Preparing for the holidays can be a daunting task. Especially, when you grinding the hell out of some coffee, sporting the latest bedhead hairstyles, you can barely grab a shower, and the time in between toting your precious cargo around helping the rug rats with their homework, while attempting to get household chores complete, is nearly a joke. Holidays? Who has time? Who has the money? Lastly, who has the energy to care? Let’s not even forget if you happen to work a job as well. This is the juggle you would love to enjoy, but can’t figure out how to right? Here are some helpful hints.
Prepare throughout the year.
This is really easy when the kiddos are young. This can be a bit more challenging with your older children.
1. Clearance Toys
Every time you go to your local superstore make your way to the toy section. Check to see what toys have gone to a markdown clearance item. Grab them while they are cheap. Begin a collection for gifting throughout the year. This is wonderful for birthdays too.
2. Clearance Decorations
Purchase your decorations cheap at the end of the holiday. Most decorations go on clearance up to 75% off. Pick up some inexpensive totes at your local discount store for holiday storage. Set the items aside for the following year, and gain a small collection over the next several years. Most of the time these stores have holiday color coded plastic totes that can make organization easy.
3. Clearance Clothing
Always shop the clothing clearance racks during the end of seasons. You will find items for as low as $.25 for your little ones. Sure it is getting cold outside, and all of the garments are summer outfits. No biggie. Purchase the size up for the next summer. Stock up for each year, and get ahead. When that season comes upon you out of nowhere, you’ll be prepared. The best part about the clothing clearance is, that all of the holiday clothing is ready for you to snatch up for next year.
4. Family Hand-Me-Downs
Ask your parents if there are any decorations from your childhood that they want to pass down. Most of us, who are grandparents, seldom have the fortitude to go all out. Our time for that has passed and now it is yours. What items might your parents be willing to part with? Can’t hurt to ask, as those decorations are free, will stay in the family to create new memories, and your folks might be thrilled to free up some space in their home.
5. Gently Used
Yard sales, social media (buy, sell, & giveaway) sites, and online applications are wonderful tools to discover the treasures that others see as disposable. These items are the best to purchase because, they are usually gently used or not at all used. You may also want to check out your local thrift stores and flea markets as well!
Procrastination Holiday Station
Preparing last minute because, well, let’s face it…you are a hot mess! There are always going to be those years where you have accomplished nothing and are certainly ready for zilch, nada, and the proverbial NOTHING! You aren’t alone. First, don’t beat yourself up. Second, make the next year easier on yourself. Lastly, let’s do this thing…
Train Leaves The Station in 3-2-1…GO!
1. Dollar Store Heaven
We are all addicted to that wonderful app. that gives us a multitude of ideas for any category we can think of. Most of the time this is a curse of projects begun, patience not won, and nothing completely done. Craft supplies galore, all over the floor, more trips to the store, you crafting whore! Yep that about sums up 99.7% of us, right? Well. This is one of those times that the app might just be your friend. There are hundreds of ideas for crafting some quick and inexpensive decorations made from items you can purchase at your local dollar store.
2. Kiddo Craft Time
What a better way to keep the expenses down and keep the kids involved and excited. Shave off one or two days in the month where you and the kids put together some fun decorations, like those good old construction paper Christmas chains, or the undying salt and flour ornaments we all made in school. Grab some holiday cookie cutters, and paint. These make great gifts too!
3. Host a decorating Party
Invite some friends over and have a holiday decorating party. This is what I call, rounding up the troops. Send out invites to all of your children’s friends at school to come over for a themed holiday decorating party. The kids LOVE this and you will too. Invite their mom’s over and enjoy your gal pal chats over coffee, while the kiddos are hard at work.
4. Purchasing Last Minute Gifts
The best made gifts are homemade gifts. Every adult values and adores the offerings of a child-made gift from the heart. This is a great bonding moment for you and your child to prepare some “made with love” gifts for the family. Do you sew? Do you have a talent or a craft? Utilize it now. Do you paint? Whatever your talent is, this is the time and a great way to showcase your work.
Coupon books have been around for years. One free car wash for dad, or one free vacuum day for mom. Have the kids put together a coupon book for their siblings to use as well. Create a family recipe book and self-publish it for all of your family members. Ask each one if they have some favorite recipes they would like to share and make it a permanent family heirloom. If all goes south, well then, movie theater gift cards are always a winner!!
Whatever your Holiday wishes and desires, you can power through and make it happen. Work with your family and friends to pull off a great holiday season on the fly, or over the course of the year. Any way you slice it, this will be a beautiful holiday season.