So…let me share with you some advice…..
This is totally not something that I would have EVER thought that I would ever say. However, now that I am the mother of children, I find that I have little time to waste on “recreating the wheel” when I can assist myself and prepare early for the next year. If something is broken, don’t try and fix it. haha
So…here are some great tips for setting yourself up for success next year:
- Print out and file away all recipes and activities that you enjoyed this season. I have a seasonal household binder that has a few tabs for Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. This year I am hoping to add a few more tabs for holidays that I become celebrated in our house. For this year, I have printed out my recipe for Gourmet Mac and Cheese from Martha Stewart…it’s insanely good if you want to try it here. I also make notes of things that I would do different next year. I list the time frame when we did certain activities during Advent and copy Christmas coloring pages I used or activities that we did. This allows me to be “ahead” of the game before next year.
- Take pictures of decoration placement. I like to print out shot of decorations as well. It helps me to remember what I did the previous year. I store all the items in an arrangement together with the picture so that, if needed, someone else could decorate for me. It also prevents me from becoming overwhelmed when I see the 8 boxes of Christmas decorations come up from the basement..haha.
- Shop the after Christmas sales for seasonal items. I love to hit Michaels or Kohls in their after Christmas sales. I can pick up cute decorations for around the house or find cute stocking stuffers for the next year. I usually grab some christmas crafts when they go on clearance and toss them in my christmas bins for the next year. I load up on Christmas boxes, wine bags, and cookie exchange boxes or bags for the next year. I also snag christmas labels and gift tags if I can find them. This year I am on the hunt for a fake christmas tree for the children’s school room. Grabbing some cute Christmas pajamas for your kids, in their next size, is also a great idea!
- Hit up Pinterest. Do your research now for next year. Start to “pin” some new Christmas drinks, cocktails, games, gift ideas, etc. on your Pinterest boards. Print out the “pins” that you did use this year…or create a board called “Christmas traditions” and move these pins to this board.
- Save those all Christmas cards. Save all the cards that you received this year. Lord knows all you need is to lose your address book or to delete your spreadsheet and you forget who to send your cards too. I pack all the christmas cards away and pull them out the next year. It reminds me who to send Christmas cards to…and its fun to see how the kids have “changed” from the year before. I also saw a great pin on Pinterest about using the christmas cards as your photo on your phone. I matched up christmas cards with my contact information as that I have a picture of each person that comes up when they call.
- Label like crazy. I like to store my Christmas boxes away with very specific labels. I have a bin that is just for Advent…and a bin that is labeled just for christmas tissue paper, boxes, tags, etc. I label each bin with exactly what is in the bin so I can decorate a little at a time if I wish.
- Make a list of everything you need to purchase or have for next year. I try and have this list ready soon after Thanksgiving. It includes everything from Christmas cards to tights and shoes for Christmas Eve Mass. If you know that next year is your year to “host” Christmas, you might want to pick up some fun Christmas napkin holders or plate chargers at the after Christmas sales.
If you read this list and feel overwhelmed…then…maybe this post is not for you. If you read this and have a few ” a ha” moments…then I feel like the post was worth it. =) Here’s to a great Christmas next year!
Thanks for reading!!!
God Bless, Tammi