It may only be October, but that doesn’t mean it's too early to start getting ready for one of the busiest seasons of the year!
Make sure you are organized this year and eliminate some of your holiday planning stress by getting as much as you can completed and decided before November. Too often, people leave all their running around, planning, shopping, and hosting to the last minute, and the holidays become a stressful and chaotic time that people don’t enjoy. To avoid that, there are a few key activities you can complete this month to make your life more organized and less stressful in the months ahead:
Make your gift list
You will probably already know ahead of time who you need to buy or make gifts for. So why not get a head start on your shopping and avoid the busy malls and delayed shipping? Start formulating a list of everyone you need to buy for, including family, friends, co-workers and neighbours. Contributing to a gift to charity or a gift exchange? Include those on the list as well.
Instead of giving “things,” consider giving experiences or items that appeal to their interests without adding clutter to their lives. For examples, a gift certificate to their favourite spa for a massage, or a homemade seasoning mix. Think about what would make them smile, instead of leaving your gifting to the last minute. Don’t be the person that buys chocolates for someone who is on a diet!
Plan your hosting needs
Hosting a meal (or multiple meals) takes a lot of advance planning and preparation. Start thinking about who will be hosting family and friends this year. If you are the one hosting, now is a good time to decide on what you will serve. Are you hosting a sit-down meal or buffet? Will your guests need to bring anything, and if so, what?
You’ll also need to think beyond the food to the items and space you have. Will everyone fit at one gathering, or do you need to host separate parties? What about tables and chairs, place settings and serving dishes? If this is going to be an issue, consider hosting separate events, like one just for family, and one for friends. They don’t have to be the exact same either – one could be a potluck, the other could just be a cocktail party. Regardless of what you decide to do, it’s important to start planning early.
Prepare your wardrobe
Whether you’re hosting or attending parties and gatherings over the holidays, chances are you want to look your best. Now that you have some time, start shopping for any new wardrobe items you need. For example, if you need an outfit for the company holiday party, start by going through your current items to see if anything will work. If you need to get something new, start looking online and in store now so you find something you actually like, instead of settling on something because you left your outfit to the last minute.
Don’t forget about your accessories and shoes – make sure everything is cleaned and fixed up now before you get busy with other holiday activities. If anything needs major fixing or cleaning, take them into a repair shop now before the holiday rush.
Get everyone on board
Holiday planning is a team effort, not an individual task. Start connecting with your family and friends to share the responsibilities of the holiday season. It can be stressful to try and accomplish everything on your own, so don’t be afraid to pass on some of the tasks to others. The holidays are supposed to be enjoyed by everyone!