Holiday Prep - Part 1

As with all things organized, a little prep time spent up front saves time and stress when it's really needed. This is about the time that we look at the calendar and realize it can be a fun romp in the snow or a crazy, snowball spiral into the new year.

Let's have fun, shall we?

(Snow being metaphorical for me since I'm in Texas and all.)

Following are some tips to help navigate the most common facets of the holiday season:


  • Take some time to locate and pull out all of your decorations. Go through them and make sure everything is still in good, working condition. If not or you just don’t like it anymore, toss it out.
  • Separate everything out according to what it is – outdoor, indoor, tree, etc.
  • Can put them up at this time or wait until a little later. If you've don't have too much, you can do it all at once. If you do more elaborate decorating then you can put it out in stages.


  • Make a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving this year, along with ideas of what and where it can be purchased – in store or online.
    • If you’re on a budget, this is the place to allocate how much money you will spend on each person to help keep you under budget.
  • Already purchased some gifts through the year? It’s time to pull those out and get them wrapped up. (Remember, every little thing you do ahead will save you time when you’ll really need it – in the middle of holiday crazies.)

Parties and Events

  • Are you throwing a party this year? Make your invite list and send your invites out now. I’m already getting invites for the holidays. Getting on people’s calendar early will help others with their party plans. Also, start preparing and planning for your party now so you have time to breathe and look like the ultimate hostess.
    • (I’m posting party planning tips on Wednesday.)
  • What will you be attending? School, work and family functions. Travel. Friends parties. Special holiday shows like The Nutcracker. Look at everything you know you'll be attending and get it on your calendar.

Master Calendar (or as I called it through my event planning years, The Timeline)

  • Put everything down on a single, master calendar
    • when you’re going to decorate
    • when you’ll be in a certain part of town near the store you want to buy X's gift.
    • Travel plans.
    • When you’ll go to the grocery store for party foods.
    • When you’ll make x dish to freeze ahead for x party.
    • Get every single thing, no matter how small or minor it may seem, onto a single calendar. This way you can get things out of your head and into a single place where you can see everything you need.
      • Then, to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed, only look at one day at a time.
    • Don’t forget to schedule in that ever-precious me time. Maybe a pedicure or yoga class while you’re out shopping?
    • Plan meals for the week so you can eat healthy and not feel bad when you do overindulge at parties.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t stick to the calendar. It’s a tool to make things easier, but it’s not your drill sergeant. Take time to enjoy the season and know that it’s OK to say “no” to something if you need a breather.

Thanksgiving is just a mere days away so Christmas will be here before we know it. Taking a little time now will help you sparkle and shine through your December.

What are your favorite tips to making the holidays easier?