For eleven months out of the year, we all are given fair warning with plenty of time to prepare for the rush of holiday festivities that befall us in December. So why is it that for the majority of us, this final month of the year feels as though it has crept up on us all along?
Sure you can’t decorate early, and no, you can’t start baking and prepping all the tasty eats of the season early. It’s even a challenge to arrange your social calendar early, as there are always those last minute holiday gatherings and events that are bound to pop up unexpectedly.
So, in an effort to get ahead of the seasonal holiday game NEXT year, try these pointers to get you in the best shape yet for the 2012 holiday rush! Yep – it means starting eleven months early, but boy will it make things easier when Dec. 2012 rolls around.
4 Tips to Take the Hectic out of the Holidays:
1) Never underestimate the beauty of the ideal wrap at an ideal price. Sure you probably already know, but a little patience with crowds at your local retailers beginning December 26 through December 31 means expanding the limits on your dollar when it comes to seasonal wrapping and packaging. Beautiful holiday paper, gift bags, and ornaments can be scored then stored until you are ready to wrap the following year. Done!
2) The constant challenge of what to serve your guests and the search for new recipes – never again should this present a holiday quandary. Take notes on delectable eats and treats you enjoyed during this holiday season and keep a running list for reference in the new upcoming year. Keep your eyes open for enticing recipes that strike you throughout the year, and give them a trial run leading up to the fall. By November, you’ll be primed and ready to stock your pantry and freezer with the necessary ingredients for holiday dining 2012.
3) Shopping – dreaded yet loved and oh so much a part of the season. But remember what your wise inner voice always seems to say that so many of us ignore — don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Chances are you know who you will be buying for long before the “buying season” rolls around, so put yourself in “alert mode” throughout the year. If there’s a big semi-annual this or that sale, or a buy one get one offer at a favorite shop you frequent, then why not take the opportunity then to purchase that item that reminds you of that special someone. Remember, it will be just as exciting for them to open when the holidays roll around, regardless of when you purchased it.
4) Greeting cards! Give yourself a personal challenge in 2012. For many, this is the one form of thoughtfully selected and written correspondence shared with others for the entire year. And, boy can it take some time. So, beginning in October, start crafting your lists and your messages. Whether you’re scripting your family’s year in review or customizing a heartfelt message, this is a task that is best approached by simple division. Divide the number of recipients by the number of days remaining until your preferred mail delivery date. Then, your task becomes clear and manageable. X # of cards to write per day. Easy enough.
No doubt these tips are great on paper and seem achievable in theory. The question is, now that we are in the glow of the holiday season, the celebrations are in full swing, and the wrapping is done, will all of that hectic rush that built up to this point become a distant memory until next December?
Maybe so, but just in case, remember, it’s never too early to start all over again.
Happy holidays and beautiful new year wishes to all from all of us at C. Ashley Mann, DDS. See you in 2012!