As the Thanksgiving leftovers start disappearing you may notice the sound of sweet Christmas tunes in the air. Yes, it is that magical time of the year again, and everyone is free to decorate ridiculously and be as merry as they please. This is a wonderful holiday, however, it can be hair-pulling stressful when figuring out gifts for family and friends, getting a new outfit for New Years Eve, and decorating your humble abode. The trick to keeping your head on straight is to plan. Making a plan of action can be a real life saver, can help you stay organized, makes sure no one is forgotten, and can help save you money. Here are my own 5 planning tips that will distress your holiday and keep you joyful for the whole season.
Make a budget
The first thing that you need to do is make a list of everyone you need to give a gift to. This could include your mailman, neighbors, babysitters, and teachers. Once you have made the list, go through and decide the price limit you will give each person. This may seem to lack the spirit of giving attitude, but it will help you organize yourself so you know how much you are going to spend on presents. I would suggest making a big batch of cookies or other goodies for the people I mentioned earlier. Then, all you need to buy is baking supplies and maybe some cute tins for storage. Once you have got the gifts down, see how much money you are already committing to presents and plan the rest of your budget for decorations, Christmas cards, new outfits, extra goodies accordingly.
Check out the dollar stores
What is nice about Christmas is that you will find Christmas stuff everywhere. Before going to your go-to stores like Wal-Mart or Target, try hitting the dollar stores first. Dollar stores can have anything from stringed lights, wreaths, small Christmas trees, etc. If you are decorating a dorm room or small apartment, you will find all you need at the dollar store.
Don’t overdue your decorations
It is amazing how Christmas crazy some people can get during the season. I’ve stepped into houses that were so incredibly engulfed in Christmas decorations that I felt like I had stepped into The Christmas Store in the mall. Words of Wisdom, you can overdue it! I know you may love Christmas, but most everyone else does also. Don’t feel the need to over-decorate your apartment to get into the spirit. If you’re trying to save money, limit it down to some stockings, a wreath, and maybe a peppermint scented candle. You will feel equally as jolly and don’t have to worry about storing a ton of stuff for next year.
When it comes to giving gifts for friends, I find it’s better for everyone to participate in Secret Santa. This is where a group draws a name from a hat and just gives one gift. Then, you only have to worry about one person, and you can turn it into a really fun Christmas party. It is always great when you have to figure out who is your Secret Santa!
Start planning now!
The worst thing you can possibly do for Christmas is wait till the last minute. It will sneak up on you a lot faster than you may predict. Instead, of scrabbling and picking through the last potential presents at the stores, start now. You won’t regret it. Make a plan and get everything done. Not only will you have time to compare prices and pick the best gifts, but also you will be able to relax with family and friends when Christmas finally does come!
Christmas is an amazing time of the year, where anything can happen. Use these tips so that you don’t have to worry about your bank account and you can appreciate the holiday for what it is, a time to spend with the people you love.