The holidays may be over a month away, but if street decorations and mall traffic are any indication, the craze has begun! December can be one of the most stressful months of the year, between holiday parties, shopping lists, and travel. So how can you make the craze less… crazy? Read on for three simple tips to making the holiday season more manageable.
Sort out your holiday party wardrobe.
Waiting until the last minute on this one can lead to either wearing something you don’t like, or buying something impractical at the last minute. Instead, decide what type of attire is required for each event, shop your closet first, and then either pick up some new pieces or new outfits. Shop with the mindset of practicality (“Can I wear this again?”) and if you have the time, shop online! You’ll avoid the crazy mall traffic and can often same some money. [BONUS TIP: use sites like Ebates (Ebates.ca/Ebates.com) and Giving Assistant to get cash back on your online purchases!]
Make your shopping list.
Deciding what to get your family and friends (and everyone else on your list!) by mid-November is ideal. This will give you time to price compare and have a plan of attack for Black Friday. While it used to be more of an American sale weekend, recent years have seen it move to Canada. And in many cases flyers are available a few days ahead of time. Use them to make a shopping strategy, so that when the weekend hits, you can make a beeline for the things you need. Shop online or wait until Cyber Monday if you can to avoid the lines and crowds.
For more tips on making holiday shopping easier, check out how to save money on Christmas gifts.
Mark your calendar.
Whether you use a planner, app, or calendar, make note of the events you have and the preparation each one involves. Going home for Christmas? Make a note of when you have to pack. Attending a potluck? Make a note to grocery shop and cook or bake beforehand. This will give you greater (and earlier!) visibility so that you don’t get caught scrambling.
I hope these tips help as you gear up for the holidays. Leave me a comment with any other suggestions you have!