The idea of planning ahead to enjoy the moment just a little bit more has been my goal for quite awhile, probably since I had kids. However, when you have really little ones, planning ahead is so very, very hard. Kids get sick, naps run long (or don't happen at all) and moods are erratic. As my own children have gotten older, this planning ahead has gotten somewhat easier. This is never more important than during the holidays.
There are a few ways planning ahead can happen during the holidays:
Buy/Make Gifts Early. I started in early October this year, and have nearly everything I need in hand now. Most of the last minute gifts are just gift cards!
Secure childcare well in advance. We hired our babysitter about a month ago for December events, and also asked grandparents for extra help.
Wrap gifts early and often. As gifts have arrived for teachers and friends, I have started wrapping them. They are a pretty addition to our holiday decor, and it means less of a last minute rush as gift-giving events arise.
Buy extra. Extra wine (for gifts and gatherings), extra gift cards, extra gift wrap, extra cards. It's just way less stressful when I am prepared.
Plan meals and snacks. For me, this means making sure we have some of our go-to favorites, like chicken nuggets and potstickers. I also picked up some healthy frozen meals from a local meal delivery company. A quick Costco stock up means we have extra snacks on hand as well, so we can grab them as we head out the door for various holiday commitments.
Calendar Review. Every once in awhile, my husband and I review our calendars to make sure we have kid coverage and transportation. We do this a little more often around the holidays because our schedules look different.
Get ready early. This is a good plan all the time. It always takes longer than it should to get ready for a party. The kids need dinner or my planned outfit needs to be steamed; there is always some added delay, and getting ready early alleviates stress.
None of these tips are rocket science to be sure. However, reminding myself of simple ways to plan ahead makes all the parties, family dinners and weekend activities just far more enjoyable. Anytime we can avoid rushing around the house before we leave is better for everyone! It means we are in the right mood and mindset to enjoy these special holiday experiences.
Do you have another tip for planning ahead so you can enjoy more? Or, are you thinking of trying one of these ideas? Share with us on Instagram!