Tackle Two Months of Holiday Prep with Ease

Believe it or not the holidays are just around the corner. If you think the comment pre-mature, take a peek at the countdown:
• 17 days until Halloween,
• 44 days until Thanksgiving,
• 65 days until Hanukkah, and
• 72 days until Christmas!

The holidays are a time to be with family and friends, enjoying the things that are most important to us and celebrating the year past. For most of us, however, that is not how we actually end up spending the holidays. Instead of relaxing with those we care about, we find ourselves stressing out trying to find the perfect gift, decorating in time to entertain, and over scheduling ourselves to “fit” everyone and everything in. Here are tips to get you through all the holidays until 2015.

1. Buy your costumes early. Now.
2. Make a plan for the night of with your children. Include allowed locations for trick-or-treating, what time they must end, and where they should meet you at the end of the night.
3. Think ahead. Make sure your kids will be safe. Buy glow sticks for them to wear and have them carry a flashlight. Put reflectors on their costumes.
4. Turn off your home lights when you are done handing out candy.
5. Label a basket or bucket where you’ll collect items that your kids receive from goodie bags, kids’ meals, or treasure boxes. Now you’re ready to hand these out instead of candy next year.

1. Make a menu & grocery list two weeks prior.
2. Consider your table arrangement. Do you need to purchase additional flatware, centerpieces, or serving dishes? Make this trip at least a week before.
3. Prepare foods you can make in advance the day before Thanksgiving. You’ll save time and the food will be just as good (if not better) than if it were made on Thanksgiving Day.
4. The night before Thanksgiving set the table. Also, set dessert plates or bowls aside where they can be easily accessed.
5. Make sure you have many containers ready to quickly wrap up food after dinner.
6. Enjoy yourself and be thankful for all the people with whom you surround yourself.

1. Create a holiday binder. This is a perfect place to keep notes for all your holiday gift giving, gift receipts, holiday card list, recipes, menus and other lists you will use throughout the season. Store the binder with your decorations at the end of the season so you can pull it out each year.
2. Wrapping caddy. Put together a wrapping caddy with the following items: wrapping paper, scissors, tape, gift tags, ribbons, bows, gift bags and boxes. I recommend using a scrapbooking tote that you can find at any craft store. The caddy can go with you anywhere you need to wrap a gift.
3. Stress-free scheduling. Now is the time to pull out whatever you use to schedule yourself! Pencil in all non-holiday events. Block off time for shopping and preparation days. Then, fill in the fun stuff that you want to do. Leave a few evenings or weekend days open so you can relax and regroup for the next block of events.
4. Cards, cards everywhere. Well not anymore! This year think vertically: use garland or festive yarn to create a holiday card clothesline. Use colored clothespins to secure them on the garland/yarn or punch a hole in one corner and use holiday string to hang them.
5. Un-decorating to make decorating easier next year. Store decorations and gift-wrapping in clear or clearly marked opaque containers (marked on all sides so you always know what’s inside). Store like items together.


Mom owned businesses Raleigh, Raleigh small business, small business owner raleigh

Lori Bruhns

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