Stress Free Planning for Turkey and Tree by Birdie Brennan, CPO ®

01 Nov 2015 6:08 PM | Julie Riber, CPO®

As we are approaching the season of holidays and the weather is still relatively warm, it is easy to think we have more time than we actually do between now and the end of the year.

It is a great time to look at the calendar and consider all the cherished and necessary activities we would like to accomplish to get the most out of the holidays. By the time this article is published, there will be barely 8 weeks remaining until the end of the year. Are you hosting a holiday party? Travelling out of town? Baking holiday cookies? Running in the annual Turkey Trot? Volunteering at a local food pantry? Plotting these activities on a calendar now will provide a realistic overview of your holiday timeline, so that you can accomplish your seasonal goals in a paced and enjoyable way. This type of planning is key to managing tasks and devoting your time to the people and traditions who help make the season meaningful.

Here are 8 holiday helps---one for each week—from now until the end of the year to help keep your holiday household fluid and festive:

  • 1.     Stage your holidays. Find and sort through your holiday décor. Set aside the items that you want to use in one convenient place so they are available when ready to use or display. Donate any unwanted items.
  • 2.     Plan your giving. Set your budget, make your holiday list, plan a shopping/donation schedule.
  • 3.     Stock your pantry. If cooking and/or baking is a big part of your holidays, have the recipes needed handy. Look through your pantry; do you have what you need?
  • 4.     Retire any tired traditions. Which activities bring you and your family the most joy? Give those your full attention…and retire the rest! It may even require saying “no” to conflicting activities.
  • 5.     Update your list of contacts. Do you send gifts or holiday cards in the mail or via email? Review and update addresses in your favorite contact portfolio.
  • 6.     Book your travel. Whether you are ringing in the New Year in the big city, going to Grandma’s, or heading back home, the time is now to reserve flights, hotels, and rental cars! Don’t forget to review your perks programs to see how many points you can take advantage of this year.
  • 7.     Be ready for the weather. This may include preparing our vehicles for cold-weather care, packing some supplies in our travel vehicle, and reviewing coats/gloves/hats for condition. In addition, we may have fireplaces and furnaces that require maintenance.
  • 8.     Find an app or paperless note taking program on your favorite device where you can keep your holiday lists. Be sure to purge these when the season is over.

Enjoying the holidays really is about being available to enjoy the everyday moments with cherished family and friends. The small things you do today will help you stay mindful and in the moment when it really matters. Happy Planning!