I can sense the holiday mania revving up, judging by the volume of retailer emails in my inbox. Express clothing store is open at midnight on Thanksgiving?? Not for me, even with a 50% discount. The best way I know of to enjoy the season is to make a plan for what needs to be done, what I can spend, and what I am buying at which stores. Fewer trips saves money and sanity.
Enter… Flylady’s ‘Cruising Through the Holidays Control Journal’ – available free at flylady.net. Here’s how I use mine.
You can set aside 10-15 minutes a day to bring your holiday plans to life. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to knock this out in one sitting!
Are you hosting a gathering? This is my menu plan in the works. I also have notes for what categories of food others can bring. Will you be needing any items such as disposable plates, paper napkins, or drinks & alcohol that you don’t normally buy? Today I made a note to ask my husband what drinks he plans to serve, and what supplies will he need to do that.
Start fleshing out the grocery list on the next page. Is there anything you rarely use, such as maraschino cherries or worcestershire sauce that may be expired and needs replacing? My worcestershire sauce was older than my daughter. Oops!
A gift list is essential. For me the gifts that send me out at the last minute are the non-family gifts: mailman, teacher, garbage man. Put on the tea kettle, put up your feet, and spend 5 minutes thinking of what gifts you need to have for family and non-family. Will you be putting out a stocking or a shoe for St Nick on the night of December 5? That is a week away . . .
The Cruising Through The Holidays packet also has useful pages for those who need to mail packages, or travel to a family gathering. At the end of the year, save the pages you used for planning until next year. You will have a record of what you spent on gifts, and what food items you served. This will help you start to save money towards holiday expenses long before a Black Friday email has graced your inbox!
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!