You know how people tell brides to be to do everything they can to enjoy the day because it’s likely going to be a blur? I get that feeling every holiday season.
Like so many others, this is my favorite time of the year. I want to savor every moment of the season so I plan far in advance to keep the stress level down.
With all the cooking, family time, and gift buying, it’s not hard to forget the reasons why we all gather each November and December.
A little planning can go a long way to ensure a seamless season.
Keep Family in Focus
Plan fun outings with family like going ice skating or to the cider mill and be sure to snap a photo for long-lasting memories. If the weather is biting outside, grab a few small crafts for the family to do together inside — whether it’s making a holiday wreath or construction paper turkeys.
Call me crazy, but I buy Christmas gifts year-round. Obviously with children it’s a bit tough since their tastes can change so quickly from day to day, but for the adults in my life I’m constantly on the lookout for things they’d like. If you’re buying throughout the year, you can find some really awesome deals and spend money in small increments rather than a huge sum all at once right before Christmas.
Right before Thanksgiving I start to stock the house with baked goods, holiday candles, and wine. These are quick, easy things to grab when you’re invited to a last minute get-together and need a hostess gift. Oftentimes I get these items and ingredients long before the season begins to avoid crowds at the store, but you can also do yourself a favor and purchase online. The delicious Wente Vineyards 2016 Riva Ranch Chardonnay pictured can be snagged online for 25% using my code 25TOAST at checkout! Hint: the code actually works for all single vineyard and estate grown wines on the Wente website. This is not my first rodeo with Wente wines and will not be my last — they know how to please a crowd.
I know it’s tempting to throw ornaments in a box haphazardly, but don’t give in. Taking an extra moment to put everything away in a thoughtful, organized manner will cause for less headaches next year when you’re pulling out the decorations. I use color-coordinated containers to note which holiday is stored in each box. If you’re really on top of your game, you could even tape a handwritten list to the top of the box with a list of the contents!
I hope these tips lead to a less stressful holiday season where you can truly enjoy your surroundings and appreciate the celebrations.