While there might be hundreds of things you can do these days to have some free time in December and enjoy a great holiday season, here are five of them that will play a huge role in your mental state in a months time:
- Cards : We don't have the tradition of sending cards with family photos to friends and family every year in my country, but I know it is such a cute thing to do even if it drains you up in order to have that perfect picture with everyone smiling in it. It is the right time to get organized, shoot and send your cards to print. The latest trend is finding a company that delivers to your friends immediately, so look up for this lifesaver option. Even if you send usual cards, start hunting in shops or online and get them in your hands as early as possible. Also, don't forget digital versions you could need for your clients, worldwide friends and blog readers. Having the same design printed and digital is such a shortcut and I highly recommend it. Earlier today I ordered cards for friends and clients online, like last year, and I can't wait to get my hands on them.
- Gifts : I know this word looks like a big mountain to you and trust me it is. Even though I adore gifting, it is quite time consuming to get it right. But the good news is that being a little organized helps a lot. At this point you should make a full list of everyone you are considering to give presents to this year and after that an honest budget. Think how much you can afford to put towards gifts and make it a real figure, unless you want to suffer later. No matter how small your budget is, you can always work with that. So you have your names list and your $$ all lined up. If you still have this, go on a step further and write ideas on what you'd like to buy/make for everyone according their personalities/needs/preferences etc. This helps keeping track of ideas, as well as serving as a pattern. E.g. if you end up writing flowers or toys or books for more than two people, it means you can save time and probably money by buying in bulk. And I am afraid you could end up loving this strategy, even though you would prefer something unique for everyone. If you are considering online shopping, you better start filling the carts, as you don't want to hit the post office or argue with customer service people three days before Christmas. Handmade items will probably need much more time than you thought, so the earlier you start the better.
- Advent calendar : Here comes the fun part, where you get a pen and paper and write everything you actually want to do this year, beside chores and errands. Make sure you keep the list in your everyday bag or agenda or pinned into a wall, in order to make the most of it. Here are 40 advent activities if you need some inspiration to get you in the mood.
- To do : This list is about your big plans, in case you know you are throwing a party or hosting a dinner, having guests over for holidays or going on a trip. List all big events and think of as many small tasks around them as possible. Keep the list nearby and add things every time you remember a new one. Having the big picture clearly put in front of you makes managing the small steps easier and avoids being faced with many last minute surprises.
- Outfits : Chances are, after all the gift shopping, possibly overspending and lack of time, you will end up wearing clothes you already have, if you can't afford to order something fancy and crazy expensive online. I am guilty of wanting to do the last thing every year, but somehow I stop myself by bringing out everything appropriate I have in my closet (that of course looks lame and old at the time). You can avoid this by looking at your options now. Take note of all your outings, formal events, company dinners/parties, at home gatherings and everything that requires a festive outfit. Then consider all clothes you already own, never worn dresses, things that don't fit well but could use some tailoring, and staple items like your trustful black dress you can update with accessories. Only after this step you can hit the mall or wander online if you still need to. But I told you all things shiny and sparkly are so expensive already. This trick and maybe these particular advices could help!
I know all these might have left you less than excited for the holidays, but if you don't want to sacrifice doing everything you love and have to, than you gotta get "Martha Stewart organized".
Take some time this week to cross a couple of the above items off your list and treat yourself to a couple of festive songs without guilt ;) Or just listen to the songs and call me nuts, okay?
| Love, Lisa |