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With the fall season quickly approaching, I’m reminded that the holidays will soon be here. The older I get it feels like time flies by faster and faster, and each year my time for holiday preparation gets smaller and smaller. I feel like when September rolls around I blink and then it’s Thanksgiving and then in another half-blink it’s already Christmas. Anyone else ever feel the same???

The good news is that there are some things we can do now to prepare for the holidays. You won’t have to miss out on enjoying time spent with family and friends during the holiday season when you’ve gotten a jump start on all those tasks. These tasks will prepare you for the holidays by helping you stay organized, keeping you sane and even helping you save money. Ready to see what you can do NOW to help you prepare for the holidays?


It’s time to make a list of who you plan to purchase gifts for this year. Remember to include family, friends, coworkers, everyone. Don’t leave anyone out! You may also choose to jot down any gift ideas you have at this time for each person. If you’re a Pinterest fan like me, you can create secret boards to store gift ideas as you brainstorm.


Now is a great time to take a peek at the holiday decorations you have on hand. What do you plan on using this year and what do you want to replace? It’s also a great time to start searching Pinterest for ideas for any DIY decorations you may want to do. The earlier you get them done, the sooner you can check them off of your to-do list.


How much money should you spend on the holidays this year? This budget should include money for gifts, decorations, food, even Christmas cards. Don’t leave anything out so you’ll be prepared and have the money you need. By creating your budget now you still have some time to save money before shopping season starts.


Now that you have your list and know your holiday budget, it’s time to start price shopping. You want to make sure you’re getting the best deal when the holiday sales start happening, so go ahead and price the items on your list. It will be much easier to spot the good deals when you know the regular price of items. You may even find and scoop up some great deals now!


If you plan on ordering Christmas cards, now’s a great time to knock it off your to-do list. Go ahead and snap that family picture and order them to allow plenty of time for them to get processed and mailed to you before you need to start sending them out. Many companies are already advertising great deals when you order them online, so you may save some money, too!


Do you plan on making any handmade gifts this year? If so, you will want to plan these out ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute if you know your project requires a lot of time, energy and effort. Choose a target date to have these items completed before the hectic holiday season starts.


Hosting holiday parties or giving out baked goods this year? If you don’t already stockpile items now is a great time to start. Fill up your pantry with baking staples like sugar, flour, chocolate chips and canned goods you plan to use for holiday dinners. By buying items ahead of time when they are on sale you’ll save money and have everything you need on hand (other than perishables) when you need it.


While holidays are meant to be a time of celebrating with family and friends, we often we get tired and burnt out with all the activities the holidays bring. Go ahead and block out downtime on your calendar now before it gets over laden with holiday commitments. Making sure you don’t get overstretched by scheduling some time to relax or to do something fun will bring you peace and keep you sane this winter. Trust me…if you don’t follow any of my other tips in this post, this one you need to do.

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