Tuesday, December 2, 2008

christmas planning 101

When you think about Christmas, what do you feel?

Do you feel overwhelmed and just a little bit stressed at everything you have to do? Or do you feel excited at the idea of spending time with friends and family?

My best Christmases have always been when I've been organized, prepared and more importantly, when I didn't leave everything until the week before Christmas!

Here are a few things to consider to help you have an organized Christmas this year:

Christmas cards

Will you be sending cards by themselves, or with a family newsletter? Or will you be sending cards at all? Do you have a list of recipients?

Christmas gifts

Will you be giving gifts this year? Are you making any gifts or are you buying them all? Do you have a gift-giving budget? Remember to budget for gift wrap, gift tags and, if necessary, postage to your loved ones who live in a different city.

Christmas Day

Where will you spend the day - with your parents or his? Or will the family gather at your house? Who will cook the food? Which recipes will you use? Do you know where to find them?

How far in advance should you plan?

Well, that depends on how much stress you can tolerate! Personally, I like to have gifts done by the end of October and cards by mid-November. That's because I really don't enjoy the stress of having to get the perfect gift with no time to spare. Add to that the crowded malls and you can practically see my blood pressure rising!

I set myself mini-goals of compiling my card list first, then planning backwards so I write out a certain number of cards per week until they're all done by my self-imposed due date. I do the same for gifts. I also wrap a few gender-neutral gifts just in case someone pops around with something for me.

For more organizing tips, visit my website: www.andreadekker.com

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