THIRTY days before Christmas, it’s best to get organized, create a timeline and ultimate countdown list on what to look for, where to go and how to get more out of a lesser budget so you’ll have more holiday cheer and less holiday stress.
One month before Christmas
Finalize your master gift list. You may not have every detail filled in but at least make sure you list everyone you’ll need to buy for, and think about what they’d like. Have your children give you their wish list.
Stick to your budget. Set a ballpark figure for how much you can spend on gifts so you’ll stay grounded when you get excited shopping.
Do online shopping. Besides picking things up here and there on every sale offerings, consider shopping online so you’ll have time to wrap them.
Wrap gifts as you buy them. This will keep little eyes from finding out what Santa is bringing and it will save you time on Christmas Eve.
Start decorating. Get your lights, ornaments, wreaths and lawn ornaments and begin decorating.
Three weeks before or first week of December
Start mailing your cards. For those who still love sending Christmas cards, start dropping them or send digital greetings now.
Finalize menus. If you’ll be serving the holiday meal, be sure you know what you’ll be cooking and what the family members will be bringing. Start a master grocery list.
Two weeks before or second week of December
Shop for non-perishable items. It’s the time to buy alcohol and canned goods or pantry staples you will need.
One week before
Deep clean your house. Decorations will light up the house if the floors are clean and the kitchen is organized. Clear out the refrigerator and toss old leftovers to make room for big dishes and ingredients for the big day.
Three days before
Shop for fresh ingredients. Hit the store for the last-minute vegetables or fruits you need for the meals.
Set the table. Clean all the best wares for the holiday and try putting sticky note on each platter that states what dish you plan to serve on it. This will allow other member of the family to help you.
Two days before
Start cooking. Now’s the time to prepare the main courses and make anything that can sit for a couple of days.
Buy fresh flowers. Fresh flowers should always be purchased two days in advance. Blooms have time to open up, that they’ll still be lush and fragrant.
The day before
Recharge the batteries on your camera or video recorder. Of course, you don’t want to miss the reaction of your loved ones when they open their gifts.
Finish last-minute wrapping. Assemble all the gifts that will surprise your loved ones.
Finish cooking and make a timeline for the next day.
Sit back and relax. Enjoy your family and friends and relish the traditions you share.