Christmas is 86 days away. Are you ready?
I know what you’re thinking. “Christmas? Really? I’m barely thinking about Halloween.”
If it seems strange to be thinking of a holiday more than three months in the future, imagine yourself savoring one of the biggest holidays of the year without stress or big-time debt or last-minute shopping and cooking. You have time to enjoy celebrating with your family, rather than losing the day in a flurry of “Hurry, we have tos” and “Oh, shoot, I forgots.”
Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
If you were to start thinking about Christmas now, get organized and begin preparations, you’d have more than 12 weeks over which to spread your lengthy to do list. And you’ll have plenty of time to shop for deals and hunt for the best price, instead of paying whatever the going rate is because you don’t have time to compare.
Start at Organized Christmas and get organized. Print out a Christmas Countdown, the six-week week-by-week planning calendar that serves as a road map for your first easy-peasy Christmas. The checklist helps you budget your time, so you can get everything, from shopping to cooking to decorating, done right on time without having to rush near the end. You’ll also want to start out with a Holiday Budget sheet to set your spending for the year, and track your expenses.
Next, grab yourself a couple copies of the Gift Ideas Planner and Master Gifts List. Jot down thoughts of special gift ideas for family and friends, and keep it handy when you’re out and about, so you can be on the look out for those items on sale.
When you’re ready to start shopping, compare prices online using a website like MySimon.com or Nextag.com. When you find the best price, don’t forget to start your online shopping at Ebates.com, where you’ll earn cash back for every purchase from over 1,500 participating retailers. Beginning your shopping now will also help you spread out your expenses over a longer period, so you’re not dropping one big amount all at once on Christmas Eve.
This article will help you plan Christmas dinner, as much as six weeks in advance. And since no holiday is complete without cookies – lots, and lots of cookies - click here for a four-part series to help planning your holiday in the kitchen, so you won’t need to spend your holiday in the kitchen. Planning ahead can save you time and money on baking and cooking, so take time now to find great recipes and ideas, and work out a cooking and baking schedule for yourself.
Give new life to one of your kids’ old school three-ring binders to keep all of your Christmas lists, planners and information organized.