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Planning Ahead For Christmas

Christmas is the time of year associated with love, joy and goodwill toward men. Until we approach the holiday and reach a level of stress we didnít realize a human being could reach! In an attempt to head off the holiday hassle this year, here are a few tips on creating a personal holiday checklist to make the holidays go as smoothly as possible.

Be a Perennial Shopper

The first idea isnít always practical for people, but if you have the time and the means, keep an eye out throughout the entire year for clearance items or great sales that you can take advantage of to cut down on your Christmas giving list. In short, it pays to be a ĎPerennial Shopperí. Store all of the items in one specific place so that you donít forget you have them! Order Christmas gifts online to save time and avoid getting mobbed in. If ordering online, order well in advance to ensure delivery well in time before Christmas.

Sort Out Your Gift List

At the beginning of November, sit down and make out a list of people you will be giving or sending a gift to. Place the people who will need their gifts sent through the mail at the top of the list because you will want to take care of them first. When your list is complete, itís time to go through the gifts you purchased throughout the year and assign them to the appropriate people on your list. Voila! Youíve already whittled away at a few names. If you have trouble assigning all of your gifts, donít worry. Put the remaining ones aside and you will find that you either forgot a name on your list or received an unexpected Christmas present from someone you should exchange with.

Start with the Card List

The Christmas gift list will be similar to the Christmas card list, so in late November, you should take the first list and add the names that need Christmas cards. Take your list and divide it by five 5. The next five days will be spent preparing the assigned number of Christmas cards until the list is complete.

Wrap them up!

Buy your Christmas wrap early and keep it easily accessible somewhere in your home. Every time you return from Christmas shopping, immediately wrap the gifts and put them away. It will save so much time in the long run and you donít have to devote an entire day to completing this task.

Plan Your Grocery Shopping

If you are planning on entertaining during the holiday season, try to plan out your meals and each time you go shopping, stock up on the non- perishable items and the frozen items you will need. Anyone with a family knows that what does not get consumed at a party will have no problem finding another event for it to be enjoyed.

Also before leaving for shopping, plan ahead the quantity of groceries that you will need based on the number of people you are expecting to come over. Take a stock of your Pantry and fill it up with necessary items.

Prepare Your Home for Guests

Take a critical tour of your home from the point of view of a third person and make note of things to be fixed or added. Check the condition and availability of your cooking and baking pots and pans. Get your appliances serviced and blades and knives sharpened. If you have a loose electrical switch, get it repaired. You don't want to be left stranded on the day of a party or dinner. Check your burners and grates.

These ideas might seem simple, but they can help free up some extra time and help you to enjoy a smooth holiday season. With fewer tasks to be accomplished in such a short amount of time, you can focus on the important aspects of your Christmas celebration.

About the Author

This article appears in the Christmas 2004 issue of 'Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine'. To read the complete article and to download a FREE copy of the entire magazine, go to http://www.celebrating-christmas.com/magazine.shtml

Packed with illustrated articles on holiday recipes, crafts, home decor, party planning tips, gift ideas and family fun activities for Christmas, 'Celebrating Christmas' magazine is the ultimate combination of a 'Home and Lifestyle' and 'Holiday' magazine and is aimed to help you celebrate a better, merrier and stress-free Christmas.

This article is available for free reprint on your website or ezine on the condition that the byline (the text within the 'About the Author' box) remains intact.

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