The holidays are in full swing! Can you believe it? 2016 is almost done and I’m excited to see what 2017 brings! But before I ring in the New Year, I’m hosting Christmas for my entire family. That’s all 6 of us plus 5 more adults. Am I crazy? Maybe, but I’ve got some tips to share to keep yourself stress free. Whether you’re hosting 2 people or 20, everyone can benefit from them.
Start Shopping Early
You’re going to remember this for next year, right? Stores start running sales starting in October these days, so take advantage of them. I like to have all my presents purchased by Thanksgiving so that I make sure that I’ve taken care of everyone on my list. But don’t just buy the presents and hide them in your closet – wrap them early. This will protect the surprise from sneaking kids and husband and you won’t be wrapping like a madman on Christmas Eve. In the past, I’ve put off wrapping until the very last moment and it just makes the whole day stressful. Having all the presents wrapped up before the big day will lift the cloud from over your head and you’ll be able to enjoy the activities and events throughout December. If you do stockings, make sure to get all those little bits together and keep each person’s stuff in a bag so that on Christmas Eve, you can just grab a bag and the stocking and everything will be ready to be stuffed.
Plan For Extra Time
The roads during the holiday season are tricky for a couple reasons: there are more people out and about and wintery weather can make things difficult. It is important during this time of year to backwards plan for more time to get to your destination. Headed to the mall? Leave a little earlier. The roads may be wet or slippery and don’t forget about all the other people who are trying to go shopping too. The parking lot is probably a madhouse. Allowing for extra time on the road means you have a better chance at arriving safely. Since the roads may be affected by the weather, it’s important to keep your gas tank topped off. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with no gas. You should also check your tires and windshield wipers and replace them if necessary. While you’re doing these winter checks, be sure to check your fluid levels and make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is formulated for freezing temperatures.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Since there will be more people on the road and you’re going to be busy heading to grocery stores, specialty stores, and retail stores, it is important to maximize your time while minimizing your time on the road. I find that making detailed lists are great for this. Keep your grocery lists for holiday meals and events as detailed as possible so that when you head to the grocery store, you are able to get all you need in one trip. For Christmas gifts, make a list for each person you need to buy for and organize the list by store. This is great so you can plan your shopping trips and you’ll be able to keep all the gifts in order. You won’t forget anyone this year if you make a list! Once you have your lists, plan out your shopping days. Can you hit up a retail store before the grocery store? The more time you can squeeze out of the month, the better. Christmas always sneaks up on me so this year, I’m hoping the lists will help keep me on track.
These are my 3 tips for staying stress-free this holiday season, what tips do you have?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.