As the champagne bottles are drained, the confetti settles, and the New Year’s Eve fireworks are just an echo in your brain, New Year’s Day brings to mind several things.
Many of us start the year off signing up for a new gym membership or starting the latest “fad” diet.
Some spend a quiet day nursing a hangover.
Others spend the day removing Christmas decorations and packing them up for next years celebration.
If you are one of the many putting away holiday decors, you may want to start thinking about next season’s celebration preparations now.
It is true that during the holidays, time is a precious commodity, and high stress levels are often the price we pay in order to have a Merry Christmas.
The holiday season is always hectic and things can get out of hand quickly. It is never too early to start thinking about preparations for the holidays, even as early as Jan. 1.
Instead of signing up for that gym membership you are never going to use, take the time to write out a master plan, of sorts, to plan for the not so distant upcoming Christmas season.
In this plan, include ideas for decoration themes, dinner menus, gift ideas, and party invitation lists. If travel is in your holiday plans, research hotels, airfare, car rental, even tickets to holiday shows or concerts.
Start off your plan with something easy, like Christmas cards. Take time to update any address changes and additions to your Christmas card list.
After Christmas sales are the best time to buy cards for next year. Most retailers will have Christmas cards discounted 50-75 percent off, creating a vast savings you will be thankful for next season. Then you can start writing out a few cards every night during the winter and spring, giving you plenty of time to personalize each card without the pressure to finish quickly.
Plan any Christmas parties and gatherings now. Get out a calendar and schedule the family party, the office cookie exchange, the scout troop caroling, or the tree trimming party. Scheduling early means less chance of double booking dates with other family members or friends.
January is a great time to sit by the fire and skim over your cookbooks to find new dishes to serve over the holidays. Write out shopping lists for each recipe in a notebook as you find them. This will avoid you frantically searching for recipes on your smartphone in the baking aisle of the supermarket on Dec. 22.
While taking down the tree and putting away decorations for next Christmas, remember to “purge and put away.”
We all have those few decorations that stay at the bottom of the box year after year. End the cycle. Clear out decorations you no longer use, or look tired and worn out.
After Christmas sales are the best time to replenish and replace your old Christmas decor at huge savings.
If you enjoy Christmas DYI projects, everything from ribbons to pine cones are on sale now at deep discounts. Keep all the materials you buy in one box, but don’t put it away. Keep it in sight so you can work on your projects now and then throughout the year so they will be done in plenty of time for the holidays.
Take Santa’s advice by making a list and checking it twice. Start an early shopping list. Start with the names of people you will need to buy for and slowly add ideas you will come up with for gifts throughout the upcoming year. When Aunt Nancy mentions she needs a new electric blanket, or your best friend comments on a pair of earrings she just loves, you can write your ideas down on your “ready to go” shopping list and get a good jump start on holiday shopping.
Personally, I can not bring myself to pay full price for Christmas wrapping paper that will be ripped up and thrown away seconds after the gift is given. Buying Christmas wrapping paper, bows, boxes and tags after the holiday season will save you a bundle.
Organize boxes with lids and tissue paper in a plastic tote for easy access when you need it.
Keep your discounted paper products close at hand in the closet or laundry room, not in the attic. This way, if you shop early, you can wrap as you buy, avoiding that huge pile of gifts to wrap on Dec. 23.
This New Years Day, when thinking about your New Year's resolutions, resolve to have a more organized, stress free and enjoyable holiday season in 2020. With a little planning, you can save money, time and energy, allowing you to feel that Christmas time might just be the most wonderful time of the year. Oh, and keep in mind, as of New Year’s Day there is only 359 day left until Christmas….