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  • Writer's pictureSamantha

Monday Musings: Early Preparations for Christmas

I know, I know! Yesterday was Halloween and I'm already turning to Christmas? What about Thanksgiving?!

I hear you loud and clear. I'm not one to begin listening to Christmas music on November 1st or to start decorating for Christmas right after Halloween. (Full disclosure: I have been known to put up our Christmas trees before Thanksgiving.) However, with the supply chain issues and shipping delays, I think it's important to get organized early this year.

Today I am focusing on a few things I've already started and will continue to work on in the coming weeks to lessen stress and possible holiday woes this season.

Travel Plans and Expectations - If you're planning to do any traveling that requires hotel accommodations or plane tickets, etc., it's best to get those plans sorted very soon and make reservations. It's very possible that travel will be even more challenging this year than in typical seasons, so I am preparing for all scenarios including inclement weather.

List Making/Shopping - Last year, my husband and I used the Christmas Gift List Tracker app for the first time and it was a true lifesaver. Any gift ideas we had for people on our list, we could easily add and track for shopping and budgeting purposes. It's extremely user-friendly because you can also change the status of each item from "idea" to "purchased," "arrived" and then "wrapped." So many times after I make an online purchase, I forget to track if the item was ever delivered. Also, you can sync the app with other people and the changes you make are seen in real time. You can also make items private so the people you share with can't see what you’ve bought them. And lastly, it saves your list from year-to-year so you don't have to start over. You can easily add, delete and edit. Genius!

Gift Wrapping Supplies - I like to buy these early in the season so that whenever I get the urge to wrap gifts, I have what I need. I usually take inventory of what I already have at home so that I buy enough wrapping for the season and a little extra for back-up. I hit up Dollar Tree for rolls of pretty wrapping paper, gift bags of all sizes, tissue paper and gift tags before it's picked over.

Christmas Cards - One tradition I have maintained all through the years is photo Christmas cards. We take our family photos each October so by the second week in November, I like to order our cards and begin the addressing and stamping process. With shipping and mail delays, I'm motivated to do this even earlier this year.

Planning for Baking - I'm creating a list of cookies and treats we will make again this year. I'm picking up baking ingredients each time we go to the store. We will start baking soon after Thanksgiving so it's always great to have what we need on hand.

I hope you find these early tasks and tools helpful. I always find that organization and planning lessen the stress and pressure when I have to do a lot in a short amount of time. What are you doing now to prepare for the holidays?

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