It's hard to believe we're entering into the holiday season. Maybe you’ve already been thinking about it and preparing, but if not, let’s talk about some things we can do now to prepare for a joyous and safe holiday season, whatever holidays you celebrate at the end of the year.
Preparing for the holidays now can save you valuable time
The holidays can be a stressful time of year for people, even in the best of times, but especially so this year with all that has been going on. The pandemic has changed what our family get-togethers may look like but we can still have a good holiday season while being safe and healthy.
We've talked about holiday prep in the past, in episodes TPW159 in 2017. In that episode, we went into details of things we can do to prepare, so it's a good episode to review for ideas. In addition, here are a few steps to consider taking now to prepare for this year's holidays.
Prepare your home
Do some purging and de-cluttering of your home. Really focus on getting rid of the things that take up space and don't serve you anymore. If in your family it's traditional to give lots of gifts, you want to make space for those things. If you have children, take this time to go through their clothes and toys, dispose of (or recycle) things that are broken, and donate those things that are in good condition. (See if there are some shelters in your community that would like some of these items.) Use this time before the holidays to make space and clear out clutter in your home. Clear space makes for a clear mind.
Get some deep cleaning done. Do some cleaning of your baseboards, floors, bathrooms, etc. In anticipation of all of the cooking and baking you'll be doing for the holidays, take this time to do a good cleaning of your refrigerator and freezer. Throw out expired and old food, use up leftovers, deep clean the shelves and drawers, and defrost the freezer.
Do some decorating. Even if nobody’s coming to visit this year, decorate to lift your own spirits. I'll be putting up Christmas decorations starting December 1, even though I'm unsure of what our holiday will look like this year in terms of family gatherings.
Prepare for gifting
Check your gift wrapping supplies inventory. We all have people in our lives we'd like to give gifts to. If we check our supplies now and stock up early, we don't have to worry about running out in the middle of wrapping.
Think about your gift list. Make a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to and evaluate what you have bought so far. Make sure you’re keeping within a budget you can live with.
If you're ordering anything online, order SOON. Because of the pandemic, there have already been inventory shortages and delayed shipping times. This could get worse as we get closer to the holidays.
Wrap as you go. As you get gifts for different people, get them all wrapped and tagged as you go so nothing is put off until the last minute. For some folks, marathon gift-wrapping sessions are fun, but they can also be stressful.
Consider a few extra gifts for unexpected/spur-of-the-moment gifts. Think about people who you may want to encourage or bless with an unexpected present. Maybe a delivery person or service provider, maybe your child's teacher. Considering having a few extra things when a special person comes to mind so you'll have something on hand.
If you do a holiday letter, start writing it now. If you are someone who gives your friends and family a yearly update on your life through a letter, consider getting started on it now. With all that has happened this year and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many have experienced,