Friday, November 6, 2015

My Holiday Pre-game Plan

I have never been an early bird when it comes to planning for the holidays, I'm a wait 'til the last minute type of gal. I work best under pressure. But as I get older, I'm learning things. Like I don't want to repeat the stress and craziness that rises up every year and usurps the fun of Christmas.

This year, is going to be different.

The time between Halloween and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get a head start. There is so much to do and no reason to wait. This year, I hope to spread the preparations out and hopefully enjoy that magic of the season that has escaped me the past few years.

While I usually hate that stores put out Christmas decorations so early, I'm afraid now's the time, as an experienced mom, to come on board.

If you care to join me, in the next three weeks, I'll be tackling my pre-holiday To Do list.

First Week in November
  1. Take our holiday card photos. I usually take a family picture on Thanksgiving when we're wearing something other than bathing suits/athletic clothes/shorts. No reason not to take it now. Maybe we'll plan a dinner out afterwards as long as we're all showered up.
  2. Create a list of gift recipients and start thinking about gift ideas. I have a great, fantastic, can't-live-without-it app called Santa's Bag that helps organize all of this. Get. It. Now.

Second Week in November
  1. Buy teacher gifts. I usually prefer to contribute cash to a class gift, so I'll get in touch with the class mom and see if she's planning to organized a group gift. If not, I'll get a gift card along with smaller gift cards for the secondary teachers. It's one of those errands I put off until the uber busy last week of school. This year, I'm checking it off the list early!
  2. Get gifts for the hair stylist, newspaper delivery, etc. Again, no reason to wait until the last minute for these.
  3. Spend a day researching gifts and ideas online.
  4. Order the holiday cards.
  5.  Figure out our Christmas Eve/Day plans. What are we going to host? How are we going to balance spending time with our families? Better to discuss it now when we don't have extra stress.

Third Week in November
  1. Create wish lists for the kids, myself, and the husband to give to any family members who ask for gift ideas.
  2. Think about holiday outfits and shop the closet. What pieces do I want to pick up for holiday events?
  3. Go Christmas shopping. The stores are pretty empty before Thanksgiving week! Pick up some things from the list and order online.
  4. Buy hostess gifts to have on hand for December.
  5. Buy postage for holiday cards.

Fourth Week in November (Thanksgiving week)
  1. Address the holiday card envelopes. Set them aside to mail in mid-December.
  2. Plan the holiday menu.
  3. Find the advent calendar and get goodies for inside. 
  4. Bookmark items for online Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.

And there you have it. A procrastinator's attempt to get a head start on the holidays. On a side note, we're almost done with the first week of November and I haven't tackled anything on the list. But, hey, at least having a list makes me feel somewhat organized and ahead of the game!

What tasks do you check off your holiday prep list before Thanksgiving? 


  1. Love it Karin! You have a great plan which I will try to work from too! Nice to enjoy the holidays as that is what we are suppose to do :-) It's a special time for family and friends. Thanks Karin!