It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
The most wonderful, chaotic, present-wrapping, cookie-baking, card-mailing, CRAZY time of the year.
Don’t get me wrong, I Love the Christmas season. It’s magical. And now that I’m a mom, I love it bundles more. Now that I get to create and see the magic of the season in my sweet daughter’s face, every moment is that much more precious.
And it’s because of that, because I want to enjoy every magic-filled moment, that I desperately try to stay on top of all the “STUFF” the season brings. You know the “STUFF” I am talking about. There are presents to buy and wrap. Christmas parties to plan. Cookies to bake. Christmas pictures to take. Cards to mail. So much “STUFF” that if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed.
So here are a few little tips I have for staying on top of the Holiday craziness.
1. Keep A Christmas Notebook: This little tip I got from my mom. When I was small, she started keeping a Christmas Notebook. In it she would write all the gifts she bought for my brother and I, along with the presents she bought other people and the gifts our family received. I adore this little notebook. It’s so sweet to me to look back and read a list of all the presents that were under the tree on, say, Christmas Morning 1983. When Mike and I got engaged, I started a notebook of my own. It makes the process of present buying and gift giving so much easier. Each year, I am clearly able to see a list of everyone I bought for the year before, what I got them, and who bought my little family gifts.
2. Wrap As You Go: For the last few weeks of November up until now, my dining room table has been wrapping central. That’s because I wrap as I go, meaning every night I wrap whatever gifts I brought home that day. This way I am only wrapping a few at a time instead of waiting until the end to wrap piles and piles of gifts. Once a gift has been purchased and wrapped, I put a little check mark next to it in my Christmas Notebook, so that I know that I am done. Ahhhh the check mark. So satisfying.
3. Keep Receipt Envelopes: In an effort to keep gift receipts from taking over my house, I create a little envelope for every family we buy presents for. I write the recipients’ names on the front of the envelope, and put all of their gift receipts inside. On top of each receipt I write what items are on that receipt, so it’s easy for them to see which receipt they need if they want to return something.
4. Shop Online: Because online shopping has become so big, most stores offers huge discounts and in many cases free shipping for orders placed online. I do most of the shopping for the kids in my life online. There I am able to make one big purchase, and have everything delivered right to my door. Plus I am able to read toy reviews online as I shop, which I wouldn’t be able to do wandering the crowded aisles of Toys R Us.
5. Give The Gift Of Time Together: This little tip, I love. A few years ago, Mike and I started a new tradition with his sister and her husband. Instead of exchanging Christmas gifts, we decided to plan a nice dinner out together, just the four of us, in January. It’s become something we all look forward to each year, especially now that we all have children. The gift of an adult-only dinner where we get to dress-up and sip wine while having full eye-contact conversations, is a better than any sweater. Added bonus? No shopping or wrapping required.
So, what are your tips for staying on top of your holiday to-do list?