It’s never too early to talk holidays. They have a bad habit of creeping up on us. This year, like every year, I say I want to plan ahead – because we all know the benefits planning ahead brings. But I never actually do it. But this year there is one compelling reason to commit to getting organised in advance. A big benefit of planing ahead is that you can be very intentional with everything. And that in turn not only makes you happier and less stressed, but also saves you money. With the scary cost of living crisis, being intentional and planned with your money has become even more important.
By being intentional, you’ll also be skipping most of the last minute panics and stresses. Of course you can never plan for every eventuality as that’s beyond our control. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or the general socialising/outings/shopping that November and December brings, it’s worth spending a bit of time now and saving a lot of time later. And of course saving some money too.
simple things to do now for an intentional holiday season (and save money too)
1. make a list of gifts
Make a list of all the people you want to give gifts to as well as ideas for what you’ll give them. If you happen to have some Nov/Dec birthdays like me, include them in this list too. Once you have your list, if you see something on sale, buy it there and then. Task done, money saved. This will also allow you to take advantage of any mid-season sales, black Friday and other special offers that often crop up.
2. plan your holiday decor
Now is the time to take stock of what holiday decorations you have. If, like me, you have a specific look for your holiday decorations – mines a minimalist, muted, neutral look – then you know exactly what you need and don’t need. If you don’t yet have a look in mind, decide one now. Then start getting rid of anything you’re not going to use and for some that may mean boxes of stuff. Once you’ve pared down your collection to stuff you love you can always buy or make a few more pieces as and when you want. When the time comes to put up your decor, you won’t be sifting through things to find what you need. And you’ll have a much more cohesive and intentional look that you’ll love.
3. get thinking about your DIY gifts
Handmade gifts are always special. And they often cost far less than shop bought gifts. But come the holiday season, time is short. Even with the best intentions, I know I often don’t make nearly as many as I’d like to. So it’s a good idea to get ahead by making a list of things you want to make. Browse handmade gift ideas, keeping in mind how much time it takes to make each one. Make your list and order the materials. Whenever you have a bit of free time you can get making because you’ll already have the materials. This will avoid frantic and expensive purchases especially for things like hostess gifts or unexpected last minute gifts.
4. plan your gatherings
By gatherings I mean meals, table settings and everything that goes with having people over – and not just for the big days. This might feel a bit premature but trust me it’s not. This year I know I need new dinner plates so I’m busy looking now. I’m finding a fair few mid-season sales – yay! I also know that by buying now, I won’t have to compromise because of delivery times. For you it may be something else for your table. Whatever it is, it’s worth thinking about now.
It’s also a good idea to have a few possible meal ideas for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other gatherings you might want to have. Many supermarkets will let you book a delivery slot way in advance so once you’ve got your meal ideas, you can actually shop them a good month in advance and know they’ll be delivered on the day you chose.
5. declutter your home
The holiday season always means more stuff. Whether thats gifts you receive or decorations in your home or stuff you buy for the season. Doing a declutter now and making a few small efforts to keep your home clutter-free will help in so many ways. It will not only make space for the new stuff but also help in making your home guest ready. And if you sell some of your clutter, you’ll have the bonus of some unexpected cash too.