We are already on the last week of October and probably before we knew it, we are already celebrating the holiday season. But there's one thing that we ought to do if we want to ensure a stress free holiday and that is plan....plan....plan. Yes, there's no better way to celebrate the holidays but to have proper planning and of course, a ton of preparations. Stress always comes to us when we rush on things and this is exactly what I hate. I hate cramming even when I was still a student. More often than not, it always leads to unsuccessful events, if not disaster. So how do I prepare for a stress free holidays? Here are the ways:
- Beginning of this year, I've already started to set aside new bills that I've received as change from supermarkets and shops. Next, I've already bought some red packets and put specific amount for each envelope to be given to those boys and girls (my relatives) who constantly visit me and the family during Christmas day. This way, I wouldn't feel the "pain" in my pocket come Christmas Day. :)
- I do visit my favorite online shops every now and then and started to browse on their gift items on sale which could be the probable gifts to my son, daughter and hubby during our traditional exchange of gifts on Christmas eve. The items I choose were placed on my "wish list" under my online account. Then, I would do another round of browsing during one of my free time and after I finalized my decision on what I really want to give, then I will start to order these items one at a time. This saved me a lot of time and I could very well plan my budget for each gift.
- I'm starting to add more materials on my "craft box" which I would be using to wrap my gifts. Wrappers, boxes and ribbons of various colors and sizes are beginning to fill my box.
- For extended family members, I plan to give some personalized home made goodies direct from my kitchen and as early as this month, I've started to try new recipes and collect the required ingredients little by little. I've also started to prepare the boxes/containers for these home made goodies which I plan to adorn with cute ribbons and personalized messages.
- I'm not really into buying personal stuff for myself like clothes, shoes and fashion accessories as I think that I had enough of these things in my closet. Besides, hubby used to bring back some personal stuff for me as "pasalubong", so I guess, that would already be good for me.
- I bought a cute sewing machine which I plan to use for my arts and crafts projects and most of the initial projects would be something to decorate the house for the holiday season.
- This month also, I've encouraged my daughter to help me do the "clean up operation" around the house and at the yard. We've already repainted some garden accessories and hired someone to trim all the plants and get rid of the grasses.
- I've already talked to our carpenter and handyman for the possible projects that we are planning to do starting next month, asked for the list of materials and started to canvass the prices so I could start preparing the budget.
- I've already set aside some amount in the envelope for Christmas carolers (adult and kids) and also for the community garbage collectors.
So far, that's all for the meantime but I maybe adding some more on this list. If you notice, all the preparations I've made will spare me from spending "one time big time" during the holidays and it won't make me feel the pain in my pocket.