Okay, okay. I know this is early, but the reality is that the Holidays are just around the corner and if you are anything like me, then you hate when Thanksgiving is over and you have to think about what to buy for who, the mall where it is packed full of grumpy, stressed out people, and how, regardless of any pre-conceived budgetary plan, you still ended up spending wayyyyy more than you should have. It is a horrible feeling and pretty much takes all of the fun out of the Holidays.
Well, worry no more, because regardless if you follow my fool-proof plan this year, I know this post will get you at least thinking about the Holidays, which is more than was happening before!
I actually created this plan for myself last year after talking to my mother-in-law and watching how effortlessly she breezed through the Holidays, while I (with very little responsibility mind you), was wrapping presents on Christmas Day. You see, my mother-in-law never seems stressed or frazzled. Despite all of the major commitments she has, she never seems phased by a huge holiday rolling around, a big party she is planning, or even a major trip right around the corner. It is fascinating and SO opposite of my frazzled, stressed out, high anxiety self. For the holidays especially, this ruins all the fun for me and really makes it so that I don’t want to do anything out of the norm (have people over for dinner, pack for a trip, etc.) because of how stressed I get. So watching her do it all with such ease and never a single complaint made me super curious. I had to know the secret.
Well, the secret wasn’t much of a secret. It was really something I already knew, but didn’t do because…well…I don’t really know why…here is what she told me: plan ahead. Plan ahead. That was her secret. It all makes total sense, yet, here I am, always scrambling. Really, I don’t know why I do it to myself and after watching her plan ahead in so many facets of life, I realized I needed to do the same. I really didn’t have an excuse not to. So I made the decision that this year, I would follow my mother-in-law’s suit and do just that.
For Christmas, my mother-in-law begins prepping way ahead of time. I believe she told me she was picking things up in July! But by doing this, the stress of buying and wrapping never seems to catch up with you, she always seems to find just the perfect thing, and she ends up spending less because she has the time to do so. Preparation becomes a gradual process, instead of an overwhelmingly stressful one. Removing that layer of stress, in turn, makes the Holiday season not just more enjoyable for her, but everyone around her.
Guys, I seriously wish I had learned this years ago haha.
For me personally, shopping in July doesn’t make exact sense (not yet, at least), but what I did realize was that if I wanted to enjoy this Holiday season, I needed to plan ahead. Which is why, in October, I am reminding you to do the same.
Here is what I recommend:
- Create your list of who you are going to buy for.
- Create a budget and dedicate a certain amount from your budget to each person you are buying for
- Think of your gifts. This is actually a great time to do this because people typically are talking about things they might need or want without any regards to what is coming in a few months. For me, any time I hear someone say something they might like, I write it down. That way I can refer back to it when making my list.
- Now, think of any gifts that might take extra time. For example, any DIY projects you might like to make, or special orders you may need.
- Lastly, begin your shopping now! Spend an hour each week looking at things online or in stores. There will probably be some gifts you can pick up quickly, where as others you might need some more time to think. There might also be things you know a loved one wants but should maybe wait for for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
That is it guys. Pretty simple if you do ask me. By planning ahead you can guarantee you stick within your budget, you buy gifts that matter, and allow yourself to really embrace and enjoy all that season has to offer. This is such a magical time of year, yet we stray so far from it’s really meaning and wonderment. Allow this to be your year, that while watching everyone else around you begin to stress as the Holidays approach nearer, you are getting to enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate while you stroll the stores and smell the Holiday spirit.
Sounds pretty great to me!