Monday, November 21, 2011

Prep for the Holiday Season: 3 Tips to Get a Headstart!

Has it been a year already? November 22nd?! Take a deep breath. The snow ball of Christmas planning, presents and parties is just one month away but with a few tips here and there, you will enjoy gathering all the little gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

#1: Enjoy Christmas before it arrives
Pop in a Christmas DVD like Nigella's Christmas or Jamie's Family Christmas late at night, take a sip of cinnamon tea and just enjoy the quiet time before all the bells start ringing.

Order your Christmas Tree for delivery in early December. Ease into the month of over indulgence with slow and quiet rituals like decorating the tree a few ornaments at time and waking up to the scent of evergreen.

#2: Knock out the key dates first
Don't let everyone else's Christmas schedule bog you down. Have a plan for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve - whether it's at your friend's apartment or booking a table at a neighborhood restaurant, get something down on your calendar for these dates. This way you have a backup plan and won't have to resort to whatever comes up last minute.

#3: Gift List
Whether you do it on a piece of paper or on an excel (this is better because you can refer to it again next year), list all the key people that come to mind first. Covering the presents for all the top of mind crowd will help reduce your stress level by a huge factor. Think: immediate family, co-workers, best friends, extended family, good friends.

Then divide your list into personal gifts and generic gifts. It is humanly impossible and financially tragic to buy 100 unique gifts. Start by hand-picking gifts for your nearest and dearest and try to keep this number under 10. Then you can start making or purchasing gifts for all. Just because they are not individually handpicked doesn't mean that they have to be boring. Some ideas: iphone cases, ipad cases, headphones, exotic tea, gourmet chocolate, handmade cookies (this gingerbread recipe is to die for!), holiday season hand soap and lotion, notebooks, calendars and popcorn.

This is just a starting point. Gift ideas to follow! Stay tuned!