foods that can be prepared ahead of time and put in the freezer? Things like cornbread for the dressing could be made ahead of time.
Some goodies such as candied pecans could also be made in advance.
Decorations – Sometimes the process is more enjoyable if you don’t try to do it all at one time. Select one day for the outside and window decorations. Unpack the Christmas tree decorations and check the lights if you don’t use a pre-lit tree. Then, on another day put on the Christmas music, heat the cider and decorate the tree with all the family members who wish to help.
Wrapping – If you were real thrifty, you purchased wrapping supplies last year when they were marked down to half price. Wrapping a few gifts each week helps. I tend to get a little sloppy with the wrapping if I wait and wrap all of my gifts at one time.
Cards and shipping – Check with the Post Office about dead lines for shipping and your cards. This is usually a holiday chore that can be crossed off at least a week before the actual holiday. “Same day shipping” may or may not happen.
Once I have my Thanksgiving feast I will make my lists and get ready for the holidays!