It’s Workin’ It Wednesday!
The second Wednesday of every month, Erika and I host a link up where we talk about how we’re “workin’ it” in certain areas of our life (and then ask you to share your advice/tips/tricks on the subject too).
So far this year, we’ve discussed these topics:
January: Keeping our New Year’s Goals
February: Keeping our marriages strong
March: Balancing work and home life
April: Spring cleaning
May: Planning/prepping for your summer vacation
July: What you do on your weekends
August: Back to School Traditions & such
September: Transitioning Summer to Fall Clothes
October: Making your home cozy
PLANNING FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Yeah baby…they’re happening!
This made me laugh out loud!
Okay…I’m going to level with you. I plan for the holidays like it’s my job. You want to know what we’re doing at 12:35 PM on December 21? Chances are, I already have something scheduled for that minute. I plan like there’s no tomorrow. I plan and I plan and I plan some more…and honestly, it can be my biggest downfall.
It’s a horrible quality in me and a beautiful one at the same time.
It’s beautiful because so far, I’ve:
- Already bought my kids’ Christmas pajamas.
- I’ve already scheduled our visit with Santa.
- I’ve already stocked up on lights for our tree (in case some went out last year).
- I’ve already sent off for our Christmas cards to be made.
- I already have my wrapping paper and wrapping supplies
But it’s horrible because I can be ZERO fun sometimes.
There. I said it.
I’m not that friend you call when you want to go grab a quick cup of coffee at the last minute. I’m not the one to spontaneously do anything. Period. I can be such a buzzkill. (Insert that emoji of the monkey covering his eyes HERE.)
That being said, today’s topic is planning for the holidays, so we’re going to play to my “over planning” today, and I’ll share some of my favorite tips 🙂 .
1: Start making your lists.
Friends, I’m the type of person who makes lists for her lists. It’s a compulsive habit that I just can’t shake. Here are some lists I have going on right now (all inside my Erin Condren Life Planner)…
Here are my current working lists:
- Supplies I need to buy for the house (both interior and exterior) for the holidays.
- Christmas gift ideas for my kids.
- Christmas gift ideas for everyone else in my family.
- I have a list for each party I’m hosting this holiday season. On each list, I have down the people whom I’ve invited, the menu, the party favors, what I need to buy, etc.
- Andrew and I wrote down a list of everything we want to do this holiday season (and then I’ll cross them off as we do them).
- A list of miscellaneous gifts I need to buy (teachers, therapists, etc).
- I have a list of things I need to purge/clean/sort before we have overnight company this season.
- I have a big old random list of things to remember to do (like buy tights for the girls’ recital in December)
So, as cliche as it sounds, my number one tip for planning for the holidays is to make a good list. Or two. Or eight. This keeps me so organized!!
2: Do a good job after the holidays making notes.
Every year when we take down our Fall and then our Christmas decorations, I make a list in my phone of things I need to buy/fix/repair the following year. By the end of Christmas, some of the lights in the garland won’t be working, I’ll need more extension cords, etc., so I’ll make notes of that to help me the following year. This way, I can get those items before we start pulling out all of the decorations and we’re good to go. I also take pics of everything so that I can either remember to do it that way again the following year, or if I don’t like something, I’ll take a pic so that I can remember not to do it like that again.
A few weeks ago, I told you that I had started using the Evernote app on my phone, and I love it because you can insert pics with your notes, so that will make this year’s post-holiday organizing so much easier!
3: I schedule in down time.
Is that an oxymoron?
My parents were sure that I would marry some boy who would chill me out a bit…but no. I married a boy even more organized, particular and scheduled than me.
My mom often chuckles and says that she never thought I’d be in a marriage where I look like the “relaxed” person. Ha! We’re like the energizer bunnies over here. That being said, Andrew and I are BIG on family time and down time. We get that we like to go 90 mph, but we also understand that it’s the small moments that make the best memories, so we’re really particular about our time, and we make sure there is plenty of chill time at home by the fire, watching movies, drinking hot chocolate and just relaxing. BUT we have found that it’s best scheduled in or else we don’t do it enough. We really commit to have a lot of time at home during the holidays where it’s just the six of us.
4: We live off of traditions.
My dad is BIG on traditions. Our family is rich in them, and they’re always the memories I recall the most often. I think prioritizing our favorite traditions helps us not feel like we’re missing out on things/forgetting things/etc. We love adding new things in, but we always plan out our favorite annual traditions first and foremost. Like…
…framily night with the Slaughters. Erika and I scheduled that in like September, so that it wasn’t missed this Christmas 😉 .
5: Shop smart.
I try to have all of my Christmas shopping done by December 1. All of it. I want it done, I want it wrapped and I want it under the tree. I almost exclusively shop online for my gifts. As much as I love strolling through stores, I have to budget my time, and online shopping just simplifies EVERYTHING for me. I make a list (haha!) and then as I shop, I write down the item and price next to the person’s name, so that I keep track of everything. Then when it arrives, if I’m not ready to wrap, I hide it somewhere in my house (if it’s for one of my kids) and write that down too (because I’ve been known to forget my hiding spots). Now, some of you techy people probably use fancy spreadsheets for this stuff, but I enjoy markers too much, so I just write it all down in my colorful handwriting and call it a day. Online shopping has SAVED me from hours of crowded malls/stores during the holiday season.
6: Have gifts on hand.
I have a little gift stash at my house for those last minute gifts. I usually keep a couple of bottles of wine, some candles, a pretty notebook, some yummy smelling lotion and such in there for last minute gifts. I’ve even been known to keep fuzzy socks and a scarf in there. I also keep pretty Christmas sacks, ribbon and tissue paper with that stuff, so that I can easily wrap me a gift if I need one.
7: Remember the reason for the season.
The MOST important thing I plan during the holiday season is how to make sure my kids know THE REAL REASON we celebrate Christmas. Andrew and I love to do a devotional at dinner this time of year. This year, we’re going to do this one…
…it’s an advent, so we can do it every night in December. How precious is that?! Along with devotionals at dinner, we are constantly reminding the kiddos why we celebrate, we always serve in some capacity with the kids, we take them to the local food pantry, we donate toys, we assemble shoe boxes, etc. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the “fluff” of Christmas and lose sight of the real reason we celebrate, so we really make a conscientious effort to do that as a family.
Okay, what are you doing to plan for the holidays??? Please share your tips, tricks and wisdom with me today!!!
Next month on Workin’ It…KEEPING YOUR SANITY DURING THE HOLIDAYS. Yes! We all need this, right?
If you blogged today, link up below!