Tips For A Joyful Holiday

A successful holiday doesn't just happen! Unless you make a few preparations beforehand, you'll be a sitting duck for Christmas craziness. Here are a few tips to make your holiday filled with peace and joy!

Beginning of December

  • Start a master "to do" list and keep it handy. Look it over every morning, cross it out each chore you accomplish and add new things that come up. Ask other family members to update the list as necessary.

  • Delegate as much as you can to other family members (even the littlest ones can help). Don't play the martyr's role and try to do everything yourself!

  • Discuss realistic gift expectations with your family. Talk openly about how much money you can spend and stick to a budget!

  • Choose a time when everyone is home and have a Christmas decorating party.

  • Schedule a night for the entire family to write out Christmas cards. Give each person a certian job in the process of filling out cards.

  • Take an inventory of all your holiday decorations and lights. Make a list of necessary replacements and additions.

  • Plan your holiday get-together. Decide on a guest list, menu, invitations, and table decorations.

  • Write down all activites and outings on a calendar so everyone will know what's going on. Reserve babysitter's now. Let each member choose a special activity.

  • Bake Christmas cookies. Many can be frozen.

  • Wrap and mail packages to all your out of town relatives and friends.

  • Mid-December

  • Take a break and pamper yourself. Have lunch with a friend, get a massage or manicure.

  • Watch for sales on ingredients for baking and buy in quantity.

  • Go shopping! Try to finish all your gift buying and purchase foods you will need for entertaining.

  • If gifts are still not wrapped try assembly-line wrapping. Each person is in charge of one thing in the wrapping process (one wraps, one adds bows, one adds tags etc.) It will make the job go much quicker.

  • Go Christmas caroling with friends and neighbors.

  • Have a Holiday film fest. Rent videos with a Christmas theme.

  • After The Holidays

  • Make room for new Christmas gifts by having a family closet clean-out. Have boxes ready for clothing items and toys and pass on to others.

  • Purchase half price wrapping paper, cards and decorations during the after Christmas sales. Make a note of what you bought and clip it to next year's calendar so you will remember what you bought!

  • For a further "head start" to next year's holiday season, make a tenative gift-shopping list. Then you can watch for sales during the coming year. Or plan to have a "completely homemade" holiday next year by making gifts through the coming year!