Can you believe it? It is already November and the Holidays are upon us! They will be here before you know it. For me that means a lot of shopping and listing making oh my! How will I ever survive? To help me survive the holidays I have a plan that I will try to stick to. I will share it with you.
1. Budget! Above all else, you need to find out how much can you afford to spend on the holidays. This number needs to include food, traveling expense, gifts and any extras. This is the big, overall dollar amount that you can really let go of.
2. Break it down: Once you have your total dollar budget figured out from the first tip, you need to break it down into specifics. This stage includes an amount designated specifically for food, travel and people who you buy for.
3. Gift ideas: On your budget sheet you need to write down gift ideas for each person that you buy for. You might ask them what would they like the next time that you talk to or email them. It helps to have gift ideas. This will save you shopping time and it keeps them from getting something that they don't want or need.
4. Spare gifts! Be sure and plan for a few unexpected gifts to be needed. I like to buy an extra Bath and Body Works gift set, mixed nut set, box of chocolates, or even a nice kitchen hand towel set to have on hand. You never know when you may need a thoughtful yet spare moment gift.
5. Holiday cards: Plan a nice fall day to get together with your family and have a little fun and snap a few pictures. Not only will you be making memories but you will also hopefully get a nice picture for your holiday cards. You can even let Tiny Prints Christmas cards help you make personal cards that will be cherished long after the holidays are gone.
6. Ask for help! It's ok to ask another family member or your children to help you with the holiday preparations. I always ask my husband to help when I am short handed and my children normally beg to help me.
7. Menus: Plan your holiday menu NOW! You have plenty of time to think and shop and you aren't under any pressure. If I put off menu planning too long, then I am sure to forget something. You might also want to plan for a few extra snacks and frozen appetizers to have on hand for the times that unexpected holiday guest arrive.
8. Shop Sales!! This is a key tip to staying on budget. I always shop sale adds when it comes to both food and gifts. I try not to play full price for anything.
9. Make your wish list: Even though you are an adult, you still deserve a little holiday treat also. Treating yourself to something special during the holidays is A-OK! You deserve it!
10. Relax and Enjoy the festivities! Above all else, enjoy this wonderful season with your friends and family. Life is short. Try to live each moment to it's fullest.
Feel free to add any of your holiday survial tips to my comments if you would like. I would love to hear them.
Tiny Prints and TwitterMoms have teamed up again and asked me to share 10 holiday survival tips with you. You may read more about that request here.
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Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.