It probably seems a little early to start planning for the holiday season, but a little effort now will save you big headaches later. Try these time-saving tips for the holiday:
1. Brighten up your calendar—and your outlook—with holiday stickers or a red pen marking holiday events.
2. Buy gifts in one major category this year—different sweaters for everyone, appropriate CDs or books for mailed gifts, or personalized restaurant gift certificates.
3. Mark your calendar with two-hour appointments for Christmas preparations such as Thursday bake, Friday decorate, Saturday shop and clean.
4. Enlist a holiday buddy to help you plan, especially one who is better in an area where you are weak.
5. When you’re doing the family Christmas card, get an assembly line going. After you have addressed the envelopes, line them up to stuff and stamp. Kids will love to participate.
6. Shop for convenience, whether it be online or at one mall to simplify the abundance of choices.
7. Call or e-mail the person for whom you can’t find that special gift. Ask her what she would really like to get this year.
8. Stretch your limited social time by attending a Christmas event and getting together with friends for dinner beforehand or dessert afterwards.
9. Purchase a holiday inspirational book or novel to curl up with each night to get you through the season.
10. Savor one event or daily conversation by jotting it down in a Christmas journal. Title it “The Best Things that Happened to Me This Christmas.”
Marcia Ramsland is well known as “The Organizing Pro” for her practical skills and tips to manage busy lives. She is the author of Simplify Your Holiday Season: Turn Seasonal Stress into Holiday Success, which includes a Planning Pocket with free downloads and how to handle the holiday myriad of “Things to Do, Places to Go and People to See” in a calm, organized way.