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10 Things You Can Do NOW To Plan Ahead For The Holidays

10 Things You Can Do NOW To Plan Ahead For The Holidays  via Babble

Oh, the holidays… there isn’t anything that pressures us quite like planning for them. The in-laws, gifts, shopping, wrapping, parties, etc. I can go on and on, but the key to not stressing out and actually enjoying the festivities. Thus, let’s prepare in advance for the hundred little things that must get done (mostly by you!).

Even if the majority of the holiday preparation will be dumped on your plate, there are specific ways you can do things in advance that will help you have less strain and tension while doing it all.

Here are 10 things you can do NOW to stave off last-minute chaos.

 


  • Have the Kids Make A Wishlist 1 of 10
    Have the Kids Make A Wishlist
    It is so much better to know exactly what your kids and any children on your gift list want rather than strolling aimlessly through a store. For children you haven't seen in a while, ask their parents what they like. And when you're asked what your kiddos want, don't be shy about telling your family members what your child likes and doesn't like. That helps the both giver and the receiver to be happy, and makes the holiday more memorable.
    Image: iStock
  • Place Yourself on Your Own Wishlist 2 of 10
    Place Yourself on Your Own Wishlist
    When you designate a day for your children to write their wishlists, use this time as an opportunity to make one of your own. I can almost guarantee you that most husbands would appreciate and possibly even thank you for providing them with a list of things you'd love to have. Not romantic, you say? Maybe not, but neither is a toaster oven or a Dustbuster on Christmas morning! Also, part of placing yourself on the wishlist, means not taking on a million and one things to create the perfect holiday. Take time for yourself from now throughout the New Year. In fact, schedule it just the way you do your kid's doctor's appointment.
    Image: iStock
  • Delegate and Hand Out Assignments 3 of 10
    Delegate and Hand Out Assignments
    Nowhere is it written that mom has to do everything. Ask your spouse and children to pitch in and then try to match tasks to talents. My older daughter is a meticulous wrapper and my middle daughter has a knack for brainstorming gift ideas. My son loves to fix things (like Dad), water the Christmas tree, and string the lights. Each of their talents are needed and thankfully different. When they all do what they are good at, my life is entirely easier.
    Image: iStock
  • Have Hard Conversations 4 of 10
    Have Hard Conversations
    If you just cannot afford that high ticket item on your child's wishlist, explain to them in an age-appropriate way why they might not get that one thing they want most. Or if you are looking for a way to pull off that treasured gift, tell it to relatives who ask you what to get your kids. Maybe they would be willing to give the child money or chip in to purchase the item together.
    Image: iStock
  • Schedule Parties You Want To Attend 5 of 10
    Schedule Parties You Want To Attend
    Key word: want. There are some that are obligatory like the office party, but there are others that you knowingly dread each and every year but still attend so you won't seem like a Grinch. You know those get-togethers with relatives who are distant and removed all year long but as soon as a holiday springs up, they plan parties in which you already know you (and your family) will only endure. Skip those and remember that a stressed out mother does not make a cheerful memory.
    Image: iStock
  • Make Decisions 6 of 10
    Make Decisions
    Most of the confusion that comes out of family get-together is not only the lack of decision-making but forgetting to be clear and communicative about them. Are you exchanging gifts with every relative? Only the kids? What is the age cut-off? Who is hosting the family meal? Whose house is the meeting place? Find out NOW!
    Image: iStock
  • Then Don’t Back Down On Them 7 of 10
    Then Don't Back Down On Them
    Once you make up what is best for your family and speak to your extended family about it, then you can proceed to enjoy your holiday. Keep in mind that when dealing with some family members, no matter what you do, a handful are almost guaranteed to complain. Just learn to let it all go in go in one ear and out the other. When family members would rather fight than enjoy the holiday, well, that's their prerogative, just as it is yours to completely ignore them.
    Image: iStock
  • Make A List 8 of 10
    Make A List
    Add everything from grocery shopping and gift wrap to decorations and holiday cards. Divide each in categories and start today. You will see over time, how many things you will add to it. Keep it in your bag so when you are on the train or waiting at the doctor's office, you will have it when you invariably remember something else that needs to be on it. As you purchase the item or perform the task, cross it off but keep the list. (Also when this year's holidays are over, you will have a form list for next year, with ideas for improvements, too!)
    Image: iStock
  • Find Out What Kids Need For School 9 of 10
    Find Out What Kids Need For School
    Invariably, around December 15th, you will get a notice that says your child needs a white turtleneck, black sweater, red hat, blue mittens or some other specific, often last-minute accessory for a holiday show. If you can ask the teacher head of time, it will make getting the items so much easier. Then pass along the information to the other parents and perhaps even a store where they can buy the items. Also, as early as humanly possible, find out if the kids will be exchanging holiday cards, Kris Kringle gifts, having parties, or need baked items... and when. The sooner, the better all across the board.
    Image: iStock
  • Make a Budget and Stick To It 10 of 10
    Make a Budget and Stick To It
    If you put $100 aside for each child, do not go over by $20 or $40 and then rationalize that you have to add the same to the other children, If you do, you'll be in debt before you know it. Also, if your company's Kris Kringle says $10 gifts, don't buy a $20 item just because you would like to appear generous. A moment of generosity (or ego) will result in an inflated credit card statement come January.
    Image: iStock

 

Image: iStock

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