The Holiday Season can be Fun if your Plan Ahead

The holiday season is fun but it can also be very stressful because it costs us money and time.  Instead of deleting activities and projects we end up adding things to our presently busy schedule.  Is it possible to have a stress-free holiday season?

A written plan will help control holiday stress.  With a written plan you can control your time and the money you spend.  Make a list of the projects you need to complete before the end of December. 

 Your list may include the following:

____Christmas Cards Bought

____Christmas Cards Written, Addressed, and Sent

____Christmas Gift Shopping List Written

____Your Personal Gift List/Wish List Written

____Holiday Baking Completed

____Holiday Decorating Completed

____Holiday Activities Scheduled

____Wrapping Supplies Purchased

____Gifts Purchased

____Gifts Wrapped

____Holiday Party Planned

____Party Invitations Sent

 Make a checkmark by each item once it is completed.

Create a holiday budget worksheet to help you plan your expenses for the holiday season.  Use the first column to enter your target amount for each item, which is what you plan on spending.  In the second column, enter in the actual amount. Make sure your household budget can support your target amount.  Include any other special items you may have.

 Item                                        Target Amount                       Actual Amount

Gifts

Cards

Postage

Wrapping Supplies

House/Tree Decorations

Entertainment Decorations

Food (parties, holiday events)

Make a holiday gift list that includes the person’s name, the gift, if the gift was bought, and if the gift was wrapped.

Finally write a holiday card list.  Make a table to keep track of all the holiday cards you have sent and received.  Your columns should include name, address, sent, and received.  Create several columns for sent and received.  If someone has not responded to you in several years you may choose to delete him from your list.   

Make sure you store your holiday decorations efficiently.  Use containers that fit in your storage space.  Be willing to purge instead of cramming items into limited space.  Do not fill each container to capacity.  Leave room for new decorations you may acquire.  A perfect example is your clothes closet.  Instead of removing clothing you do not wear, you decide to buy more hangers.  Eventually clothes will be so stuffed, items will wrinkle and be difficult to access.  Likewise your decorations will get broken and lost if you cram too many into a container.  Buy each child his own ornament organizer container.  Each year they can store their special ornaments in the container.  When they are grown and have a home of their own you can send the container filled with ornaments with them to decorate their first tree.

 “Plan ahead so you can enjoy the holiday season!”

 

About Diana Koenig