25 Ways to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

Written by Mary Lutz

It’s that time of year again! The Holiday’s are right around the corner! Are you ready?! I am on the inside, but on the outside…not quite. So, here are 50 ways you can get ready for the Holidays ahead of time, which will help you keep your sanity during this crazy time of year. Print this list out and cross each item off as you get it completed.

  1. Take an inventory of your Christmas decorations now. This way you will know exactly what you have and what you need.
  2. Get out your address book and start going through the list. Edit or delete addresses as necessary for your Christmas cards.
  3. Buy Christmas cards.
  4. If you haven’t already, set up a budget for Christmas, including decorations, cards, postage, packaging and shipping charges, and of course gift giving.
  5. Start making your Christmas lists. I have each of my kids make a list of the things they would like. They know they don’t get all the things on their lists, but it gives me an idea of what they need and want. I have them put it in order according to most wanted or needed to least wanted.
  6. Plan your Holiday menus. If the Holidays are celebrated at your home and you do the majority of the cooking, make a plan for each Holiday meal. If possible, have the guests each bring a dish saving you time and energy preparing.
  7. Start your Holiday meal shopping by purchasing those items that are on sale now and will keep until the Holidays, i.e. anything you can freeze or that is canned. Look in your local shopping guide for sale items or online coupon sites like http://coupons.com
  8. If you are having a hard time getting into the Holiday Spirit, play some Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie classic.
  9. Start purchasing your Christmas decorations, according to your budget. If you pick up an item or two each week or pay period, it will keep you from spending a large chunk of money on one shopping trip.
  10. Inventory your baking ingredients. When you are doing your regular grocery shopping you can pick up an item or two you may need for your Holiday baking.
  11. If you need extra money for the Holidays, pick up a part-time job. Lots of places hire extra people just for the Holidays.
  12. To help save money during the Holidays, get creative! Pull out your favorite craft projects and hand made gifts. If you knit or crochet, make a blanket, scarf or hat for someone. Everyone loves hand made gifts and they are usually a lot cheaper than buying.
  13. Don’t forget to put your kids Christmas play, choir concert or band concert on the calendar! Be sure to let the relatives know too. 🙂
  14. Holiday parties? Put them on the calendar as well.
  15. If you need a Holiday party dress or outfit, start looking for one on sale now. You can usually get away with wearing the same outfit to all your parties. If not, to save money, change up your outfit by accessorizing with a scarf, shrug or shawl.
  16. Plan a day to write out your Christmas cards then sit down and do it.
  17. If you prefer, send out a Christmas letter to update your friends and family.
  18. If you are traveling for the Holidays, plan out your trip; i.e. budget for food, gas, lodging, etc.
  19. Make a plan B if the weather gets too bad and you have to cancel or reschedule your travel plans.
  20. If you have 3 different homes to visit on Thanksgiving or Christmas (my daughter and husband have our home, his parent’s home and my ex-husband’s home) arrange those schedules now. There will probably always be a conflict, but if you plan ahead, you can probably get it worked out so just about everyone will be happy.
  21. Get your family involved in a charitable cause this Christmas. Perhaps instead of exchanging gifts, you as a family decide to help those in need. You can contact your local food pantry, shelter, church or United Way.
  22. While making Christmas cookies with your kids, make up a platter for your neighbors and friends.
  23. A great way to save money, is to make up “service cards” for family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. i.e. shoveling the sidewalk or driveway (if you have snow), cleaning the entire house, doing the dishes for a week or month, dusting (I hate dusting so this would be a great gift for me!), giving a back rub or foot massage.
  24. To save time and money, purchase gift cards online. Everyone I know loves to get gift cards from their favorite stores. It doesn’t have to be a huge monetary amount either. Lots of time they get more than one!
  25. Last but not least, start wrapping the gifts as soon as you get them! Don’t wait till Christmas Eve to do your wrapping!

I hope these few tips will help ease you into the Holidays, or at least give you an idea or two to get started!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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