I started this blog the day after Halloween and am finally getting around to wrapping it up, so I’ve been thinking about the holiday season for awhile now 🙂 We all know that once Halloween hits, perhaps once October 1 hits, the rest of the year flies by. And I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy the holidays, soak up the season of joy and cheer, but that can be tough with all the planning and events that occur. Here are some tips of how I stay organized and some fun apps that get me through the season.
- Holiday Gift Shopping
Gift shopping can be the most stressful part of the season, but it doesn’t have to be. Picking up gifts all year round is how I avoid it, the problem with that, finding out I have too many gifts stacked in Santa’s closet, oops! That’s why I love the GiftPlanner app, you can use it all year round as it isn’t specific to just Christmas. The app allows me to see all my gifts, designate what goes towards a birthday present vs. Christmas, etc, and most important, I can easily identify when I need to STOP because I already have plenty!
Track people, wishlists, events/holidays, budgets, even designate the status of the gift from ordered, shipped, received to wrapped.
My favorite part, for us avid online shoppers, the app features an innovative bookmarklet. This lets you browse the web on your device and send pages directly to your list to be imported as new gifts without interrupting your shopping experience. Saves time from adding individually later.
- Decorate Early and Finish in One Weekend
I’m not suggesting you decorate for Christmas October 1, although some people do pre-Thanksgiving. To each their own. In the Control Freak house it is a tradition to decorate the house and get our tree the day/weekend after Thanksgiving, that’s my Black Friday! Not only is it out of the way, but it is up longer to enjoy (instead of feeling like you no sooner put all the decorations out and have to take them down). This frees up your weekends to enjoy holiday events, parties, or perhaps even the opportunity to relax by the fire and binge on holiday movies.
- Minimum Cleaning
The holiday season is not conducive for in-depth cleaning and projects, so don’t attempt to do so, you’ll quickly get frustrated. Do the minimum cleaning (unless the house get sick, by all means break out the Lysol!). There will be plenty of time post holidays for deep cleaning when you find those pine needles for months.
- Capitalize On Black Friday Online Shopping
I love online shopping to save time and of course money. You can really compare prices and avoid crowded malls. Have items that you want to purchase as holiday gifts or even something you need for yourself? Find them online, bookmark them, and then on Black Friday you can just open your bookmarks to see if there are discounts to take advantage of. Bonus, you can do this with a cup of coffee and in your PJs.
- Fake Call from Santa App
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with The Fake Call from Santa App. Bring some peace to your house this holiday season by encouraging good behavior or you’ll call Santa! Yes I know some may think this is cruel, but it sure has helped with Little Control Freak. The app allows you to Call Now or Call Later. When Little Control freak gets defiant we Call NOW, and by the time we reach Santa she has changed her tune. The Call Later function, when selected, will call your phone in about 20 seconds with some jolly sleigh bells. Hey Little Control freak, Santa is checking in! This is when we usually tell him what we want for Christmas. It’s not elf on the shelf, but serves the same function with less time commitment to move that critter around the house.
- Use Red Stamp for Holiday Cards
I spoke about this last year and re-iterating this year. Email Your Family Christmas Card. Save time, save money, save trees. Red Stamp is a great option for this, a lot of what they offer is free! I used them last year and will do it again this year.
- Say No
Learn to say no. Determine what you want to do for the season, put it on your calendar, and learn to say no to invitations. You can’t do everything or you will run ragged. Sometimes less is more.