Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This Chick's Holiday Planning Guide {& Personal To-Do List}

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I've been so slack in blogging and doing anything online lately.  I'm feeling sort-of lame about it... sorry.  

As any small business owner knows, the Holiday Season = Busy Season... and if you're a Handmade Business Owner who participates in Holiday Craft Shows, Holiday Festivals and Markets... then Handmade Holiday Season = Super Busy Season.

If you don't own a business, it surely doesn't mean you aren't busy this time of year... here is my {Non-Business} Holiday and Personal To-do List... because, let's face it... the Holiday Season comes with a lot of pressure and as I've said in past posts, it's best to be over prepared... And at Holiday Time, Being Prepared = Less Stress, and Less Stress = a More Enjoyable Holiday for all involved! *wink*

My Holiday Season is as Follows:
~Littlest Chickie's B-Day: Nov 22nd
~Christmas (With random work-related festivals, girl scout events and school events thrown in the mix)
~Planning for a New Year's Commitment (I know this is WAY advance planning, I'm just tacking it onto my list, because I need to factor it in, but I'll go into it in another post.)

The SoChick Chick's Holiday Guide {& To-Do List}:

~Clean and Unclutter Your Home:
     If you are expecting guests, and even if you aren't, a clean and tidy house is going to take loads of stress out of your day and holiday prep-time.  Start now by tackling a 'serious' spot once or twice a week. 
    Tackling big jobs now will make future tidying sessions quicker and easier, which are key-words when prepping for guests.  And let's face it, who really enjoys the mad-dash to clean the day before your guests come?! (Not this chick)
  How I'm Preparing: painting trim-work, having the carpet cleaned and installing beadboard wainscot in the kitchen, organizing and decluttering the closets in prep for seasonal wardrobe change and new Christmas toys/clothes for the kids.  I would also be very happy to have the gallery wall in our livingroom up... here's an inspiration photo:

Source: google.ca via Melissa on Pinterest\

~Gather Holiday Inspiration
  Want to make a wreath for fall AND Christmas?  How about those way cute Holiday cards and handmade gifts you've been pinning all year?  Want to give handmade gifts this year? NOW is the time to start getting all your ducks in a row, if you haven't already, by going through your Pinterest Pins and gathering your dog-eared magazines together.  Sit and sort through what you can realistically manage for this season.  Be sure to save anything that may take more time, for next year... when you will start planning sooner, right?! Right!  

My go-to mags for Holiday Inspiration!
~Plan The Menu(s):
  Okay, so I know the Christmas Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living issues aren't out just yet (soon my darlings, soon), but you can still get your Thanksgiving Menu together and an idea of what you're doing for Christmas.
  I like to plan for day-of snacks and such, the Big Meal, dessert, and the next day or two worth of leftover meals...  Okay, I'll admit that I can eat plate after plate of Thanksgiving Dinner and Turkey Sandwiches, but add some spice to life and make something different with your left overs; you never know what may become a new family tradition!  Last year, I used leftover Christmas Ham to make Cuban sandwiches... it was so easy to put a pork roast in the crock-pot the morning after Christmas Day and spend the day relaxing and unwinding from the Christmas Festivities while spending time with family. I plan to do that again this year!)

~Make Lists & Gather Supplies/Ingredients:
I love lists! Seriously, how annoying is it to have a great plan for something only to head out to the store and not find what you need?!  Very!  Not to mention, people get a little crazy around the holidays (more on that in another post).  Once you've decided on the crafts, cards, decor, and food you want to use for the holidays, make lists of what you'll need and start gathering supplies and ingredients.

Since Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away, you really should start now by picking up the things you know you'll need for the big day... and especially if you plan to bake, start stocking up on all of the things you know you'll need, even if your Christmas baking list isn't ready, you still have an idea of what you'll use the most.  Again, it's no fun to plan to make your Grandmother's Famous Cookies when you can't find walnuts at the store because you waited till the last minute!  As an added bonus, by making lists and gathering things over time, you are being easier on your wallet, and less likely to over-spend!

~Schedule Your Time & Set Deadlines:
  Of course you'll schedule your time for the Big Meal, right? Like all of the magazines tell you to?  So you aren't running around like a crazy lady on The Big Day? Well, you should!  Aside from that, i'm also talking about the time it will take to do your crafts, make your gifts, when you should send your cards... etc.
  How I'm Preparing:
  [This week] Planning home decor crafts for thanksgiving and Christmas, already made & hung my Fall Wreath, making lists for handmade gifts and scheduling time to make them, deciding on what to do for Littlest Chickie's 3rd b-day.
  [Next Week] Deciding on Holiday Cards (and making or ordering them), starting crafts and handmade gifts
 [Week of Thanksgiving] Gathering like-items together at home, along with the Menu, double-checking schedule for cooking times, etc.
 [First week after Thanksgiving] Mailing Christmas Cards (I want to send them by Dec 1st this year!), Christmas decor crafts with the kids, pulling out and putting up Christmas Decorations and Tree
 [Dec 14th] My personal deadline for mailing handmade gifts, and Christmas shopping so I can spend the last weeks baking and prepping for Christmas Eve and Day! Yippie!

I know this sounds so structured, but it's meant more as a guideline to help keep the stress down so you can really enjoy your Holidays... and not to mention, posting this keeps me accountable! *wink*

How do you prepare for the Holidays? Do you make lists?  How do you keep up with all of the commitments of your "Holiday Season" while still enjoying it and having your family enjoy a happy, stress-free less-stressed, you?

* * *

I can't wait to share the plan for my New Year's Commitment in the next few days, I'll need some input and advice for sure, that's why I'm planning ahead!

See you soon!

XxOo~ Melissa


  1. Now that I'm done planning the Pop Up Shop, I can finally get some holiday planning done around here! Thanks for the great ideas:)

  2. I think you deserve a breather, Cate! Your Pop Up Shop looked fab!! Xo

  3. I dont see how you do it---all I can say is that Im so thankful for my husband doing the little things around here for me--I work 3rd so its really really hard-- hmm I make lists-- I feel like if I have a set schedule that I do alot better! cant wait to see your New Years Commitments--ps I wanna see pic of that cardigan you were telling me about!


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