In just over a week, Americans will officially begin the holiday season with Thanksgiving taking place in homes around the country. It always seems to me that once the third Thursday in November arrives, the hands on the clock tick by far more quickly than any other time throughout the year.
Knowing this in advance, I thought I’d share ways to prepare for the upcoming holidays so that they are festive, memorable and closely resemble your ideal. This weekend is a perfect time to get organized, look ahead and make decisions before everything shifts into high gear.
1. Ask the Important Questions
It can be hard to say no to invitations, traditional gatherings and spending time with all the people who seek a moment of your time during this bustling season. However, our lives evolve and due to that our priorities change. Take a moment to determine what is most important so that if you have to choose, your decisions doesn’t leave you with regret.
2. Hang On or Start New
At the same time you are making your priority list, reflect on the life you are living now – what you value, what you believe and what you want to celebrate. With the holidays, traditions are expected to be followed, but it is imperative that you agree with the traditions you are following, and if you don’t, why not begin new ones that reflect the life and the relationships you are now involved with? After all, the holidays only come around once a year, so be sure to make them resonate with your core values.
3. Make Plans Early
Once you have decided how you would like to spend the holidays, begin making plans with those you are most desiring to spend time with. Respect that they too have busy schedules and talk to them early about times and dates so that you are sure to spend time with those you love and treasure. They will appreciate it, plus the anticipation of what is to come is half of the fun.
4. Budget Wisely
Be realistic about your financial parameters. It would be unrealistic to think that budgets are only to be followed for eleven of the twelve months of the year. Besides, the holidays should be a time to focus on people and a life you a grateful for rather than the most expensive gifts you can buy. If your budget is running low, begin to turn on your creativity thinking cap. You might just be surprised as to how well your gifts are received because of the extra attention and thoughtfulness.
5. Plan Your Style
Holiday parties with friends and family, end of the year work parties and attending special events. The holidays are crammed full of amazing social soirees, so just as planning your calendar is important, so too is planning your wardrobe. That perfect dress you’ve had your eye on or the sequin sandals should be purchased and tucked in your closet well before the night they will be needed. This will eliminate stress and ensure you are confident and stunning for each event you attend further adding to amazing holiday experience.
6. Stick to Healthy Habits
January should find each of us feeling satisfied with how we spend the holidays, but also fitting into the same clothing and feeling healthy. And with all of the extra opportunities of food, treats and sugar, create a plan now on how you will combat all of the temptations and demands on your time. Stick to your exercise regimen and follow a few simple ideas when it comes to eating: never graze, try to only each 3 or 4 desserts a week (or less), focus on moments, conversation and enjoying yourself rather than tasting everything that has been slaved over in the kitchen. Your waistline will thank you.
7. Embrace Simplicity
Some of the most amazing and memorable moments during the holidays are those moments just sitting by the fire, watching the snow fall ever so gracefully onto the yard, or sitting on the couch savoring the recently decked tree while classic holiday music plays throughout the house. These moments are so simple, yet magical. So be sure not to schedule yourself so tightly that you aren’t able to allow for flexibility.
And now, enjoy because many amazing moments await.