Thursday, August 4, 2011

Holiday Planning

There are two things you should know about me: 

1.  I'm a born planner 
2.  I adore the holidays

I know, I know - you don't even want to think about back-to-school let alone Christmas
Believe me, I completely and wholeheartedly understand.


Planning ahead makes life SO much simpler!

Maybe it's due to working full-time and being stretched for time, but I always try to plan ahead. 
My friends and family jokingly call it seasonal schizophrenia,
 but it's not uncommon for me to be shopping and planning for events and holidays
months in advance. 

With a preschooler and a career, I have to stayed organized!

First, take assessment.

Dig out last year's Christmas photos and for 30 minutes, reflect on what worked well for your family - what needs improvement?  Were you too stretched for time?  Didn't budget well? 

Well the good news is that it's still early enough for you to develop a plan for this holiday season!

Second, make a plan.

I've found that keeping a holiday journal can be so helpful.
Your journal can be as ornate or simplistic as you'd like.

In it, you can keep a record of everything to keep you on track:

  • Calculator
  • Budget (for gifts, cards, wrappings)
  • Shopping lists (sizes, wish lists, fav. items)
  •  Calendar (events, when to ship gifts, send cards, party plans, cleaning)
  • Recipes (tried-and-true and wanting to try)
  • Decorating ideas
  • Record of last year's decor (what to purchase, where it's stored, how it was laid out)

There are many websites to help you set a plan for everything from budgeting
to cleaning schedules so your house is picture perfect. 

I've found that it's so much easier to do things when you set goals for yourself.  

Summer is the perfect time to off-season shop for the holidays
While everyone else is shopping for back-to-school,
look online for great deals on holiday items! 

Want to try out a particular craft or idea that you've seen on Pinterest
Now is the ideal time to find those ideas you've been aching to try,
 buy the materials and get to work!

Love handmade items but you're not crafty?
Summer and fall are the seasons for craft festivals,
 tag/yard/garage sales, and outdoor markets of all kinds.
Check out sites like Etsy to commission artisans to create those unique,
handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items
that your friends and family will cherish and adore.

Want an adorable photography card of your family this year?
Good photographers get booked well in advance.
This is a great time to book early.
If you're taking the photos yourself, start gathering ideas for location/outfits/poses.

With a little pre-planning now, you'll find that your holidays can be much less stressful,
much more enjoyable and a whole lot more fun!!


  1. I usually have a little "Christmas in July", and root out my Christmas CD's and enjoy a little Christmas spirit by listening to my favorite Christmas tunes!

  2. I agree with starting to plan early. I have not started to think about Christmas yet, but I am already planning for my annual Halloween party and then it's just a hop and skip till Thanksgiving and Christmas. Great suggestions.

  3. Judy, wonderful ideas.

    With this heat...I can't seem to get into planning ahead. It is really bothering me this year...think it is because I spend so much time outside training Mikey. Yikes!

    Michaels is full of Fall many pretty items.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Barb ♥

  4. Judy, the latest issue of Autumn Cottage is out. I got it and oh my.....hold me back.

    I don't wish my life away....I hope I don't but I am so looking forward to cooler weather. Fall is beckoning to my very heart.

    Happy weekend.
    Barb ♥

  5. Very well said! This is an excellent post, full of ideas! Thank you. Your thoughts are so smart and organized.


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